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Original Issue


A motion picture and stage show called Key to the Future is a spectacular part of the 1956 Motorama, which I had a chance to see (along with 275,000 other interested visitors) while it was in New York two weeks ago. The show projects automobiling into 1976 and serves both as a background for General Motors' latest products and as a spotlight for five experimental dream cars, forerunners of what may come.

Horseplayers, Dodger fans, SI's Herman Hickman and even General Motors know that forecasting the future is an uncertain occupation. But it will remain a fascinating one as long as people can dream of a three-way parlay, a stadium with a translucent dome, an undefeated season—or an automobile in which the driver can take his hands and mind off the wheel while a control tower automatically guides it down the highway.

Judging from the imaginative, 16-cylinder dreaming that the world's largest corporation has focused on a horizon 20 years away, many things besides automobiles will be delightfully different in 1976. But still on the scene, more than ever, is sport. For sport is the theme of the show. It ends in a whirling ballet of golfers, fencers, gymnasts and tennis, baseball and basketball players. The dream cars themselves are unmistakable descendants of today's sports cars (as our EVENTS AND DISCOVERIES pointed out in the Jan. 30 issue); and their lovely attendants wear spectator sports clothes especially designed to harmonize with the styling of the cars.

Afterwards, when I asked an official how General Motors happened to choose sport as Motorama's theme, he said, "It came naturally. Here we are looking at the world 20 years from now. One thing we're sure of is that people will have more time than ever for their own pursuits. So another sure thing is that people will be spending more time than ever on sport."

With this happy forecast SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, it goes without saying, agrees most enthusiastically.