The 104th anniversary of the Tulsa Auto Show will feature autos from the past and the “future” as well as a journey down Electric Avenue and lots of pet adoptions.
While adhering to government and Expo Square policies and standards for social distancing and mandatory mask-wearing, the Tulsa Auto Show – with part of the proceeds going to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma – will be held April 16-18 at the River Spirit Expo at Expo Square. Among the precautions being taken are to have autonomous temperature checks at the entrances, hand sanitizing stations set up throughout the building, designated eating areas, and ongoing sanitizing and disinfecting of vehicles for the duration of the event. Additional COVID-19 safety information can be found at https://thetulsaautoshow.com/covid-19-guidelines/.
“We knew going in this would be a unique year for the Tulsa Auto Show, coming off everything that has happened with COVID-19,” Bill Knight, president of Knight Automotive Group, said. “We anticipate people being very excited about getting to attend an event of this magnitude, and visitors to this year’s Tulsa Auto Show will be treated to the debut of the 2021 Ford Bronco two-door and four-door and the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, the always popular Futurliner #10, and dozens of classic cars and trucks.”
The Futurliner #10 was one of 12 large dual-front wheeled display vehicles that crisscrossed the country in the early 1950’s, part of a General Motors promotion called the Parade of Progress. The GM Parade of Progress and its crew of about 60 young men carried futuristic and inspirational exhibits to millions of people across North America from 1936 through 1956.
The parade of Futurliners accompanied by GM’s newest cars for sale would pull into small towns just like the circus once did, set up at the fairgrounds or a park. This 1953 Futurliner, with 16-foot display doors on either side, was a perfect platform for static exhibits and live demonstrations of emerging technology of the future.
The Futurliner has visited Tulsa twice before at the Tulsa Fairgrounds as part of the Parade of Progress – in 1941, prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, and again in 1955. With the increased popularity of television and other growing technologies, the Parade of Progress eventually retired and the Futurliners became a memory of the past. However, efforts were made to restore some of these 12 items of Americana, with Joe Bortz eventually donating the Futurliner #10 to the National Automotive and Truck Museum in Auburn, Indiana. The remaining Futurliners remain in private ownership or sit unrestored.
“It’s always fun for us to take the Futurliner #10 out on the open road and see the excitement people experience when they see it,” David Yarde said. “The Futurliner was a great example of innovation of its time and we love being able to provide visitors to the Tulsa Auto Show a chance to see what the future was expected to look like many decades ago.”
In addition to the Futurliner #10, the Tulsa Auto Show will include a re-creation of the Route 66 Drive-In featuring 48 classic cars and trucks, movie billboards, and a daily showing of the Disney Pixar hit movie “Cars.” The auto show will also feature pet adoptions through Subaru Loves Pets and several new electric autos.
“With so many new electric vehicles on display at this year’s auto show, we anticipate visitors being excited to see many new electric autos and some hybrid autos from franchised automobile dealers in the Tulsa market,” Tom Bloomfield, general manager with Don Thornton Automotive Group, said. “The Tulsa Auto Show will have so much more than new autos, however, as we will be featuring dozens of classic cars, pet adoptions and plenty of excitement for people of all ages and interests.”
The Tulsa Auto Show is one of the largest consumer shows in Oklahoma and will feature a variety of entertaining activities for adults and kids. In addition to the Futurliner #10, the re-creation of the Route 66 Drive-In, and the pet adoptions, the Tulsa Auto Show will feature the 18-Hole Mini-Golf Course Experience with proceeds benefitting the Oklahoma Veteran Connections; the military vehicle exhibit; a “Coffee and Cars” event on Saturday; and lots and lots of 2021 new cars and trucks from 20 automobile brands.
Those interested in purchasing buy one get one free e-tickets are encouraged to go to www.thetulsaautoshow.com for additional information. Buy one get one free coupons are also available at QuikTrip.
Among the 20 automaker brands participating in the show are Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, RAM, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
The Tulsa Auto Show is sponsored by the Tulsa Automobile Dealers Association and print partner the Tulsa World.
The Tulsa Automobile Dealers Association is a non-profit organization that exists to serve and promote the franchised new motor vehicle dealers of metro Tulsa and is the owner of the Tulsa Auto Show.