Here’s a nearly quarter-century-old video from Dan Uscian cruising Route 66 near Lexington, Ill., in his 1950 Hudson, including a 1926 alignment now called Memory Lane that includes re-creations of vintage billboards.
The original stretch of Route 66 in Lexington is open for pedestrians or cycling, but townsfolk reopen it for vehicular traffic on special occasions.
Here’s Uscian’s description of the video:
The initial scenes here were video taped in July of 1991 from the interior of my 1950 Hudson Pacemaker Deluxe sedan (since sold as I upgraded to a 1953 Hudson Super Wasp!).
We start out traveling along former Illinois Route 66, parallel to Interstate 55, about two miles outside of Lexington, IL (Lexington is a small town community about 15 miles north of Bloomington, IL). We then turn off the 2nd generation of Rt 66 onto the orignal 1st generation of Rt 66 into Lexington. This two lane road has been closed for decades, but about 1990, the town of Lexington reopened for a few days about a mile of the “Mother Road” north of the town seen here complete with vintage billboards from Coppertone (Don’t Be a Paleface!) to the War Fund to two seperate sets of Burma Shave signs. You’ll also hear the sounds of a southbound Southern Pacific (now Union Pacific) freight train as it rolls through Lexington.
After the road trip we’re at what Lexington, IL use to celebrate for a number of years, the “Taste of Country Fair”. Lastly, we see the lineup of cars, including my Hudson again, that were paraded down the main drag in Lexington for the delight of the townsfolk and visitors.
Oh yes, one other thing, my Hudson was still under the power of its original Hudson 232 6 cylinder L-head engine. No small block Chevy engine here!
Remember, this video was shot barely a year after the publication of Michael Wallis’ best-selling “Route 66: The Mother Road.” This was at the beginning of Route 66’s renaissance.
(Image of Memory Lane of Route 66 in 2013 near Lexington, Ill., by Larry Myhre via Flickr)