More restoration work in Needles on Route 66…

 California, Daily  Comments Off on More restoration work in Needles on Route 66…
Jun 282012

Hot off the tail of the restoration of the 66 Motel sign in Needles, another project (or should I say projects) are taking shape…

Not even a week has gone by since the relighting of the historic 66 Motel sign another restoration project is underway.

Having spent a good amount of time in the last year and a half in Needles, one starts looking for things to not only help the travelers who are driving Route 66, but also to try to find ways to help the local economy as well.

The thing which jumped out to me were two small, non-descript gas stations on the west side of town. I have passed these things many, many times as I was in town working on the sign and always wanted to see if something could be done with them.

Well, fast forward to last week and the town has decided to continue with the ‘wave of restorations’ and start planning on working on these two stations. They were very surprised on not only how well the motel sign turned out, but the reactions from local town folk. It is a wise move in my eyes!

The two gas stations will be painted the standard ‘white paint’ they once where painted back in the 40’s and 50’s and signs and other artwork will be added by local volunteers, an artist, and even yours truly. I wanted to be a part of this one, as I have a ‘fondness’ for Needles now!

The owners will also help with the work as well as provide old photos for reference as we will try to recreate them as close to how they used to look like.

If this sounds familiar, look no further than Tucumcari and the work they have done on their stations. To be honest with you, I have been planting this seed for over a year and I feel it was Rich Talley (Motel Safari fame) who pushed it over the edge and convinced them it was ‘the right thing to do for the town, and the tourists’.

I do not expect the stations to look as ‘good’ as in Tucumcari as I know how they work and their ‘secret weapon’ Doug Quareles, but we are going to do a pretty decent job!

The plan is to have both stations completed by the time the Victorville festival starts so folks can not only see the restored sign, they can see the gas stations finished, maybe have lunch at the historic Wagon Wheel Restaurant, and then head ‘west to the fest!’

Volunteers clean up Paul Bunyan statue on Route 66

 Illinois  Comments Off on Volunteers clean up Paul Bunyan statue on Route 66
May 202012

I have said it before and I will say it again – the Illinois Route 66 Association gets it! They are the shining examples of how to keep not only the route alive – but to prosper from it.

ATLANTA — While Atlanta may have a small population, it boasts a pair of giant tourist attractions — Route 66 and a 19-foot-tall statue that looms over it.

More than a dozen volunteers came from Illinois and beyond Saturday to wash and paint Atlanta’s Bunyon’s Statue — a giant man holding a hot dog — to ensure it remains a Route 66 icon for years to come.

Similar statues were once popular and designed to attract people to businesses. Atlanta’s giant originally stood for 38 years on Route 66 in Cicero, drawing customers to Bunyon’s restaurant.

When it closed in 1993, the restaurant’s owners loaned the legendary figure to Atlanta, where it draws tourists to the town of nearly 1,700.

While the one-of-a-kind Route 66 icon draws smiles and laughter from visitors, he’s a “serious factor” when it comes to economic development. The statue draws thousands from all over the world each year, said Atlanta business owner Bill Thomas, who helped bring the attraction to the city.

“There’s no where else in the world you can have your photo taken with a 19-foot man holding a hot dog,” Thomas said.

Thomas was at the statue talking with a three-man film crew Friday afternoon when two carloads of people stopped to have their photo snapped.

“That happens time and time again,” Thomas said.

And it’s not just people from the Midwest.

Saturday morning, as volunteers refurbished the statue, two visitors from Odernheim, Germany, stopped on their way from Chicago to Los Angeles.

“It’s history and was a dream,” said Klaus Dreesbach of why he decided two years ago to plan the motorcycle trip on Route 66.

Dreesbach and friend Rolf Mau weren’t surprised to see the fiberglass giant.

“We have read in a trip book about them,” said Mau, who described Atlanta as a “nice, typical, western city.”

Restoration effort

The opportunity to help preserve the giant also drew enthusiasts from as far away as Iowa and Michigan.

“I’m impressed by what people want to do to help,” said John Weiss, chair of the preservation committee of the Route 66 Association of Illinois and organizer of the work day. Those who are interested in getting involved can visit for more information.

“It’s my wife’s birthday and it’s what she wanted,” said Joe Foster, who traveled from Urbandale, Iowa, with wife, Kara, and daughter, Ella Hendricks, 8.

“Route 66 is my passion, and he’s grown to like it,” said Kara, who painted one of the statue’s arms and the mustard on the hot dog.

Bill Kelley, who grew up hearing stories of Route 66 from his parents, came from Eastpointe, Mich., to help.

“Disneyworld and Vegas aren’t for everybody,” said Kelley of his passion for Route 66.

Volunteer Jerry Law, of Wood River, agreed. “To me, Route 66 has everything I want.”

‘Project Richfield’ begins – the Route 66 Truck!

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on ‘Project Richfield’ begins – the Route 66 Truck!
Feb 252012

I have been putting a few posts up on my Facebook page about a ‘model truck’ I was building. I used to be a avid modeler when I was – like 10!! – so I have built my share of model cars.

This one is a little different.

I wanted to use the model as a ‘sketch pad’ of sorts. I had, in my mind, what I wanted a truck to look like if I were ever to buy one, but I didn’t want to use the real truck as a blank canvas and then mess it up and have a real mess on my hands. Insert model truck here: A 1950 Ford F-1 Pick Up truck.

I had a concept: to built an old pickup truck as if it were, lets say, a service station truck. I went through the lists of all the old service station on the route and decided I wanted to go with a Richfield Yellow / Blue theme, and make it as stock as possible, and make it look like you can park it in an old gas station and it would look like a natural fit.

Easy enough – you would think.
After a bunch of research, I finally found the color pattern I wanted and started to build my model of the truck I would one day want to own.

So, after a month, the model is done. I could have spent 3 months making the model truck perfect, as I usually would if / when I build models, but I really was interested in the paint scheme.

So, the model is as done as I need to to be, now what?

Insert REAL 1949 Ford F-3 3/4 Ton Long Bed Pick Up Truck!

Actually, it is a pretty clean truck with VERY little rust (and I mean very little!) The ‘brown’ on the truck is primer and the metal is all pretty straight and solid.

Since this picture was taken, I have already stripped the truck down to (almost) bare frame with only the cab to be lifted off. It is just sitting there waiting to be removed. That will probably happen next week.

The goal: To get this thing up and running by next year, and drive it in the AZ or NM Route 66 Association’s Fun Run.
That’s the goal – the reality might be a little different.

I will post a pic here and there – as I have a full restoration thread going on a separate Ford Truck blog. I feel that is where it should be documented – I want a variety of Route 66 stuff to occupy this site!!

My wife actually gave me the ‘green light’ to do more of these projects, which means I might be able to keep a Route 66 theme going and possibly loan them to different museums along the route…. would be a nice way to ‘give back’ to the route – sounds like a resolution someone made in January

So what does a model of a truck have to do with Route 66??

 Daily  Comments Off on So what does a model of a truck have to do with Route 66??
Jan 162012

I used to be a ‘Master Modeler’ back in the 70’s and early 80’s (was part of the Revell Master Modelers Club with my OWN iron-on and paper certificate – you know that means something!! Especially to an 8 year old kid!)

My love for models, Loc Blocs (we were too poor to afford Legos like the RICH kids!) Lincoln Logs, and anything I can draw. sketch or build was usually in my posession…

Fast forward – 2012. I made a little list of ‘Route 66 Resolutions’, and I guess I have to start somewhere….

So, the model truck – what’s it about? I picked up a 1950 Ford F-1 Pick Up truck model… now what to do with it?

As most of us who drive, drove, or are WANTING to drive Route 66 – a few things are on our lists of ‘MUST SEE’! Old buildings, old cars (and trucks) old gas pumps and stations – and maybe an old timer here and there!

So, while I will not let go of TOO much information – the model truck actually does have something to do with Route 66 – and it is the first step of a 7 step plan, where I am on ‘Step 1’ (well, Step 1 and a half cause I started it!).

As I progress, and as I get to the next step – it will get posted.

Now, this is not a post on model making, but I am always curious on how others do theirs. I have not professionally built a model in several (I mean SEVERAL) years – it will be something that will stay with me as long as I can hold a tiny paintbrush!

More to come….

Restoration pics – Phillips 66 gas station – Tucumcari NM on Route 66

 Daily, New Mexico  Comments Off on Restoration pics – Phillips 66 gas station – Tucumcari NM on Route 66
Jun 292011

We left Scottsdale at 6 pm (PST) and started to drive – a LONG drive all night until 6am (MST) when we pulled up to the Motel Safari! Rich Talley – owner of the Motel Safari – had to go to California to meet with some business owners – and while he ‘missed’ the heat – I think we did a pretty good job getting this completed!

The project was a Phillips 66 gas station. I spent about 7 of the 8 hours on the ladder… the legs were sore when I finally climbed off of it!

Mural work done by the legendary Doug Quarles! Doug has been a mountain of ideas and work behind bringing Tucumcari back to a ‘must see’ stop while traveling the route!

Bob and Tom (local business owners – project managers / volunteers – GREAT guys) cooling off in the shade for a bit. It was around 104 degrees – not a cloud in the sky – HOT! Bob was the project manager and Tom somehow spent WAY TOO much time on the scolding hot roof painting the overhangs – my hat goes off to him!

Junior is the owner of the gas station – here he is posing with his ‘Phillips 66 truck’ which will be parked on in front of the property to match the decor. He has a collection of old restored cars he will ‘rotate’ a car out every other weekend so there is a fresh ‘photo op’ for travelers.

Juliana and Doug posing in front of the finished ‘mural’. We toured the town looking at some of the murals he had already painted – quite impressive!

We painted for about 8 hours straight with very few stops. Dehydration set in as well as sunburn, doughnut cramps (not always a bad thing!) and a lot of laughter and hard work!

There was MUCH more work done than the pictures show – it is hard to run around and snap photos when everyone has a paint brush in their hand!

A local reporter came out to take pics and get some information for a story for the local newspaper – he will email me the article which I will put up as well.

I have seen video of the gas station a day after we left and when the gas pumps get installed and all the little details are finished – I will post an updated picture.

Even thought we drove for a total of 23 hours to and from to help paint – I would do it again!

Tucumcari is a town rewriting the rules on how these smaller towns on Route 66 should embrace the route and the travelers and visitors.

Tucumcari will always be a destination on all of my future trips….

Restored 1929 Route 66 Gas Station – McLean TX

 Daily, Texas  Comments Off on Restored 1929 Route 66 Gas Station – McLean TX
Jan 182011

Nice article from Roadside America – visit their website by clicking HERE.

Just down the road from the Devil’s Rope/Route 66 Museum stands this vintage service station, circa 1929. It was the first Phillips Petroleum filling station opened in Texas, and operated for over 50 years. The station was renovated by a local Route 66 preservation group in 1992, claimed to be the first old gas station restored along the “Mother Road,” and continues to be maintained.

There are several nice touches. The pumps are painted in the bright orange color of Phillips 66, as is an old tank truck parked adjacent. There’s an old raised vehicle platform, also painted orange, for mechanic work.

On the station building itself, the windows and glass on the door are painted fakes. Locals probably got tired of replacing broken glass…

It’s been decades since it pumped a drop of gasoline, but the landmark is a required stop for Route 66 pilgrims.

Route 66 Mural City Party to roll out good time

 Daily, Missouri  Comments Off on Route 66 Mural City Party to roll out good time
Jan 162011

The Viva Cuba Beautification Organization invites friends, family, and supporters to buy one of the only 300 tickets being sold to the Route 66 Mural City Party on Saturday, May 14 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Cuba.
The ticket admits two people to the dinner, dance, and other festivities. The ticket will give one of the 300 purchasers a chance to win $10,000. Event proceeds will help Viva Cuba pay for mural maintenance and other beautification projects.

Last year, the event, under the sponsorship of the Crawford County Foundation, was the Black and Gold Ball that benefited the high school track project. This year, Viva Cuba is hosting the fundraiser, which will follow the basic guidelines of last year’s event.

An added attraction this year is the Chair-i-table Auction of chairs designed and painted by artists. This year, the Chair-i-table Auction will be held at the Route 66 Mural City Party, with partygoers able to view the chairs and bid during the silent auction.

Scott and Jason Holland will MC the event and keep things lively and the music hopping.
Tickets will go on sale at the beginning of March. Partygoers are urged to buy tickets early as they sell out quickly, and there will be a waiting list. Viva Cuba members and the banks will have tickets for sale.

Viva Cuba hopes the community uses this as an opportunity to get together with friends, family, and even old classmates to have a fun night and a 1-in-300 chance to win $10,000. Mark your calendar now for a good time on May 14 at KC Hall.

Click HERE to visit their website.

This event helps with the creation and preservaton of all the beautiful murals throught the town of Cuba that makes this town a favorite amongst Route 66 travelers!

The Mill and the Gardner Streetcar preservation work article

 Daily, Illinois  Comments Off on The Mill and the Gardner Streetcar preservation work article
Jan 142011

Back in Aug/Sept 2010 – we went to work on the beginning of the restoration of both The Mill in Lincoln, IL and the Riviera (Gardner) Streetcar after it was moved from the back of the Riviera – but before it found its new home next to the jailcell in Gardner.

Click picture to see full article. (I am the one with the arrow next to him…)
As you can see from the pictues, we work hard, we play hard, we eat A LOT!!

The Route 66 Association of Illinois’ motto is: ‘We work for food’ and I have YET had a bad meal while volunteering!!

A great group of folks who will tell tales, stories and give useful information about the route as you work next to them – side by side.

I do mean it when I say these folks put their heart and soul preserving Route 66.

I encourage all state associations to get the word out about volunteering efforts and I encourage all who love the route as I do – VOLUNTEER! It is an experience you will have with you for a lifetime!

Nothing like stopping at a building you helped restore and say ‘yep – I did that!’

Yes – you are allowed to pat yourself on the back…

Gas Station restoration work in Tucumcari…

 Daily  Comments Off on Gas Station restoration work in Tucumcari…
Jan 112011

Hello Mr. Klein,

Thank for contacting me regarding the Gas Station Painting Project. We did not realize there would be similar projects taking place, but it is nice knowing about your commitment to Route 66 as well. A number of us, here in Tucumcari, have put up the $ out of our own pockets, and many, many hours of our time thus far. Doug Quarles, a local artist, has donated some of his time for the project as well. We have nearly completed 3 old gas stations, as the article indicated. There are at least 20 more along the route here in Tucumcari.

We have nearly 6.6 miles of Route 66 going through Tucumcari, and there were a lot of filling stations back in the grand days, most now abandoned and unsightly. We have spent about $900 just on paint just for 2 of the gas stations and the owner of the Texaco Station paid for that project in total. We hope to come across more owners willing to do that, but so far, no others. In fact we are seeking funding, donations, grants, etc, to help and your offer is certainly welcome. If you would not mind, please visit our website, we have a Paypal donation link. Of course, volunteer painters are always welcome when the time arrives. Your group will be recognized for your contribution.

I have attached a few pictures of the 3 stations that you may view the progress. Also, there is a Route 66 Chamber of Commerce recently formed, the website is .

We just joined that Chamber. It would seem we all have a common goal.
Thanks again

Bob Beaulieu

Chamber DirectorI am fortunate to be contacted by Bob and will do what I can to help him as well as other location throughout Route 66 to keep projects going. This is what this website is all about.

A few dollars go farther than you think, so donate what you can – big or small – but please donate…

Thank you!

Gas station project makes progress

 Daily, New Mexico  Comments Off on Gas station project makes progress
Jan 082011

A beautification project started last fall by the Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce and MainStreet organization made some progress before a winter hiatus, chamber of commerce director Bob Beaulieu said.

Beaulieu said work on the gas stations has stopped until warmer temperatures permit painting.

Before colder conditions prevailed, Doug and Sharon Quarles and a group of city volunteers laid the groundwork for the redecoration of three now-defunct Route 66 gas stations: The Texaco station across the street from Del’s Restaurant, the Continental Gas Company (later Conoco) station near Auto Pros, and the Whiting Brothers’ gas station located next to the chamber of commerce.

Beaulieu said work on these gas stations and others will continue as soon as temperatures exceed 55 degrees. He said he hopes to see the project completed and attracting tourists by the end of this summer.