Restoration of Gemini Giant completed

The restoration of the Gemini Giant, the famous fiberglass mascot of the Launching Pad Drive-In restaurant in Wilmington, Illinois, was finished a few days ago. Here is a before-and-after photo the restaurant posted on Facebook: Tully Garrett and Holly Barker stated Sunday on the restaurant's Facebook page: Success! The Gemini Giant’s paint is finally complete! His … Continue reading Restoration of Gemini Giant completed

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Muffler Man in Albuquerque to be restored

It must be a good year for Muffler Men along Route 66. A second will be restored in a matter of weeks, right after a souvenir shop in Tulsa erected a new one. The Muffler Man that stands high above Route 66 on the east side of Albuquerque will be restored in the next two … Continue reading Muffler Man in Albuquerque to be restored

Midwest Classics on 66 Car Museum abruptly closes

The Midwest Classics on 66 Car Museum in Wilmington, Illinois, abruptly closed last week less than a year after it opened. Marian Pavel, one of the developers of the Route 66 Navigation app, posted this on Facebook: On the museum's website, this message was posted: "Sorry for the inconvenience, we are closed until further notice." … Continue reading Midwest Classics on 66 Car Museum abruptly closes

Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington holds its grand reopening

The Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington, Illinois, held its grand reopening Friday, although the Route 66 restaurant had been open for several weeks to long lines to test its food offerings. Holly Barker and Tully Garrett purchased the long-closed restaurant in the fall of 2017. According to The Herald-News in nearby Joliet: Barker said they … Continue reading Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington holds its grand reopening

Launching Pad Drive-In’s grand reopening weekend set for May 3

The grand reopening of the Launching Pad Drive-In restaurant in Wilmington, Illinois, is set for the weekend of May 3, coinciding with the Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival. The gala begins May 3 with the Route 66 restaurant's first cruise night by the Rusty Nutz Car Club. The Red Carpet Festival begins that … Continue reading Launching Pad Drive-In’s grand reopening weekend set for May 3

Launching Pad Drive-In likely will be fully open by April

The wait for the once-closed Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington, Illinois, to become a full-service restaurant again won't be much longer. When I asked the new owners, Tully Garrett and Holly Barker, by text when the Route 66 restaurant next to the famed Gemini Giant statue would be fully open, they replied: "Sometime in March no later … Continue reading Launching Pad Drive-In likely will be fully open by April

Nursing-home residents go to Route 66 car museum

This is such a good idea, I'm surprised it hasn't caught on in a more widespread fashion. Residents of the Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County in Illinois recently visited the Midwest Classics on 66 Museum in Wilmington that Mike Bell of Perth, Australia, and Jeff Hubrich of the Joliet and Wilmington area opened in … Continue reading Nursing-home residents go to Route 66 car museum

Illinois governor hits several Route 66 sites during motorcycle tour

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner led a parade Sunday of hundreds of motorcycles to four Route 66 sites to celebrate the state's bicentennial. According to the Herald-News in Joliet, Rauner and 300 to 500 other riders made stops at the Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington, the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, … Continue reading Illinois governor hits several Route 66 sites during motorcycle tour

Classic-car museum opening soon in Wilmington

A new classic-car museum, called Midwest Classics on 66, will open along Route 66 in Wilmington, Illinois, on the weekend after the July 4 holiday. According to a story in The Herald-News, car enthusiasts Jeff Hubrich and Mike Bell bought the old Ben Franklin building in downtown Wilmington. Hubrich grew up in the Wilmington and Joliet … Continue reading Classic-car museum opening soon in Wilmington

A lot going on with Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor festival

Towns along a 90-mile stretch of Route 66 in northern Illinois offer a lot during Saturday's Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival, but Wilmington's seems especially enticing. Not only does that city's Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie offer the chance of seeing the famous Smokey Bear hot-air balloon and newborn bison, but the new owners of … Continue reading A lot going on with Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor festival