“THUNDER on 66”


On August 13th, 2002, Thunderbirds and their owners will meet at the Baymont Suites Hotel in Elgin, IL to start what will be the longest Cruise ever-down historic Route 66. Planned stops along the Route include Funk’s Grove, IL, Odell, IL, Rolla, MO, Springfield, MO, Baxter Springs, KS, Afton, OK, Claremore, OK, Oklahoma City, OK, Hydro, OK, Clinton, OK, Erick, OK, McLean, TX, Adrian, TX, Tucumcari, NM, Santa Rosa, NM, Gallup, NM, Holbrook, AZ, Joseph City, AZ, Winslow, AZ, Flagstaff, AZ, Winona, AZ, Williams, AZ, Seligman, AZ, Needles, CA and Santa Monica, CA.

Overnight stops are planned at Holiday Inns in St. Louis, MO-Joplin, MO-Weatherford, OK-Amarillo, TX-Albuquerque, NM, the Mountain Side Resort in Williams, AZ (2 nights)- San Bernardino, CA- Needles, CA-Winslow, AZ-Albuquerque, NM and Amarillo, TX.

Mini-shows are planned for the stops in Weatherford, Albuquerque, Winslow and the largest Show n Shine ever will take place in Adrian, TX. Over 300 classic cars are expected, and parking is provided courtesy of the Texas Dept. of Transportation-one mile of Route 66 westbound will be closed to traffic, so that participants in the MidPoint Show n Shine can park their vehicles in front of the cafe. The event is sponsored by the MidPoint Cafe, with live music from the 50s and 60s by the Boomerangs-other surprises and appearances are being planned!

The run will start with an informal dinner and meeting at 7pm on August 13th, 2002, at the Village Squire Restaurant in Crystal Lake, IL (a ten-minute drive north of Elgin) where maps and other information will be handed out. Mark Manbevers of Y-City Thunderbirds will provide parts and repair expertise for all vehicles on the trip, and will have a van with repair trailer, loaded with parts and repair tools. Mr. Manbevers expertise is in the area of 55-66 T-Birds, but he can help with problems with the newer birds as well. All participants are encouraged to go through their vehicle and make sure it is ready for the trip-we will be passing within 100 miles of Death Valley, California, as well as taking the Oatman/Topock highway segments.

On August 14th, we will head to Lou Mitchell’s restaurant for breakfast, then we will start the cruise at 9am, and we will follow Route 66 to the first overnight stop in St. Louis, MO, arriving at the hotel at approximately 8pm.

The next morning, August 15th, we’ll depart at 8am, traveling to Joplin, MO, where we’ll arrive at our hotel at approximately 6pm. On August 16th, we’ll depart at 8am, arriving in Weatherford, OK at approximately 4pm, where we will setup our vehicles for display at an impromptu show hosted by Rick Koch Oil Co. August 17th, we’ll depart at 6:30am, arriving in Amarillo, TX at approximately 12pm. After checking into our hotel, we’ll head to Ron Clark Ford to meet the rest of the clubs that will be participating in the MidPoint Show n Shine. Ford Motor Credit will do a cookout for the Thunder on 66 group at no charge to us, and Fast Freddie and the Fairlanes will provide live entertainment. At 8:00pm the group will attend an outdoor presentation of “Texas!” at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park (tentative). August 18th, we will depart from Amarillo at 8am, arriving at the next overnight stop in Albuquerque, NM at approximately 3pm.

A Show/Dinner will take place at the Albuquerque Country Club that evening (This may change-we are looking at having dinner at an Italian Restaurant, located on Route 66, with an upper deck that overlooks the street. We have someone checking into having part of the street blocked off in order that we can park in front of the restaurant-this will provide for more interaction with the community). On the 19th we depart from Albuquerque at 7am, arriving at our next overnight stopping point, Williams, AZ, at approximately 3pm. On the 20th we will depart Williams at 6am, traveling north to the Grand Canyon. We’ll spend the morning of the 20th at the park, returning to Williams at 1PM. The rest of the day can be spent however the group wants. We’ll depart Williams at 7am on the 21st, with our arrival at in Santa Monica planned for 5PM.

We’ll depart Santa Monica on the 22nd, and will overnight in Needles, after exploring the Amboy/Bagdad segment. In Needles we’ll have a riverfront BBQ and a tour of the historic Harvey House. The 23rd will be spent exploring the Oatman and Hackberry loops, and a stop at the Powerhouse Visitor’s Center in Kingman, AZ, where photo opportunities with Miss Route 66 2002 will be available. The day will finish with an overnight stop in Winslow-where we’ll be “Standin on a corner.” The 24th will be spent in driving to Albuquerque, NM. And the 25th will be spent traveling back to Amarillo.

Stops are planned for every 200 miles for fuel and breaks, to accommodate those members who are traveling in the older Thunderbirds, which don’t get great fuel economy. Meals will be set up with the help of a number of Route 66 restaurants. If you wish to travel part of the route, but cannot attend the entire event or the midpoint Show n Shine, please indicate so on the registration form. A reduced registration fee of $25 will be required of those that do not plan on driving the entire route, or are joining the group after Adrian, TX.

This event promises to be one of the premiere happenings for the Thunderbird community and Route 66. I hope to see you somewhere along the “Mother Road!”

Hotel and Reservation Information

Elgin, IL-August 13th, 2002

Baymont Inns and Suites
500 Toll Gate Road
Elgin, IL 60123
“Thunder on 66”
50 Rooms
$62.00 plus tax

St. Louis, MO-August 14th, 2002

Holiday Inn-St. Louis North
4545 N Lindbergh Road
Bridgeton, MO 63044
”Thunder on 66”
40 Doubles/10 Kings
$69.00 + tax

Joplin, MO-August 15th, 2002

Holiday Inn Joplin
3615 Range Line Road
Joplin, MO 64804
“Thunder on 66”
50 Rooms
$66.00 + tax

Weatherford, OK-August 16th, 2002

Holiday Inn Express
3825 E Main
Weatherford, OK 73096
“Thunder on 66”
65 Rooms
$69.00 + Tax

Amarillo, TX-August 17th, 2002

Holiday Inn I-40
1911 I-40 East
Amarillo, TX 79102
“Thunder on 66”
35 Doubles/40 Kings
$79.00 + tax

Albuquerque, NM-August 18th, 2002

Holiday Inn-Mountain View
2020 Menaul NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
“Thunder on 66”
75 Rooms
$55.00 + tax

Williams, AZ-August 19th-20th, 2002

Mountain Side Inn & Resort
642 E Route 66
Williams, AZ 86046
70 Rooms
$79.00 + tax
Hospitality room

Santa Monica, CA-August 21st, 2002

Needles, CA-August 22nd, 2002

Days Inn and Suites
1215 Hospitality Lane
Needles, CA 92363
Thunder on Route 66
25 Doubles/25 Queens
$42.99 + tax

Winslow, AZ-August 23rd, 2002

Best Western Adobe Inn
1701 North Park Drive
Winslow, AZ 86047
Thunderbird Association
50 Doubles
$62.00 + Tax
Includes Hot Buffet Breakfast

Albuquerque, NM-August 24th, 2002

Holiday Inn-Mountain View
2020 Menaul NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
“Thunder on 66”
50 Rooms
$55.00 + tax

Amarillo, TX-August 25th, 2002

Holiday Inn I-40
1911 I-40 East
Amarillo, TX 79102
“Thunder on 66”
50 rooms
$79.00 + tax

The following hotel chains have frequent visitor programs available. These programs are free, and you can use the points towards frequent flyer miles, or free nights. I’m recommending that all Thunder participants sign up for these programs-you’ll more than likely come away with at least one free night’s stay.

Holiday Inn-“Priority Club”

Baymont Inns and Suites-“Ovations”

Wyndham Hotels
-Site of 2002 VTCI International Convention- “WyndhamByRequest”


This event promises to be one of the premier happenings for the Thunderbird community and for Route 66. We hope to see you somewhere along the “Mother Road.”

CLICK HERE to view a detailed Itinerary of the trip.

For more information contact:

United States Thunderbird Association
Anthony Poole – Chairman “Thunder on 66”
Post Office Drawer “H”
Oxford Junction, Iowa 52323
or Phone: 563-826-2915
E-Mail: adpoole@netins.net

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