U.S. Route 66 was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. It was established in November 1926, although the road signs were placed the following year. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in the United States, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica, California, covering a total of 3,940 km (2,448 miles). The road served as a primary route for those who migrated West, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and supported the economies of the communities through which it passed.
US 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, but was officially removed from the United States Highway System in 1985 after it had been replaced by segments of the Interstate Highway System. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been designated a National Scenic Byway by the name "Historic Route 66".
In September of 1993 a large group of classic automobiles and their drivers, from the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, joined a group of American enthusiasts who were planning a run across America, tracing the path of historic Route 66. More than 150 automobiles from across Europe assembled in Southampton, England. Marques represented included Jaguar, Bentley, Rover, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, there were also Cadillacs, Chevrolets and Fords, owned and driven by their European devotees. The cars were loaded onto a freighter for transport to Baltimore, Maryland. The whole event was jointly organized by several classic American automobile clubs, including CAAR chapters from the U.S.A., Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands and the Dutch Route 66 Association. The plan was for the entourage from Europe to meet with various American Route 66 Associations along the way. The grand journey began with a parade in front of the White House, in Washington, D.C.. The group drove onto Interstate 66, driving northwest to Chicago, Illinois. The group then followed old Route 66 from Chicago through eight states to Los Angeles, California, completing their journey some 24 days later.
Brooklin Model BRK35
Participating in this "Route 66 - Run Across the States" was David Angel from England, driving one of his restored American classics, a yellow and white 1957 Ford Skyliner. His Skyliner was decorated with Route 66 shields on the doors and "street signs" on the rear fenders, reading "The Mother Road" and "Main Street, U.S.A.". To commemorate the journey, David commissioned a limited edition Brooklin special, the 1957 Ford Skyliner done in yellow with white Continental kit, black interior and decals accurately reflecting David's car. License plates are white in the front and yellow in the back (UK regulations) and read "ANGEL ROUTE 66". 600 special Skyliners were produced, with 66 of them actually making the journey across the Atlantic and across Route 66. This group of "special" specials bore an additional decal on the hood and a special certificate indicating their unique character.
You can find many other Brooklin stories on the fourth edition of the Brooklin Models Collectors Guide. Click here