The kick off for a season of fun and excitement on Route 66 in western Arizona begins this weekend with the return of Chillin on Beale Street in the historic district of Kingman.
“The 2010 season of Chillin on Beale Street kicks off with a bang and an Australian accent on the evening of Saturday, April 17, on Beale Street in the Kingman historic district one block north of Route 66. The monthly event, a joint effort between the Kingman Downtown Merchants Association, the Kingman Route 66 Association, and the Route 66 Cruizers Car Club, starts its second season with the blending of classic cars, good music, food, friendship, and gunfire, courtesy of the Kingman Wild West Society.
This months Chillin on Beale Street will have an international flavor as visitors from New Zealand and Australia, participants in Dale Butel’s Route 66 Tour (, join in on the fun as they motor west from Chicago on Route 66 in their Mustang convertibles.
So, mark your calendar, dust off the Mustang, Model T, deuce coupe or mini van and get ready for a fun filled evening under the desert sky in historic downtown Kingman. The fun begins at 6:00 PM so come early and stay late!”
Next, I would like to apologize for the delinquent posting. When traveling I will miss a day or two but a four day delay between posts is not the way we do business here in my corner of Route 66.
The excuses are many but here is the condensed version. Deadlines (book and for my monthly Cars & Parts magazine column), appointments, interviews, photos for a commercial client, a full time job, elderly parent, travel arrangements, and the previously mentioned dental issues.
Now, new business. In writing the book reviews for Cars & Parts magazine a number of interesting books cross my desk but last night a book that kept me reading for quite some time.  Even though I have yet to finish reading it my eagerness to share a bit about it can not be contained.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – A History by Curtis D. Anderson and Judy Anderson, published by McFarland Publishing, is a relatively small paper back of 267 pages and 98 illustrations. Contained within those pages is a well researched, extremely fascinating history of these automobiles from the dawn of the automobile age through futuristic technologies that are only now being manifested in test models.
As an automotive historian and writer, I was well aware of the popularity of electric and steam cars before the advent of the viable electric starter in 1912. I knew that Studebaker initiated the automotive manufacturing chapter of its history with an electric car designed by Thomas Edison and that Ransom Olds started with steam engines.
However, I had no idea there were fleets of electric taxi cabs in New York City in 1900 or that Ferdinand Porsche’s initial automotive endeavors began with electric vehicles. I had no clue that people were taking 100 plus mile tours in electric vehicles before 1905 or that large companies were using fleets of electric trucks during the same period.
Now, fast forward a century or so. This book has, for the first time in years, filled me with excitement about the future of the automobile industry as a whole.
With that said, my imagination runs rampant about the role Route 66 will play in the future delevelopment and promotion of this new generation of automobiles. Vintage stations that appear as they did in 1930 but where you buy hydrogen or charge batteries? Electric car rallies featuring historic and modern electrics?
Now, an explanation for todays title. Here, in western Arizona along Route 66, we have several clear indicators that winter is past and spring is here. The temperatures become rather pleasant, the flowers start to peak through the broken rocks adding a delightful contrast of color to the desert landscapes, and there is a near constant rumble of motorcycles on Route 66. Well, this week we have all three so …

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