SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Meet the world’s most expensive bus.
This stunning-looking vehicle has just gone under the hammer at Arizona auction house Barrett-Jackson for a non-mass-transportation price of $4.1 million.
That’s the highest auction price ever paid at a Barrett-Jackson sale, leaving in the dust the $3 million that the 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car fetched last year. But this bus is something special. It’s a 1950 Futurliner, one of only 12 ever made, and it was used in General Motors’ Parade of Progress and Motorama events, the road show that took futuristic GM cars around America before and after World War II.
The auction catalog described the bus, Futurliner number 11, as “a matchless symbol of the American auto industry at the height of its power and influence.” The bus — restored from a derelict state in 1990 — was designed by the legendary GM stylist Harley Earl. It and another significant Harley Earl design, the Pontiac Bonneville Special, went to the same private collector. The Bonneville Special, which also featured as part of GM’s Parade of Progress, was sold for $2.8 million.
Of the 12 Futurliners, nine are known to survive in some form, but only two others have been restored to their original condition. One is owned by Northeast company Peter Pan Bus Lines and is liveried in the company’s green color scheme; the other was recently restored by the National Auto and Truck Museum of the United States (NATMUS) of Auburn, Indiana.
Posted Fri Jan 27th, 2006