Traveling Route 66 is an adventure. Living on Route 66 is an epic odyssey on par of that experienced by Jason and the Argonauts.
As do most mornings, yesterday commenced with the answering of a variety of Route 66 related correspondence and questions – from four countries. This was followed by what began as a typical day at the office, in a building that is a remnant of the former Hobb’s Truck Stop.
During a morning break I learned that the neighboring Chrysler dealer was hosting their annual luncheon reception for classic Mopar owners making a run to Las Vegas that afternoon, and made an appointment for passport application. Then I received phone calls from Jerry Asher who is mapping the Route 66 corridor in Arizona for the Plug Share website, John Springs, and Dale Butel.
At mid morning a huge catering truck was set up in front of the office and an hour latter a stunning array of vintage Chrysler muscle cars began rolling into the car lot. Shortly after this, Dale Butel and his crew stopped by for a quick lunch as he was motoring east toward Chicago.
This time the crew included Bob “Croc” Lile, John Springs, Jim Bush, Anthony Laughton, and assorted friends from the land down under. The visit was a short one as they were running late and were scheduled to be in Gallup by 8:00.
As I wandered among the classic muscle cars painted the garish colors of the late 1960s and early 1970s (one with a mod top), a true rarity nestled in the corner caught my eye. Interestingly enough it seemed no one saw it but me as the crowd ebbed and flowed past it.
The Crown Imperial of the late 1950s and early 1960s was a true luxury car in every sense of the word but it was also a powerhouse. As the list price often exceeded that of two Cadillac’s, production was quite low.
Rarity was but part of the allure. This was obviously an unrestored example as evidenced by the cracked dash padding, thin paint, and a couple of small rust holes at the bottom of the front fenders.
While examining the car I met a family from France. They were traveling Route 66 and stopped in to see the cars on display. A short conversation with them about the cars and Route 66 sparked the interest of a couple from Germany also traveling that highway and they joined in.
In one short hour I had visited with friends from Australia, talked with people from France, Germany, and Canada, and photographed some very rare cars. All of this took place in front of my office on Route 66.
This, however, was but part of a day lived on Route 66. Jerry Asher called again and as a result of loosing track of time in a visit with Allen Greer and his family, the new proprietors of the Frontier Motel complex in Truxton, our meeting was postponed until this morning. KC Keefer, the producer of the Genuine Route 66 Life video series called to discuss the forthcoming events in Tucumcari, Kim Steele of the Kingman Daily Miner informed me that the latest article on the Route 66 International Festival that would profile the film festival was scheduled for Sunday publication, and I received confirmation of an April 25 speaking engagement. All of this took place during a busy morning at the office.
The Route 66 related adventures did not end with the close of business. No, on the drive home I spotted a group of motorcyclists on Route 66 with Norwegian flags, a pair of vintage Thunderbirds with New York license plates and Route 66 shields on the trunk.
When checking emails I learned that Julie Lowe and James Gross of TNT Automotive, the location selected for the Bob Waldmire exhibition during the Route 66 International Festival, were launching the eagerly anticipated Get Your Bricks on Route 66 program, a fund raising initiative that will create a Route 66 walk of fame along that highways corridor in the historic district.
Granted, this wasn’t a typical day in a life lined on Route 66. Sometimes it is really busy and diverse.