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General Motors Futurliner Parade of Progress Spotted in Canoga Park

[Update September 26, 2017]: This vehicle sold sometime in 2016 by a German car collector which is also currently under restoration. Sad to see this go but also glad to see that a restoration is underway. You can see more here and here.

[Update February 5, 2013]: This vehicle was available for sale on Craigslist for $400,000.

[Original Post]:
Image courtesy El Rastreador de Noticias
Image courtesy Palm Springs Automobilist
Image courtesy Palm Springs Automobilist
Image courtesy Silodrome
Today, I am going to talk about the General Motors Futurliner Parade of Progress which has nothing to do with San Fernando Valley history. However, this vehicle is an extremely rare piece of automotive history that happens to currently reside in the San Fernando Valley. Canoga Park to be exact. Here is some background info. 

From Wikipedia:
The GM Futurliners were a group of stylized buses designed in the 1940s by Harley Earl for General Motors. They were used in GM's Parade of Progress, which traveled the United States exhibiting new cars and technology. The Futurliners were used from 1940 to 1941 and again from 1953 to 1956. A total of 12 were built, and 9 were still known to exist as of 2007.
Of those remaining 9 (from Wikipedia):
Futurliner #11 sold for a record US$4,000,000 (plus premium) on Jan 21, 2006 at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Arizona. Too large to ship, it was driven to its new home in Chandler.
Futurliner #10 is believed to be the most accurately restored of the Futurliners.
As of summer 2008 Futurliner #8 was delivered to its new Swedish owner Nicklas Jonsson who plans to restore it over a 10-year period. It's the first and only Futurliner in Europe.
Of the other six known surviving Futurliners, one is used as a motorhome (this is in Canoga Park) and two in advertising. One is in Maine and is currently being restored. It is owned by Tom Learned and is powered by a GM V-8 with an Allison automatic transmission. The others are generally beyond restorable condition.
According to the Futurliner website, #9 (images shown below) is owned and restored by Bob Valdez currently sitting in Canoga Park. This Futurliner was converted into a motorhome and was possibly featured (dont quote me on this) in the movie Firepower (1993), a documentary titled Homes on the Road, The RV Story, and on HGTV, The Gallery - RV Restoration according to this site:
This is Futurliner #9. As of 2008 it was up for sale. You can call Bob Valdez for more information but don't call just to ask about the price unless you got over a million plus dollars in your pocket. Bob has owned Futurliner #9 since 1984 and has made extensive modifications to both the exterior and interior. It's a highway cruiser and he has a lot of fun with it over the years.

All images above courtesy
Image courtesy 

Lastly, an original last sold for $4.1 million dollars at a Barret -Jackson auction in 2006 back when the economy was rosy and the sky was the limit. 

Today, the #9 Futurliner sits in a Canoga Park Motorhome RV park exposed to the elements, all alone, with very little use. But available for the right buyer near a $1 million. There are only a handful of these Futurliners in existence in the world and pridefully, one remains in the SFV's backyard thanks to Bob Valdez. 


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Marty Mcfly

Anything and everything about the San Fernando Valley. This blog will take you back in time when the valley was covered with dirt and orange groves to a leader in the space race to its current status as America's suburb. Come along and join me on this adventure, I guarantee you have been influenced/impacted by the San Fernando Valley in one form or another even if you have never visited or heard of the SFV.

5 comments to ''General Motors Futurliner Parade of Progress Spotted in Canoga Park"

  1. I think #9 might have been the one that was parked on Moorpark near Hazeltine for a number of years in the 1990s.

    It always just sat there, crammed in with assorted cars along the curb, behind where Guitar Center is. Nobody ever seemed to give it a second glance as they hurried by.

    I always assumed it was finally sold, though I wasn't sure if it was the one that ended up getting restored and brought the huge price in Scottsdale. Perhaps the parking regulations were changed, and it then could have been moved to the RV park.

  2. Thanks for this blog post! I always wondered the story behind that huge vehicle parked behind Guitar Center that I'd see from the passenger seat as my parents whizzed down Moorpark so many countless times when I was a kid. Turns out it was #9!

  3. Any word on what's happening with #9 now? I live across the street from where it was parked in Canoga Park. About a year ago it dissapeared. I had not known what it was until it was featured today on Bitchin' Rides.

    1. Good question. I am not sure. Looks like it may have been sold as I have not seen it in the parking lot for quite sometime now.

    2. See the update above. The car was sold to a german car collector and is under restoration.


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