THE NEON ROAD
However, as fascinating as it is to have breakfast with a senior citizen from Holland bicycling the entire length of Route 66 or to assist a Japanese lady in her efforts to see the burros in Oatman it is the automobiles and the people who drive them on this iconic highway that fascinate me the most.In recent months I have learned that a group of micro car enthusiast with their vintage BMW Isetta’s and similar cars are planning a Route 66 cruise next year and that this September a fan of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo will be motoring west gathering fans of the American automobile in general along the way for a big California blow out. Now, dare to imagine the possibilities of tying this mania with Kingman’s very active car scene as evidenced by the Kingman Cruizer’s, the Arizona Car Nutz, and their endeavor to transform Beale Street through the monthly Chillin‘ on Beale Street.
Events such as Chillin‘ on Beale Street are now being promoted all along Route 66 in an effort to help groups and automotive enthusiasts plan their trip to include a stop in Kingman to join in with the festivities. Through blogs, forums, websites, and the revived Route 66 Pulse this publicity is going international.
What if we took the alliance between these local car clubs, the Route 66 Association of Kingman, the tourism office under the direction of Josh Noble, and the Kingman Downtown Merchants Association, and combined it with the publicity awarded us through our association with Route 66? What if we actively invited car clubs and related organizations to not only join in on the fun of the Fun Run or Chillin‘ on Beale Street but to center their groups activities in Kingman?
What if we had an organization that offered to coordinate gatherings for the Studebaker Drivers Club or the Walter P. Chrysler Club so their members could enjoy the adventure of cruising old Route 66 for almost two hundred uninterrupted miles? What if, for nine months of the year, Route 66 and Kingman were a beehive of vintage iron, hot rods, and motorcycles, every weekend?
What if there was a glow of vintage neon on the flame jobs and chrome all along Route 66 in Kingman? What if the buildings in our historic district were gaily painted with murals reflecting the colorful history of Kingman?
Well, if the recent cooperative efforts between progressive elements and organizations in Kingman are any indication this may not be a pipe dream. Our little corner of the world where rarities such as a Corvair powered Ultra Vans are daily drivers might just become a neon road, a magical destination for automobile enthusiasts from throughout the world.