There is something truly special about Route 66, you might even say there is a certain magic in this old road. Nancy Barlow (one half of the team behind the Genuine Route 66 Life video series, KC Keefer is the other half) and I were discussing this yesterday.
Today we have a manifestation of that special spirit that enthuses and transforms the people who take the time to discover the charms of the double six in Rick Zimmer. This morning he kicked off a fund raising campaign to get Joe Loesch and the Road Crew to the Route 66 International Festival in Kingman.
This afternoon I had an interesting conversation with Cort Stevens. The general topic of discussion was the possible launching of a social media clearing house on his Facebook page, Old Cars Strong Hearts for people that are headed to the festival so they can coordinate plans to travel together or even car pool.
This magical spirit doesn’t just affect the nostalgic minded or the romanticist. It isn’t just made manifest in fund raising campaigns and restored neon signs, in time capsule cafes or smores night at a vintage motel.
You can even find it in people whose eyes are on the future, even if they have a passion for the past. We are still months away from the big event and yet indications are that the Route 66 International Festival in Kingman may just be the largest venue for electric vehicles this year.
To date collectors have indicated they are bringing a 1902 Studebaker, a 1930 Detroit Electric, and even a few electric vehicles from the 1950s. Inquiries are also being received from Telsa owners (Kingman will have a charging station by this summer), the owner of an EV2, and the owner of an electric hot rod that put a Dodge Viper to shame.
David Heward of Holbrook, founder of the Route 66 Electric Car Club and an ardent proponent of the GEM car, is making plans to attend. He is also encouraging members of the club to join in on the fun.
Each and every one of theses folks is excited about either driving the double six, or at least cruising it in Kingman from behind the wheel of their electric car. Of course, as this is a celebration of Route 66 it shouldn’t come as a surprise that inquiries are also being received by Studebaker owners as well as from people who drive hot rods, vintage Fords, and even trucks.
When was the last time you saw a 1928 Autocar? Well, according to Ralph Bowman, an organizer with Chillin on Beale that will be coordinating a special edition of this event at the festival, has told me that a collector is bringing one to Kingman to join in on the fun.
Two parts family reunion, three parts an intermingling of the past and future, and four parts fun equals a memorable and historic Route 66 International Festival. Consider the fact that the theme of this festival, The Crossroads of the Past and Future, will be rather apt and you will have an ideal opportunity to discover, or rediscover, the magic of the Route 66 spirit.
Will you be joining us?