Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Peach Loop. Today we are exploring fun you and your family can have on a road trip and a few tips.
Route 66 has a rich and interesting history. Many hidden gems can be found on this almost 2000 mile stretch of highway – if you know where to look. Pixar’s chief creative officer John Lasseter sent his team on several fact-finding trips up and down the Route when creating the storyboard for Pixar’s Cars. One of the stops along the route was the town of Galena, Kansas. Galena is where the team found the 1951 international boom truck; the inspiration for Tow Mater.
A Fun Disney Find On Route 66
If you are familiar with the Pixar movie Cars, you are sure to recognize one of the main characters – Tow-Mater. Mater (as his friends call him) is the lovable tow truck who befriends LIghtning McQueen during his adventures in Radiator Springs. When McQueen finds himself lost along the way to the big race he finds himself in a small town located on Route 66. Radiator Springs was once a booming town but the construction of the 1-40 interstate caused would be tourists to bypass the town completely. The characters in the story are determined to restore their town to it’s former glory and regain visitors. By the end of the movie the town is booming with business. And have all learned that life is a highway, and sometimes you have to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Fortunately for us Cars fans, you can still meet the original Mater today. He is currently located at Cars on The Route – a restored Kan-O-Tex gas station that now houses a gift shop and snack bar. Initially called 4 Women on the Route, the ownership has changed hands several times. You can often find one of the original four women Melba “the mouth” Rigg on site and she loves to talk about the movies, the building and everything else Route 66.
Other Fun Finds
In addition to Mater, you can find a few other cars that are restored to resemble characters from Cars. Red the fire engine and a second tow truck are on site with rumors that more are on the way. You are welcome to take as many photos as you wish and don’t hesitate to strike a pose with the cars. Being pros at the Disney Photopass system, we were able to quickly bust out a great series of photos.
Thanks to a hot tip from Melba, we were also able to locate another car that served as inspiration for the movie. The lovable owner of “Casa Della Tires”, Luigi is a 1959 Fiat 500 in the movie. However, here you will find that he is a Subaru 360. Luigi is located at Recovery Room Upholstery in Miami, Oklahoma. This is not officially a tourist stop but you can easily pose for a quick photo.
Cars on the Route is open seasonally, so if you want to visit the gift shop be sure you phone ahead to ensure they are open.
Cars on the Route is located at:
119 North Main Street
Galena, Kansas 66739
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Snack shop open 11am – 2pm
Recovery Room Upholstery
301 North Main Street
Miami, Oklahoma 74354
(near the intersection of North Main Street and 3rd Avenue NW/3rd Avenue NE)
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Blogorail Peach | Family Adventure | Road Tripsl
- 1st Stop – Always Moving Mommy | Road Trip Packing Tips
- 2nd Stop – Running on Disney | Family Adventures on Route 66
- 3rd Stop – Adventures in Familyhood | Kids Road Trip Playlist (that won’t drive parents nuts)
- 4th Stop – Love Our Crazy Life | The Essential Kid’s Road Trip Kit
- 5th Stop – The Delightful Life | 13 Road Trip Games the Whole Family Can Enjoy