Route 66 News

U-Drop Inn neon lights are back on — in LED

The Facebook account of the historic U-Drop Inn gas station in Shamrock, Texas, recently announced the long-awaited installation of LED neon has been completed and the lights are on.

According to the page, the neon will be on from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly, although I’m certain the “lights on” time will be adjusted later in the year for when days lengthen and sunset arrives much later.

Also, the page said the “Conoco” sign and other signs on the building will undergo touch-up painting in the coming weeks.

We reported in August the city would swap out the Route 66 landmark’s storm-vulnerable neon tubing for more durable and energy-efficient LEDs. A hailstorm in May destroyed much of the neon.

City manager David Rushing became convinced to make the switch because “you can’t tell the difference” between traditional neon lighting and the new LED neon, plus all of its long-range cost benefits.

Frank Gifford of rt66pix.com said in an email:

“… Most people will be fooled. It’s awfully close in intensity and quality of light output, and how it plays off the scalloping.  I’m impressed!”

(Image of the U-Drop Inn on Jan. 30, 2014, via its Facebook account)

5 thoughts on “U-Drop Inn neon lights are back on — in LED

  1. Michael Brown

    Will be great to see the new lights back on, saving the original appearance, money, and the integrity of this classic Route 66 icon. Best location we ever used to shoot a couple of fun commercials. Great job, David Rushing!

  2. KW

    I look forward to seeing it some time soon. Next on the wish list: re-open the cafe! My dad used to eat there in the good old days.
    On a loosely related note, speaking of cafes, does anybody know the current state of what used to be Cal’s Cafe in Erick? I haven’t been there in 10+ years, but it had changed hands and wasn’t the same, and I was just wondering if it was even still there.

  3. Rick Martin

    Great news. Looking forward to getting over there to see how it looks. Just happy they were able to get the lights back on.

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