One year ago today, Disney-Pixar released a new animated movie, “Cars.”
The movie starred Paul Newman, Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, George Carlin and Cheech Marin.
The film had another star that wasn’t listed on marquees, but loomed large — Route 66.
The film grossed $460 million worldwide, won two Golden Globes and earned three Academy Award nominations.
But as important, “Cars” also shined a spotlight on the Mother Road at a time when its businesses had been buffeted by a post-9/11 recession and steeper gas prices. “Cars” was providing more publicity to Route 66 than anything since Michael Wallis‘ best-selling “Route 66: The Mother Road” was published in 1992.
More than a year after “Route 66 Guide to the ‘Cars’ Movie” was posted, it continues to be the top post on Route 66 News nearly every day. It has generated more than 52,000 page views, and hundreds continue to surf to it every week.
Obviously, Internet users remain interested in the “Cars” movie and its real-life inspirations. But did the movie indeed help the real mom-and-pop businesses on the Mother Road?