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Another new paint job at an old station June 30, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Gas stations, Preservation.
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In recent months, volunteers in Tucumcari, N.M., have engaged in a noteworthy project of nostalgic paint jobs to abandoned gas stations along Route 66 in town.

The result is a better-looking main drag without a lot of money being spent.

Here’s the latest abandoned gas station that was repainted. It’s been given an old Phillips 66 look.

More photos of the project can be seen at Ed Klein’s Route 66 World site here.

That brings the number of dressed-stations in Tucumcari to five. Photos of the other stations can be seen here.

Volunteers are planning to repaint a sixth station in July.

(Photo courtesy of Richard Talley)

New photo-op in Albuquerque June 30, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in History, Magazines, Preservation, Signs, Theaters.
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If you love the glow of neon, you’ll find a new attraction among the many you’ll find along Central Avenue (aka Route 66) in Albuquerque.

A re-created sign was installed on the side of the KiMo Theatre during a ceremony on June 3. Because the theater was originally opened in 1927, the street during the ceremony was closed off except for 1920s and ’30s automobiles. That resulted in the striking image you see above.

The KiMo was restored and reopened by the city in 2000, save for the neon sign.

Above is a photo of the sign being lifted into place.

Johnnie Meier, a longtime champion of Route 66 in New Mexico, led the charge to have the sign re-installed. He explained in an email:

In order to create engineering drawings, I gained access to the roof of the KiMo and dangled a weighted rope over the edge to measure architectural features.  With these measurements, and old photographs for reference, I proceded to make scaled drawings of the sign.  I generated the drawings which specified a vertical “flag” sign 23 feet tall topped with a neon thunderbird.  I created a complete set of drawings including the mechanical drawings, neon layout and paint scheme which I submitted for bids to three neon contractors.

The bids were collected and I printed out the feasibility study with historic photos, engineering drawings, specifications, and bids. I submitted the document to the City of Albuquerque.  Although the proposal was enthusiastically received, funding wasn’t obtained until a year later when the Albuquerque Arts Council voted to fund the project.  The cost was approximately $12,000 installed.  Zeon Signs was selected as the contractor. Zeon had restored the Aztec Motel sign in Albuquerque as a contractor on one of my previous projects.

The KiMo is not just a photo-op on the outside. Meier also said the folks at the KiMo’s front office are happy to accommodate visitors who want to take a look around inside.

A full story about the new sign at the KiMo will appear in the fall 2011 issue of Route 66 Magazine.

UPDATE 7/3/2011: The Albuquerque Journal today posted a story about the KiMo sign’s history and how it was re-created.

(Photos courtesy of Johnnie Meier)

A virtual view of Cars Land June 30, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Movies.
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Disney has created this video that gives you a virtual preview of the Cars Land amusement park that’s being built at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.:

Cars Land is a re-creation of the fictional Route 66 town of Radiator Springs from the “Cars” movies, although much of that town is inspired by real-life Route 66 landmarks.

Cars Land is scheduled to open in summer 2012.

Hello from Palo Alto June 30, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Music.
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Here’s a version of Bobby Troup’s “Route 66″ with Paul Jacobs on a vintage mandolin and Derek See on guitar and vocals. They’re playing at a guitar store in Palo Alto, Calif.

Count on this as a signage trend June 29, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Signs.
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City officials in Carthage, Mo., want to ensure that Route 66 travelers don’t get lost while driving the Mother Road through town. According to the Carthage Press:

To help drivers stay on course, Short said the city is painting Route 66 logos on the pavement of Garrison and Oak Streets.

“A couple of them are down already,” he said Monday night. One is on Garrison at the corner of Oak, and the other is just around the corner on Oak. Two others have been outlined but need to be filled in. The project, funded from the street department’s regular operating budget, should be completed by next week.

Short said the city looked at similar logos in Webb City before creating its own, but now that they’re in place, he’s not completely satisfied.

“They look fairly small,” Short said. “They need to be bigger and that’s something we’ll have to look at someday, but at least they’re on the ground for now.”

The painted Route 66 shields on the pavement will become increasingly common in the coming years. Unlike Route 66 signs on poles, they can’t be stolen. Sign theft has been an ongoing problem along the Mother Road for years.

Chevrolet uses Route 66 for inspiration in video contest June 29, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies, Road trips, Television, Vehicles.
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Chevrolet wants a video to air during next year’s Super Bowl. It’s asking budding filmmakers to submit their ideas for that ad, and it wants Route 66 as the key inspiration:

You can view the main film for the campaign here.

Here are the rules for submitting the ad:

Round one
Write a script for an iconic 30 second film which captures the unique spirit of the original Route 66 and Chevrolet.

The script for your film should be an epic road trip story or adventure that captures the spirit of Route 66 and Chevrolet! The top five scripts will win serious cash. We will provide feedback on all scripts which will give you a jump start should you decide to produce a video in Round Two.

Round Two
On September 1st, an updated brief will be launched for you to start turning your big idea into a 30″ film for the Super Bowl. You will hear more about this round in July and August 2011.

The grand prize is $25,000, plus the ad airing during the Super Bowl — one of the most-watched television events of the year.

Here’s an ad that was submitted. It’s from India, but it conveys the spirit of the open road well enough:

And now, a commercial message June 28, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Vehicles.
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For more about the Route 66 Rendezvous, go here. It’s one of the biggest car shows in the country.

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