After Waldmire’s death from cancer in 2009, the bus was parked at the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac to be permanently displayed.
Museum curator John Wille gives the lowdown about the bus:
Waldmire’s Volkswagen minibus got more attention, mainly because he drove it during the height of his fame. But the bus is quite an artifact that reveals much about the Route 66 artist.
Waldmire also served as the indirect inspiration to the Fillmore VW minibus character in the Disney-Pixar “Cars” films. He nixed compensation for the character because Waldmire — a vegetarian — didn’t want his likeness to be in toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals.
(Image of Bob Waldmire’s converted school bus by Gouldy99 via Flickr)