Route 66 roadies to merge into Seligman, then head west for road rally

By Peter Corbett / ADOT Communications

Vintage cars on the road to Oatman

Motorists in northeastern Arizona may notice an unusual number of vintage cars later this week when road-trippers show up for the 31st annual Route 66 Fun Run from Seligman to Kingman and Topock. These city of Kingman photos show how the event has looked in previous years. The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona has events planned Friday through Sunday (May 4-6) along Historic Route 66, one of the longest continuous stretches of America’s most celebrated highway.

Early version of a pickup truck participating in the Route 66 Fun Run

Organizers are expecting more than 700 participants in the untimed road rally. That includes around 300 from Arizona, others from surrounding states and even Route 66 enthusiasts from Canada, France and elsewhere in Europe, said Nikki Seegers, Route 66 Association director of operations.

“The Fun Run is Arizona’s signature Route 66 event,” she said.

Arizona’s historic highways engage with local communities and rev up heritage tourism. Travelers from all over the world visit the state to see the landscapes, neon signs and vintage cars along Route 66, and to meet the characters who operate legacy roadside attractions, diners and motels.

Vintage Cadillac

Interstate 40 replaced Route 66 across Northern Arizona from the 1960s through 1984. A year later, federal highway officials decommissioned US Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, after 59 years as a cross-country highway.

In 1987, the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona successfully lobbied for a historic designation of Route 66 in Arizona. The first Fun Run was held in 1988 with about 50 participants.

Again this year, Seligman and Kingman will host preliminary events Friday.

Two vintage modes of transportation in Oatman

The 140-mile Fun Run starts at 10 a.m. Saturday with historic and late-model cars traveling west on Route 66 from Seligman to Grand Canyon Caverns, Peach Springs, Truxton, Valentine, Hackberry and Kingman.

The final 50-mile leg of the Route 66 cruise will leave Kingman at 9 a.m. Sunday en route to Oatman, Golden Shores and Topock on the Colorado River.

The ADOT Motor Vehicle Division now offers specialty Route 66 license plates for $25, with $17 of that going to the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona. The black and white plates are available from ServiceArizona.com.

Last year, the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association picked Arizona’s Route 66 license plate as the nation’s Best New License Plate.