Getting Your Kicks . . . On Route 66

I don’t know how big of a deal it was. I only know about it because I worked at a Route 66 landmark in high school, so I picked up some trivia.

Fun fact: though the lead character had inherited only a new Corvette from his now deceased, once-rich father, the Corvette was changed each season to the newest model (product placement? You bet!) So this now-poor kid can always trade in.

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I pretty much live on Route 66

I worked here, at the Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store. Which was opened in 1925, a year before Rt 66. The store originally had gas pumps but when 66 came through they widened the road and the gas pumps were removed.


While we were visiting the Grand Canyon, the close-by town is Williams, AZ, which allegedly is the last portion of US66 to be decommissioned, in 1984. Shit-tons of Route 66 souvenirs.

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I think that’s where you can get the train? We did the train and stayed in the noisy hotel. Great for families but not so much if you’re traveling without kids. My favorite stop on that trip was Winslow, AZ, and yes, we stood on the corner.

We still want to go all the way to LA.

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We thought about the train, but ultimately we didn’t want to be hemmed in by the train schedule.

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The train was fun but I wouldn’t do it without kids. We did the adults only car but as you could hear the kids…and I don’t do adult beverages so it just didn’t matter for me.

Oh, amongst my many random artifacts, I have this old sign from the route. I’m told it was from Texas, and the expert I talked to about it said it would have either been Texas or Oklahoma based on the design.


I couldn’t find anything like that on the internet, except for this one pic here:

The reflectors in the sixes and around the edges seem rare.

Glenn is the expert I spoke to before buying mine. He said late 1960s is his best guess. His is the only other sign like mine I’ve seen.

Newer signs are somewhat common, older signs are quite hard to find. The really old ones with glass reflectors are terribly rare and command some pretty exorbitant prices.

I looked for about three years before finding this sign. You can get a few on eBay but the prices are insane, way above market value.

Pontiac, IL has some considerable Route 66 stuff to experience: a museum and the guy with the bus-converted-to-a-home exhibition (this guy was the inspiration for the character Filmore in the movie Cars).

Pontiac is about 1.5 hours south of Chicago’s O’Hare. I’m willing to help set up a Po’tac there if there’s ever any interest.


I saw a lot of Route 66 stuff several years ago traveling from Central IL to St Louis. I remember there were a couple different highways claiming to be the original Route 66.

In Missouri, can you drive on the original highway or was it overtaken with I-44? (St Louis to Joplin IIRC)

Not sure about Missouri, but in many states there are sidings where the road is not upkept. Some have been turned into bike-/walkways.
In most constructions of freeways, the old US Route had to stay open, so a different route was chosen so that there was through traffic. Any small town, for example, would be bypassed because no one wants a freeway through the front yard of their little pink house.
In the middle of nowhere, freeways are four lanes minimum, while US Routes are two lanes minimum. Construction for two additional lanes can occur beside one side of the current highway; when it’s done, it becomes the two-lane highway and the old highway is upgraded to freeway strength. When finished, voila four lanes.

I-44 replaced quite a bit of it, but there is still a fair amount of 66 left in MO. I think especially west of Springfield. And yep, it passes through Joplin and then you hit Galena, KS. KS has 13 miles of Route 66.

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I did not know Rt 66 went through Kansas.

Only 66-heads know that, and apparently, Mathman is one.


Moved this discussion to its own thread since it’s clearly not R.I.P. related.


“RIP Route 66”?
Yeah, it’s been 40 years.

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I grew up two miles from 66 in Kansas. Before I was old enough to drive, we’d bike to Baxter Springs, KS on 66. It’s a small town but they had pool and video games and what-not.

And then I worked at that store, which is a 66 landmark, and we had a gift shop, so I picked up some knowledge. I met some of the sorta famous Route 66 folks, got to chat with tons of folks driving the route. Once, a group of Europeans shipped their classic cars to Chicago and drove the route, and they stopped when I was working. That was the first time I saw a gullwing Mercedes, just wow.