There is no doubt that everyone now knows about the legendary route that runs the west coast of the USA. Known as the Mother Road or America’s Main Street, Route 66 spans from Chicago to Los Angeles for a total of 2,448 miles or 3,940 kms.
Founded in 1926. Route 66 served as a major path for those migrating west and it especially supported the economies of the communities through which the road passed. Those that did business along the route became prosperous as the highway traffic grew and they fought hard to preserve the route when the Interstate Highway System bypassed them in 1985.
The prosperity of the route may have shifted since, and rather than business traditional trade bringing wealth to business owners, it is now so embedded in America’s history that the legend of the highway will never die.
Far from being a barren highway with ghost towns, as is sometimes marketed, the highway attracts tourist who want to experience the highway the way it was and the way it is written about.
Many flock to the highway and tour in buses, modern cars or bikes.
But of course the real appeal for the hard core tourists who want as close an experience as possible, there is no better way to ride 66 than in a classic muscle car of the day !
Steve Brooks from Sydney, Australia had a similar thought, and when he observed that no one was offering a service that allowed guided tours with classic muscle cars, he created one !
“I wanted to do the tour of Route 66, but there was no one who would rent a period car and also provided a guided tour, so I created a service that does just that!”, he says.
In fact, Steve’s service, known as the “Route 66 Coyotes”, expands that service to allow the customer to even buy a car from the USA if they desired, ride that on Route 66 and then allow him to arrange safe transport of the vehicle back to Australia!
Steve’s Facebook page reads “The Route 66 Coyotes are a team dedicated to promoting the traveling of Route 66 the way it’s meant to be ; in classic cars!! “
He’s onto a great idea and so far has made two tours of the great route ;
“In September of 2011, four of us arrived in Chicago and proceeded to drive the mother road in two classic fastback Mustangs. We were on a tight timeline and did it all including
Santa Fe, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas in eight days.
We all agreed the route needs more time to fully appreciate it’s history, ambience and characters. We also decided we wanted to show others how great this experience could be driven in American classics of a bygone era and have committed to building a fleet of beautiful 50’s 60’s and 70’s iconic classics and offering the opportunity for others to join us on future runs”.
To test the theory, The Route 66 Coyotes chose June 2013 as the return month and published dates that ran a two week itinerary.
That trip was a success as the pic’s show, with the main cars being the classic Ford Mustang and a cool old Chev !
The tour started with car pickup and a drive to Debuque Iowa, Mississippi from Fort Dodge, with a river boat cruise and dinner waiting at the destination.
The crew departed Debuque for a drive to Chicago the following day for sightseeing before the official Route 66 trip start day on May 31 with breakfast at Mels en route to Springfield, Illinois.
Springfield was departed the next day for St Louis then off to Rolla Missouri for the annual Route 66 festival.
Sunday 2nd June was a day of festival activities including classic car cruise as part of the event, and returning to Rolla to stay the night.
Monday 3rd June, Drive from Rolla to Galena for a special Route 66 Coyote dinner event and the Three Woman garage in Galena Kansas.
Tuesday 4th June, leisurely drive down some amazing old Route 66 country roads out of Kansas into Okalahoma and down to Tulsa to see out the night.
Wednesday 5th June another Route 66 back road day to a great little town of Hinton. A special night was had here visiting some great friends at Wheeler Chevrolet!
Thursday 6th June was on to Amarillo Texas, and then daily trips that included Tucumcari, New Mexico, Santa Fe arriving early so plenty of time for some awesome shopping in the Native American art Capitol. Then a leisurely run down through Albuquerque and on to Gallup New Mexico, Winslow Arizona and Meteor crater on the way to Williams Arizona, Flagstaff, Sedona, then the Grand Canyon, Seligman then visiting Hoover Dam and on to Las Vegas in Nevada. To complete the run included Carol Shelby’s workshop, driving super cars out at the speedway then more partying and shows in Vegas, then head down the mountains above San Bernardino and on into Los Angeles for a huge lunchtime celebration of the trip on Santa Monica Pier and a final night out in Hollywood.
For more pics and info, or better yet, to book your own Route 66 experience with the Route 66 Coyotes, click the link to go to their Facebook fanpage ; https://www.facebook.com/pages/Route-66-Coyotes-roadtrip-june-2013/161573967258587
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