• Jul 8, 2011
1939 GM Futurliner - Click above for high-res image gallery

July 8 is National Collector's Car day, and to celebrate, eBay Motors is hosting an auction that should break the site's record for the most expensive vehicle ever sold through the site. One of the nine remaining General Motors Futurliners is set to fetch millions of dollars on the site as its auction runs from June 8 to 18.

This particular example has been meticulously restored by Peter Pan Bus Lines over a total of three years. The 400-horsepower leviathan is 33 feet long and just shy of 12 feet tall. When it was built for the 1939 New York World's Fair, it cost GM around $2 million in today's dollars. (Those of you with long memories may recall that a similar example shattered Barrett-Jackson records when it hammered at $4.1M in 2006).

After the World's Fair, the 12 Futurliners toured the U.S. under the "Parade of Progress" banner, showing the nation the technology of, well, the future. Each bus opened up to display the science behind microwaves, jet propulsion and the like. This particular example was exhumed from a New York corn field in 1997 before being massaged back to life by Coach Builders of Springfield, Massachusetts.

The bidding starts tonight at 9pm Eastern, but for now, you can head over to eBay Motors to learn more about National Collector's Car Day.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      diffrunt
      • 3 Years Ago
      any corn field & resto pics? resto cost? I was 9 when these were new.
      masonperegrine
      • 3 Years Ago
      It would be awesome for a band to buy this and use it as a rolling stage.
        xmailboxcancerx
        • 3 Years Ago
        @masonperegrine
        Probably a better buy for your money: http://www.stagerentals.com/sl250.htm
      SloopJohnB
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like something a navigator out of Dune would ride in...
      Making11s
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love these things. If I had the money I would buy one in a heart beat. It's sad that such beautiful design and pride in craftsmanship have fallen by the wayside since then.
      Svartorn
      • 3 Years Ago
      How can you tell it is made by GM? I don't see any badges.
        Egon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Svartorn
        If that was a joke, my apologies...my sarcasm radar has been turned off for the night ;)
      bleexeo
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a piece of crap and rip-off. A bus that holds absolutely nothing. No wonder it was left to rot out in some corn field.
        GearheadGeek
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bleexeo
        If you take a moment to read about it, it was never intended to be a passenger bus. GM built these as rolling exhibits of then-modern technology, and the Futurliners themselves were probably among the most advanced road vehicles in 1939. I suppose you think Old Ironsides is "crap and a ripoff" and should be "left to rot" because modern ships are faster and more capable?
        autoplaybook
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bleexeo
        It's a bus that does what it's designed to do...hold an exhibit inside. It's not the vehicle's fault you can't be bothered to read the article before commenting.
      level4
      • 3 Years Ago
      I honestly dont get the price of this thing. It would be cool to have, I play guitar in a band, it could serve as a mobil stage. But 4 million? I'd put a 20k value on it. Infact there are a lot of 20k cars I would take of this thing.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @level4
        [blocked]
          ftg
          • 3 Years Ago
          I bet he's single ladies!!!!
      jbm0866
      • 3 Years Ago
      So designers in the 30's thought that bus passengers wouldn't want to see where they're going? Considering this was even before tv...you would be forced to either sleep or interact with your fellow passengers. eeek!
        Redline
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jbm0866
        Eh what? Did you even look at the photos or read the article?
        autoplaybook
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jbm0866
        This wasn't meant to be a city bus of the future. It was supposed to be a rolling exhibition of future technologies. Read the article and use your brain before making ridiculous comments.
        GearheadGeek
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jbm0866
        Do read the article instead of just looking at the pictures. These were neither intended to be passenger buses nor to presage future passenger buses.
      xmailboxcancerx
      • 3 Years Ago
      Interesting – cool design/concept from vintage GM. However, if I'm shelling out 2+ Million for this sucker, I don't want it sold to me with all of that tattered/stained carpet material. Likewise, I wish this had a better purpose that simply a rolling stage – like, if it were a really futuristic passenger bus or luxury roller. I feel like I would show this all off to my friends and explain the history behind it etc. and all they would respond with is "Cool story, bro."
      carfan
      • 3 Years Ago
      what a fantastic design, how advance in time for that aera...the japanese were still toying with donkey drawn rikshas while GM was a pioneer in auto design.
        bradmars65
        • 3 Years Ago
        @carfan
        Harley Earl designed it. Also designed Lesabre, Y-Job (first concept car ever), the Corvette, the Bonneville Special, many, many more. His grandson has auto design website, very interesting for good pictures , www.carofthecentury.com
        Evan McMiller
        • 3 Years Ago
        @carfan
        hardly.
      carfan
      • 3 Years Ago
      there are too many idiots commenting on this forum. Unfortunately Autoblog became the meeting site of American retards to exchange their stupidities.
      hevace
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's kind of wacky looking, and maybe it has some historical value, but the only way that's worth a million bucks is if it has $750,000 in cash in a duffel bag in the back.
    • Load More Comments