Pixar’s Route 66 inspirations

Those who stick around to read the end credits to "Cars" will notice that Pixar included a thank-you list to people who inspired and gave them hospitality during their research trip down the Mother Road several years ago.

I e-mailed Pixar for that list, as I thought it would be of considerable interest to the Route 66 community. On Monday, it gave me the list and asked me to add this introductory paragraph:

"As we traveled on Route 66, we were privileged to visit many places and to meet a number of people who live and work alongside 'The Mother Road.' The following is a list of the places and people we wanted to honor by including their names in our 'Special Thanks' credits at the end of the film."

Without further ado, here is the list verbatum, along with links if available: 


Michael Wallis & Suzanne Fitzgerald Wallis


Scott Nelson
Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store
"Home of the hand-crafted sandwiches"
Riverton, KS

Dean & Paula Walker
Baxter Springs, KS


Dawn Welch
The Rock Café
"Home of the fried pickle spears"
Stroud, OK

Jim Ross
Arcadia, OK

Butch Breger & his Momma
Round Barn
Arcadia, OK

Pat Smith & Staff
Oklahoma Route 66 Museum
Clinton, OK

Walter S. "Doc" Mason
Best Western Tradewinds Courtyard Inn
Clinton, OK

Ray & Shirley Killian
RS&K Railroad Museum
Sayre, OK

Harley & Annabelle Russell
The Mediocre Music Makers
Sand Hills Curiosity Shop
Erick, OK

Wanda Queenan
National Route 66 Museum
Elk City, OK

Glenna Hollis & Kay Farmer
Country Dove
"Home of the French Silk Pie"
Elk City, OK


Delbert & Ruth Trew
The Devil's Rope Museum
McLean, TX

Stanley Marsh 3
The Cadillac Ranch
Amarillo, TX

Becky Ransom
The Big Texan Steak Ranch
"Free 72-ounce steak if consumed in 60 minutes"
Amarillo, TX

Fran Houser
The Midpoint Café
"Home of the Ugly Crust Pie"
Adrian, TX


Eddie "No Money" Shields
Santa Rosa, NM

Dale & Hilda Bakke
The Blue Swallow Motel
Tucumcari, NM

Mike & Betty Callens
Tee Pee Curios
Tucumcari, NM


Aggie Montano, Alice & Stanley Gallegos
Joe & Aggie's Café
"Hottest Chow on the Mother Road"
Holbrook, AZ

Antonio & Cindy Jaquez
Jack Rabbit Trading Post
"Home of the 'Here It Is' Sign"
near Joseph City, AZ

Allan Affeldt & Tina Mion
La Posada
Winslow, AZ

Diane Patterson
Roadworks Gifts & Souvenirs
Their "Stand is on the Corner" in
Winslow, AZ

Janice Griffith
Old Trails Museum
Winslow, AZ

Paul & Sandi Taylor
Route 66 Magazine
Williams, AZ

Angel Delgadillo
"Guardian Angel of Route 66"
Angel & Vilma Delgadillo's Old Fashioned Route 66 Gift Shop, Barber Shop & Museum
Seligman, AZ

Juan Delgadillo
Sno Cap Drive-In
Seligman, AZ

21 thoughts on “Pixar’s Route 66 inspirations

  1. Thank Pixar for the list. When I roadtrip by these places, I will stop in and say “Hello!”

  2. I went to see the Movie “CARS” last Saturday June 10, 2006 with my granddaughter…We both enjoy it and wouldn’t mind seeing it again…Can’t wait to have the DVD out so I can buy it. I don’t usually go to the movies but I had to go see this one, couldn’t wait another day; Thanks Disney and Pixar!!

  3. Too bad you didn’t get to Illinois, California, or Missouri. I’d have one kickin’ Must See list for a road trip.

    I didn’t see a link to Missouri’s Route 66 Association, http://www.missouri66.org/, on your list of associations, so I included it for whomever I may see on the way to Los Angeles. Perhaps in a sequel some reference to Pinkerton (which was founded in Chicago) and Jesse James (who was born in Missouri, and there’s a Jesse James Museum in Stanton and Merrimac Caverns isn’t far off Route 66) could be played on?

    There’s a more interesting bit of trivia that can be played on. A certain cartoonist, like Route 66, started in Chicago and ended in Southern California, even though Walt Disney was neither born nor died that close to Route 66.

  4. Great movie, it brought back many memories of my past travels on old 66. We will travel Highway 66 again sometime to visit old friends and see all the wonderful sites. Thanks Pixar!

  5. The Missouri association is indeed on the list of associations, James, and has been all along. Its official name is the Route 66 Association of Missouri.

  6. Dawn Welch is quite an attractive woman(Yes, I’ve seen her on the Disney Channel’s “Movie Surfers” promos). Too bad I don’t like pickles.

  7. “Radiator Springs” , “Carbuetor County” – wonderful names to give to the State of Arizona and the way US-66 wound through the canyons of that state. Too bad that this road wasn’t real through that state – with all of the scenery, gandure and spacious living that makes the good ol USA what it offers. Yet in all, the tribute to such an American Icon should be reactivated to our great country through the states that still have some of the old highway intact – to remind us of our great heritage that the country STILL has to offer. My kudos to PIXAR to remind us of this. also, a side note about “CARS” – the choice of names and their accomplishments like: Lightning McQueen – giving tribute to Steve McQueen whom himself was a race car driver and a person who’d stop at nothing. “Doc” Hudson – given honorable tribute to Paul Newman (the voice of “DOC”) as himself is a noted race car driver as well. In all, an excellent movie to an American Heritage that’ll last forever.

  8. as far I known, the name McQueen-given memorable of Glenn McQueen, the Pixar’s animator who died in 2002.

  9. My 4 year old son and I are here in Winslow AZ. He is beside himself.

    He loves the Route 66 signs, and he gets so many compliments on his Lightning McQueen car shoes…LOL

  10. Tex Dinoco in the Cars Movie must have been inspired by the Big Texas Steak Restaurant. The cadillacs in front that are limos to bring visitors to the restaurant have the big long horns on their front and the interior decor with cow hides match the roof of the toy car.

  11. Walt would be proud to have his company performing such a tribute to another American Icon. While watching the movie I felt the message that 66 embodies — It ain’t the ride, it’s the getting there. Take your bows, Pixar; NOW WHEN’S CARS 2?

  12. Such memories! I graduated from high school,1965. Thumbed my way across rte.66 the following morning,june11,1965. From the beginning in Chicago to Santa Montica, Caifornia. Sure wish I could do it again! How much is opened to travel? Thanks!


  13. I lived in Illinois for 55 years before i discovered the magic of Route 66. Now I live for the adventure of discovering any of the old alignments. On a recent trip through Arizona, my husband and i actually drove on an old alignment south of Albuquerque. We knew it was private property but hey – the gates were open – we had to drive on it! It was thrill of a lifetime! We knew no one had seen this alignment for a very long time. A piece of the old route was broken off so….now we own a little part of Route 66! Our treasured memory forever….To drive on the old route again…….someday……

  14. I work for BNSF railway and in 2007 I worked in California and Arizona. From Barstow to Winslow the rails run next to or very near Route 66. I made a point to try and travel as much as I could; Barstow, Java, Cadiz, Needles, Kingman, Hackberry, Peach Springs, Seligman, Williams, Flagstaff and Winslow.
    When we moved from Needles to Barstow, I was on my way to travel 66 through Oatman, but was called back to pick up the foreman and ended up taking I-40 to Kingman instead.
    During that Spring and Summer “Cars” was released on DVD. Pixar did such a fine job of combining so many elements of the Southwest and the “Mother Road” to create and capture the mystic of Route 66. Radiator Springs is reminicent of Kingman, the old part of Kingman. Lizzie’s store looks alot like a store in Hackberry, the Hackberry General Store. Lots of old stuff inside and out; signs, gas pumps, vehicles, even a 50 something corevette out front. I bought a bottle of “Route 66 Root Beer” there, it is still unopened. My son loves that Movie, we’ve got it on DVD and Blue Ray and have bought most of the “Cars” twice, one set for him to play with and the others are stashed away, unopened for him later on.
    I have always loved traveling the old Highways, Byways and Scenic Routes and to have the opportunity to experience the “Mother Road” 5 days a week from March until September was an experience I will never forget.
    I did take many pictures when I was there. Unfortunately, someone broke into my house and took my camera bag with my SD cards and the computer that I stored my pics on. Jerks.

  15. I remember all those summers we spent at my grandparents farm in Oklahoma, and the most standout memories were those of Route 66 from California and back. What an incredible geography lesson. 50 years later I still go back and drive it when I get the chance. My favorite stops were Kingman, Flagstaff, Grants and Tucumcari.

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