The Route 66 Association of Missouri is raising money and matching funds for a campaign to bring back neon lighting at the former Texaco gas station that is Gearheads Curios in Galena, Kansas.
Association President Rich Dinkela outlines the campaign in this video:
The association will match funds up to $2,500, with the goal of raising a total of $5,000. The button to donate is here. Almost $700 had been raised as of Thursday evening.
As Dinkela explains, just because the association is based in Missouri doesn’t constrain its efforts for preservation across state lines. The association previously has helped with neon projects in Illinois.
The owner of Gearheads plans a lighting ceremony sometime in April and already has put down the deposit for the project.
Proprietor Aaron Perry last year added a replica of Doc Hudson from the Disney-Pixar animated movie “Cars” to the site at Sixth and Main streets in downtown Galena. It sits less than a half-mile down old Route 66 from Cars on the Route, which contains a replica of Tow Mater from the film and the original 1951 International boom truck that inspired the character.
Perry bought the 1939 gas station in fall 2018 so he could sell his “gearhead” artwork (hence the name) and Route 66 souvenirs.
(Artist’s rendering of Gearhead Curios with its proposed neon lighting via its Facebook page)