Rare GM Futurliner Tops $4 Million At Auction
A 1950 General Motors Futurliner Parade of Progress Tour Bus, one of 12 built, sold for an auction-record $4,320,000 to a private collector at the 35th Barrett-Jackson “World’s Greatest Car Collector Event” held in Scottsdale, Arizona, January 14 through 22, 2006.
The Futurliner, a self-contained display and transport vehicle, was created by renowned automotive engineer and designer Harley Earl as part of the “Parade of Progress” touring exhibit, which was developed by GM research leader Charles Kettering to complement the company’s “Motoramas” from 1940 through 1956. The red-and-white Futurliner that sold, one of only three in the world that have been restored to their original configuration, is powered by a 400-cubic-inch six-cylinder GM engine mated to a four-speed transmission. It features the distinctive center “cupola” cockpit driving position and dual-wheel front axle.
Minutes earlier, the winning bidder on the Futurliner also purchased a 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama concept car, which Mr. Earl also designed, for $3,024,000.
(Photo courtesy of Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. LLC. © 2006 Barrett-Jackson. All rights reserved.)
Interstate Highway System Turns 50
June 29, 2006, will mark the 50th anniversary of the day federal legislation was signed to begin one of the largest engineering projects ever undertaken: the United States Interstate Highway System. Throughout 2006 a broad array of federal and state highway officials are joining with highway users, travel enthusiast groups, retailers, and vehicle manufacturers to recognize this milestone.
A variety of activities will help celebrate the beginning of the interstate system, which includes 46,508 miles of roadway, and its importance in America. Among them will be television documentaries, cross-country and cross-state convoys using the interstate roads, commemorative events, and more “” all designed to focus on the history of the system and to shine a light on the current needs of the interstates.
For more information about the Interstate Highway System’s 50th anniversary, visit www.interstate50th.org.
Fan-Tastic Vent Inventor, Cofounder Passes Away
Steve Milks, cofounder of Fan-Tastic Vent Corporation, C3077, based in Imlay City, Michigan, and inventor of the original Fan-Tastic Vent fan, died on March 9, 2006. Mr. Milks was 65.
Mr. Milks and David Struck established Fan-Tastic Vent in Burton, Michigan, in 1985. Several years earlier Mr. Milks saw a need for better air circulation and ventilation in RVs, leading him to invent a 12-volt high-efficiency fan. When the company began production of these fans it had just four employees, who manufactured 2,000 fans that first year. Since then, under the direction of its founders, the company grew to become one of the leading manufacturers of original-equipment and aftermarket RV fans. By 2001 Fan-Tastic Vent celebrated the production of its 1 millionth fan and has continued to upgrade its existing line of fans and introduce new ventilation products. The company expects to sell its 2 millionth fan in July 2006.
Mr. Milks is survived by his wife, Penny; his children, Stephanie and Stephen; three grandchildren; and four siblings. Memorials in his name can be made to the Josephine Ford Cancer Center, Office of Philanthropy, 1 Ford Place 5A, Detroit, MI 48202-3450; or the Genesys Health Park, 1 Genesys Parkway, Grand Blanc, MI 48439.
Privileged Access Acquires Thousand Trails
Privileged Access, a private company founded in October 2005 by president and CEO Joe McAdams, has acquired the Thousand Trails membership operation.
Mr. McAdams is the former CEO of Affinity Group Inc. and has more than 18 years of experience in the RV industry. Privileged Access will oversee the Thousand Trails membership and park operations. The Thousand Trails membership business had been owned and operated by Kohlberg & Company, a private New York equity firm, for the past three years.
Equity LifeStyle Properties, which owns or co-owns 285 U.S. campgrounds, RV resorts, and manufactured home communities, including the 59 Thousand Trails parks, will lease the properties to Privileged Access.
Personally Designed Postage Stamps Available
Stamps.com has made it possible for folks to create their own unique postage stamps on the computer with PhotoStamps. The service allows consumers to take their own images or photographs and turn them into real U.S. postage. The personalized stamps can be a great addition to birth announcements, wedding invitations, holiday greeting cards, or any other type of mail.
To create PhotoStamps, users simply upload their digital photo to Stamps.com; customize the design with the service’s easy-to-use interface; and order the stamps. The stamps, which measure 1.9 inches wide and 1.4 inches high and come 20 to a sheet, can be purchased in seven different postage denominations ranging from 24-cent postcard stamps to $4.05 for mailing packages. The cost for a single sheet of 39-cent stamps is $17.99, but the price per sheet decreases if greater quantities are ordered.
For more information or to start creating your own stamps, visit www.stamps.com.
Coach-Net Helps Fuel The Passion For Travel
Coach-Net, C4055, based in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, awarded FMCA member Roy Meek, F235462, of Grand Junction, Colorado, $1,000 of free fuel from Flying J as the winner of its “Fueling the Passion” sweepstakes during FMCA’s “Celebrating Family” convention in Pomona, California. The company plans to award another $1,000 Flying J fuel card at FMCA’s “Fast Track To Fun” convention in Charlotte/Concord, North Carolina, August 14 through 17.
“We now have the opportunity to do some traveling that we normally would not have been able to do,” Mr. Meek said. He and his wife, Pearl, plan on traveling to Detroit, Michigan, this summer to visit their daughter, who is expecting a baby.
Coach-Net is the provider for the FMCA Emergency Road Service and Technical Referral Program.
Sportscoach Teams Up With NASCAR Stars
Sportscoach, C328, a division of Coachmen Industries Inc., renewed its relationship with two NASCAR drivers and brought a new racingpersonality into the family during the Daytona 500 weekend in February 2006.
Mike Scheetz, vice president of Sportscoach, signed renewal agreements with Busch and NEXTEL Cup series driver Mike Wallace and Craftsman Truck Series driver Ron Hornaday to continue using new Sportscoach motorhomes during the racing season. Joining the company this year is Chad Knauss, crew chief for the Hendrick Motorsports’ Lowe’s Chevrolet driven by NEXTEL Cup star Jimmie Johnson.
In addition, Sportscoach has taken further advantage of marketing opportunities in NASCAR by placing full-page ads in several of the 2006 NASCAR fan guides that are distributed at NASCAR events throughout the season.