Saturday, September 06, 2008

Route 66 Days or I've Seen One Too Many Mustangs

Every year in Flagstaff, there is some sort of Route 66 festival to pay homage to the "Mother Road", Route 66, that was such a big part in the lives and livelihoods of the towns growing up along it. Flagstaff is one of those towns. Along with the railroads, Route 66 brought both travelers through and goods and transport along its length.

We try to go every year. Last year we were accompanied by Val and Hugo, part of our family from New Zealand. (It wasn't too long after my back surgery so I mainly remember there were alot of cars and it was hot...and the cool lemonade we all had in the shade of the city park.)

This year it was just my DH and myself strolling up and down the closed off streets of downtown Flagstaff, cars lining both sides of what are usually busy streets.

The car above included its own carhop!

This car made use of an old parking meter for a signpost. What a great idea! Some of the histories of these cars were absolutely fascinating. Most owners had notebooks with pictures of the vehicles as they were found, many in terrible condition, then showing the steps toward resurrection to show quality vehicles.

Some were even given names. I should mention here that Ralph's work-in-progress is a '53 Merc whose name is "Betty" after his aunt who originally owned the vehicle. "Betty" is the "Other Woman" in my life. Ralph feels toward Betty as I do toward my sheep. I keep threatening to cover the seats with plastic, prop Colin and Shaun up in her seats with their legs and noses hanging out of the windows...My own version of "Sheep in a Jeep" as it were.

And here's Himself, looking over someones work in progress.
You could tell that people spent many, many hours in restoring these vehicles. A very few had original engines or at the least the engines that came with them...the ones they were meant to have. Most other cars had bigger engines than what was installed at the factory when they were made. Ralph's a "Flathead" enthusiast so we always search out to see if there are any other cars with flathead V8 engines in them. I only saw two out of all the cars there today.
Some cars had interesting paint jobs, others had been chopped to where they looked only like ghosts of their former selves. I tend to be a lover of old such as Model A's or T's, old farm trucks or delivery vehicles restored to look like they did originally. My favorite was a 1903 Olvera horseless carriage, made in Mexico, one cylinder and was listed as "10 Burro Power".

Naturally, that's the one I was so engrossed in I forgot to take a photo of it. Darn!


Val said...

We well remember the cars, the heat and the lemonade but it was great seeing so many well restored and modified vehicles and their histories. We also remember it was a first day after the flights over and how weary we were at the end of the day, but it sure was a wonderful experience

Kelly said...

I'm really impressed by your pictures of Dad! You've improved a lot - keep up the good work.

Gee, I wish I had your camera for our trip to Fiji! :)

-The Pregnant One

Tammy said...

Nice pictures! I'm not much into old cars ....or cars for that matter, but I enjoy seeing how people restore them, you can tell they are putting their all into it. AND Kathy, Rt. 66 comes through Lebanon where I work, so maybe you all should just hop in Betty and tootle on down here! :-) oh, and I still can't get the old spinning wheel up and going (it seems to have some issues, that I'm working on...restoring you could say. :-)

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

I didn't realize your husbands name is Ralph! That was my Dad's name too.
Nice pics, looks like a great weekend!