Robert Poole
May 29, 2018
Contributers: Robert Poole

There’s no better way to celebrate cars than to drive them. At least that’s the way that the people at HoonDog Performance Group see things. They organize driving trips for Mustang enthusiasts every year. Since 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the movie, BULLITT—a great Americana movie with one of the most famous car chase scenes ever—they decided that this year’s event would be along Route 66.

We connected with the Legend Lives II tour at the start of their drive in Minooko, IL. As we write this, we are about the leave on day three of this seven-day tour. We’ve already driven through four of the nine states that Route 66 winds through on its way to California.

There are almost 40 Mustangs making the whole trip, with more joining us at stops along the way. Ford Motor Company even sent two pre-production 2019 Mustang BULLITTs to make the journey. They’re a big hit with the enthusiasts on the drive as well as at each stop. Within the group of cars driving the entire length, nearly a third of them are BULLITT models from the various years that Ford offered this package on the Mustang. There are also two early tribute cars making the drive, in addition to a 1969 Fastback.

Route 66 is the quintessential drive celebrating automotive Americana. And starting the drive Memorial Day weekend notches up the celebration. In addition to American flags proudly on display at nearly every stop, the Legend Lives Tour connected with the Ford regional manager in Missouri who coordinated a cars/BBQ/get-together at a veteran’s home in St. Roberts, MO. We had a police escort from Cuba, MO, into the veteran’s home for the event.

Here are some of our favorite spots that we’ve visited along the trip so far (and ones we recommend you plan to visit if you drive Route 66):

Ambler Becker Texaco Gas Station
Dwight, IL

Standard-Sinclair Gas Station
Odel, IL

Route 66 Museum and Giant Route 66 Mural
Pontiac, IL

Wall Murals
Cuba, MO

Parita-Gay Sinclair Gas Station
Ash Grove, MO

Spencer’s Phillips 66 Gas Station and Old Bridge
Miller, MO

Route 66 Drive-In Theatre
Carthage, MO

Rainbow Bridge
Baxter Springs, MO

Dairy King (where you can still get an ice cream cone)
Commerce, OK

We’re just over one-third into Route 66 and it already feels like we’ve covered thousands of miles. The HoonDog Performance Group is doing a great job of giving enough time at each stop to take photos and take in the ambience, but also keep us moving on schedule.

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