Good intentions are funny things. The primary difference between them and the politicians promise is that one stems from the desire to enhance someones life. Still, both often end up being rather hollow.
|Beale Street during the 2012 Route
66 Fun Run.
As I had good intentions when promising to post readers letters about their most memorable Route 66 experience, as well as photos of the recent Route 66 Fun Run and a few other items but have yet to fully follow through there are but two options. One is to apologize and two is to rectify the short coming.
I spoke with Jan of the Route 66 Association of Arizona briefly yesterday and was informed that registered entries for this years fun (803) was almost a record. Toss into the mix several dozen folks who drove their cars as tag alongs, and a few hundred who just showed up for the festivities and you have one heck of a celebration.
In that vast sea of automotive history and colorful hot rods with gleaming chrome, there were a few vehicles that stood out like a prom queen in a stockyard. Topping my list were a beautiful 1953 Packard convertible, 1910 Cadillac, 1970 GTO Judge convertible, a Kaiser Manhattan, a 1951 Ford station wagon with trailer of similar vintage in tow, a very rare Corvair powered Ultracoach, a clean little 1938 pick up truck, and a pair of vintage Dodge cars (1933 and 1935) in bone stock, unrestored condition.
I prefer my vintage vehicles stock but can admire the workmanship and craftmanship of something other than a check book crafted custom car or those built to conform with the nonconformist (’57 Chevy, chrome wheels, 350-cid V8, etc.). Ernie Adams of Phoenix, Arizona, a Fun Run regular, is truly a craftsman.
|An Ernie Adams created dwarf car.|
His custom cars are truly custom in every sense of the word as little more than the engine, transmission, and differential existed before he created the chassis, body, electrical system, and grafted in ancillary components such as a stereo. They are also a unique blending of recycling (some body panels are derived from discarded refrigerator sheet metal). The resultant dwarf cars, often raced on the track, are truly a sight to behold.
In my humble opinion this, the 25th annual Route 66 Fun Run, was the best ever. The weather was chamber of commerce perfect, there were participants from throughout the United States and even Canada, and visitors from the four corners of the world.
|Author Roger Naylor and Jim Hinckley at the
Powerhouse Visitor Center during the Route 66
For us the weekend kicked off with the First Friday event that included a gallery showing of our work, as well as that of J.C. Amberlyn, at Beale Street Brews & Gallery. Saturday kicked off with a morning at the office, and then a book signing at the Powerhouse Visitor Center where I met the illustrious Mr. Naylor who was signing copies of his new book, Arizona Kicks on Route 66 with photography by Larry Lindahl.
Aside from Dale Butel of Australian based Route 66 Tours and his spring tour group, and Jo and Mark, friends from England, I spoke with people from Germany, France, and Japan proving that the appeal of Route 66 is truly universal in nature. The annual Route 66 Fun Run simply distills that international enthusiasm and excitement and wraps it in some of the most spectacular landscapes found anywhere along that highway.
The Fun Run, the vintage cars, and the distances that some of these cars were driven for the event (the 1953 Packard came from Colorado) reignited my passionate quest to create a vintage product mobile to promote the highway as well as the people and places that make it special. So, once KABAM and Wheels on 66 in Tucumcari is over, I will again initiate the search for a corporate sponsor who might be interested in a very unique, and possibly lucrative, promotional opportunity.
|Diveristy is the word of the day at the Route 66 Fun Run|
Last but not least today, I would like to share a short but beautiful letter from a reader. I have refrained from editing or correcting.
“My most special memory of Route 66 dates to September of 1964. We (Ron and I) married in March of 1963 but did not have the money for much of a honeymoon. Besides, his car (a hand me down Chevy his dad bought after the war) was fine for shopping and trips to work but for making our dream trip to California it left something to be desired.
Ron and I had lived in St. Louis our entire lives. Ron had some family vacations to Oklahoma and even as far as Texas. Our summer trips were alwasy to Chicago to my mother’s family. So the thought of a trip to California was as excitng as a cruise or trip to Paris.
So we were quite excited when in August of 1964, Ron received notice that he had gotten the job (he had applied for a job as a mechanic at an AMC dealership in San Bernardino through a cousin who worked there). We had just purchased a new Rambler American station wagon a few months before this.
The trip was everything we dreamed of but there was one stop that was our favorite. We stopped at the most amazing shop, a trading post I think, in Albuquerque (I don’t remember the name but it was downtown) and Ron bought me a beautiful ring.
Everything was so different, it was the first time we really realized that our lives were really changing, we talked about that at a cafe nearby. When we stepped outside there was a Route 66 sign and every since then I have to smile when I see something with a Route 66 shield.”