Getting Our Kicks at Route 66 Reunion 6th Annual Car Show

Yeah, we know the title has been used a million times but you know what? It never gets old. Just like the iconic route itself, which runs 2200 miles from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. In 1926 it earn it’s official title as “Route 66.”

The route helped link thousands of communities across the U.S. with the transportation of grain and other commodities through eight states. In the 1930’s, Route 66 provided the path for massive migration from the middle of America headed West. Over two-hundred thousand poverty stricken people left the Dust Bowl and headed to California via the old highway.

After WWll, President Eisenhower implemented the “Interstate” system to join America from coast to coast and to help create jobs for all the GI’s coming back from the war.

The bad part was, it was making small highways like Route 66 obsolete. Small gas stations, cafes, and other small communities were losing business and some owners just quit and moved away. By the 1970’s “four lane” highways had pretty much bypassed all of Route 66 leaving the once busy road almost abandoned.

By 1984 Interstate 40 bypassed the last original stretch in Williams Arizona. According to the National Historic Route 66 Federation, about 85 percent of Route 66 is still drivable, making it one of the most famous tourist drives in the country.

The good news is, because of movies, television, and car clubs from all over the country, the history and the memory of what this road meant to folks is alive and well today. It lives on in car cruises, family vacations, and of course car shows.

Which brings us to today’s story.

The Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion, powered by the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau, organized and delivered an outstanding venue for custom car owners and car enthusiasts alike. We have been to many car shows some good and some not so good for various reasons, but the Route 66 Reunion is definitely on our top ten list!

With two days of cruisin’, various contests, live entertainment and tasty food vendors, a good time was had by all.

Held annually each September along historic, tree-shaded Euclid Avenue in Ontario, California, the Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion is where hot rods, rat rods, lowriders, and classic vintage cars co-mingle in a jam-packed event.

Did we mention the weather? The past few months have been brutal here in Southern California
with forest fires and roasting temperatures. We were lucky to have great weather for the show and a huge crowd over a 150,000 in attendance over two days thoroughly enjoyed the action packed event.

Rod Authority Editor Dave Cruikshank was anointed celebrity judge (that’s like adding gasoline to a flame,) and tasked with picking a favorite rod or kustom from the show. We chose Dan And Sheri McInturff’s killer 1921 Dodge Touring Sedan and what a beauty.  Rescued from a barn in Sacramento and five years in the making, this small block powered Mopar bucket knocked us out. Look for a full feature soon.

The smell of bacon wrapped hot dogs filled the air and also an assortment of other fine tasty treats. Unfortunately we didn’t get to try any of them because well, we were too excited to look at every custom vehicle in attendance.

Don’t fret worried readers, we didn’t go hungry. There was a VIP area with food and drink and though we don’t consider ourselves VIP’s, one of our the gracious hosts of the show, Carol Popejoy Davis invited us in to take a quick break, grab some lunch and a tasty beverage. You never realize how heavy your camera bag is until you lay it down, Whew, what a relief!

Activities were in abundance with sponsorships benefiting  the surrounding area. One such sponsor was the West End Animal Shelter. This non-profit organization has been providing a pet placement and adoption center since 1954. They are known as the Splash Dogs, they do an incredible service for animals and the community so pay a visit to the team from West End Animal Shelter.

This  annual event attracts 15,000 car enthusiasts from all over California and bringing visitors to the area from around the US and even some international car enthusiast as well. With that many people in attendance we still found it very easy to navigate the venue to find feature vehicles to photograph later.

After a full day of walking and meeting a wide assortment of car owners and spectators, we finally got our “award winners” picked out. Check out the winners below!

It was a long day and as the sun began to set we packed our camera equipment and started to head home. We had a great time and look forward to next year’s show which promises to be bigger and better and to help keep this important stretch of Americana alive and well.

See you next year!

Special thanks to event our hosts and promoters of the show, Michael Krouse, Lorraine
Chapman, Sue Oxarart, and Carol Popejoy Davis. Great job!

About the author

Tom Gomez

Tom's background is pure automotive. He started as a contributing editor for Lowrider Magazine and says it was the driving force that allowed him to be an accomplished editor and professional photographer. With a racing background, Tom worked at NASCAR running the Coleman Company marketing campaign at tracks all over the U.S., and also managed the Jim Dunn /K&N funny car with driver Frank Pedregon. He brings a fresh perspective of old school rods and culture to Power Automedia as a freelance contributor.
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