This tour is being undertaken by a small group of enthusiasts from Great Britain. They are driving 5 of the famous pre-war, 750 cc, 75” wheel base, Austin Seven ‘baby cars’.
The crews are all members of the, UK, 750 Motor Club – founded in 1939, mainly for such cars.
There is a ‘modern’ car in support. The driver and her American domiciled daughter, who is co-driving one of the Austins, are doing the journey in memory of their late husband and father who had hoped to travel Route 66.
All the cars have travelled extensively in Europe in their Sevens and 3 of them completed a 3,500 mile journey from Buenos Aires, via the Andes, to Santiago, Chile and back in Feb 2005.
The cars date from 1929 to 1938 and are the type of car on which the ‘American Austin’ and ‘Bantam’ cars were based. Jack Rittenhouse did the journey in a 1939 Bantam in 1946 and wrote about it in his book, “A Guide Book to Highway 66” - another inspiration for the trip – 60 years on.
The cars arrived in New York by sea and the crews by air on the 23rd of August. On the 27th of August they drive to Chicago, stopping off at Butler, where the American Austin and Bantams were made.
They start their epic 2,450 mile journey on the 2nd of September and plan to arrive in Los Angeles on the 21st.
The cars and their drivers will return to the UK the 28th of September.
The participants are as follows;
Richard and Marlies Bishop from Exeter, Devon, in a 1938 sports.
Ken and Eileen Cooke from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, in a 1930 4 seater tourer.
Vince Leek from Warminster, Wilts, and Diana Garside from Nth Carolina in a 1929 tourer.
George and Joy Mooney from Bournemouth, Hants. in a 1934 Cambridge special.
Stan Price from Carlisle and Chris Parkhurst from Aylesbury in a 1932 ‘box’ saloon.
Veronica Garside, Wendy Hider from Swindon Wilts, and River Dukes from Nth
Carolina in a support car.
The Itinerary is as follows;
31st Aug to 2nd Sept. Chicago Ill, The Hampton Inn, Countryside.
3rd September. Springfield Ill. Route 66 Hotel and Conf. Ctr.
4th September. Cuba Wagon Wheel Motel.
5th Sept. Springfield Mo. Best Western Rt. 66 Rail Haven.
6th & 7th Sept. Claremore Ok. Claremore Motor Inn.
8th Sept. Oklahoma City. The Carlye Motel.
9th Sept. Shamrock Tx. Irish Inn.
10th Sept. Tucumcari NM. Blue Swallow Inn.
11th & 12th Sept. Santa Fe NM Santa Fe Motel and Inn.
13th Sept. Grants. NM. Days Inn.
14th Sept. Holbrook Az. Wigwam Motel.
15th &16th Sept. Williams Az. Route 66 Inn.
17th Sept. Kingman Az. Hilltop Motel.
18th Sept. Las Vegas Nv. Circus Circus.
19th Sept. Needles Ca. River Valley Motor Lodge
20th Sept. Barstow Ca. Route 66 Motel.
21st to 27th Sept. Los Angeles. Good Nite Inn, Calabasas.