We Find Some Kicks Along Route 66


By Aaron Bragman

We had just finished testing for our upcoming 2018 One-Ton Heavy-Duty Truck Challenge in Kingman, Ariz., spending five days in dusty, hot weather towing with the latest one-ton pickup trucks from Ford, Ram and Chevrolet. Following that, I headed to Flagstaff, Ariz., to attend the 2018 Overland Expo West to see all the latest sweet overlanding gear and decided to detour to see Williams, Ariz., one of the last stops on historic Route 66 to be bypassed by Interstate 40 as recently as 1984. Unplanned detours like this can sometimes turn up the best experiences, and this was no exception.

As I entered Williams' touristy-quaint downtown, I realized one edge of Route 66 had been closed off for a car show — the third annual Route 66 Car Show, which showcased a few dozen mostly classic cars lined up along the road. Live music played in the background, and all the restaurants and cafes were hopping during the lunchtime hour. I'd come for lunch and happily stumbled into a collection of some really fantastic cars and trucks. I've never seen so many classic pickups at a car show, an indicator that pickups are starting to get a lot more attention from collectors as people realize that while pickups are not as comfortable or chock-full of amenities as their passenger-car counterparts from those years, there's still a lot of artistry present in their designs.

So, for your enjoyment, we're presenting the pickups of the Route 66 Car Show. Check out these beautiful machines from days past.

1959 Chevrolet Apache Fleetside


This beautiful truck is owned by Mace Kuester of Phoenix. It was restored from a junkyard truck by its previous owner and now sports a Chevrolet 350 V-8 engine and 700R automatic transmission. The bodywork was complete when Kuester bought it for $1,200; he originally planned to buy a 1964 Chevy Chevelle. The Apache spoke to him more, since both he and the truck were born in '59. His favorite thing about it? His daughter's name is stamped on the frame.

1956 Ford F100


This gorgeous machine sports a 351 Cleveland V-8 engine and C4 automatic transmission. It was bought in San Diego by its current owner, Glen Crossno of Chino Valley, Ariz., who brought it home and cleaned it up about a year ago. Crossno loves the design of the truck, from the big window to the lip on the front grille, the only year the F100 sported this styling element.

1957 Chevrolet 3100


Unlike many other restored trucks, this one has its original powertrain: the 235-cubic-inch inline-six-cylinder engine and a Hydramatic transmission. The body and paint have been redone, according to owner James Matthews of Williams, but he has yet to do a final wet sanding and clearcoat. It's been taken apart and restored, but the previous owner didn't touch the frame, Matthews said. Still, he loves the looks it gets rolling around town.

There were plenty of other sweet trucks at the show as well; check out the gallery below to see what everyone brought.

Cars.com photos by Aaron Bragman












This is the very reason I am "Old GM Guy".

That old steel is beautiful.

that red chevy in first picture with IROC wheels is my dream truck!! Gorgeous!

The orange bronco is also sharp looking!

The old green Dodge is probably the only truck that doesn't have a Chevy engine.

@papajim needs to break out the reading glasses. The article says the '56 Ford had a 351 Cleveland.

@papajim needs to break out the reading glasses. The article says the '56 Ford had a 351 Cleveland....Posted by: Rowdy Douillard | Jun 1, 2018

@Rowdy D

351 Clevelands are as rare as hens teeth. Good catch.

For what this guy paid for his Cleveland he could have bought a couple of nicely built 351 Ford Windsors or a half dozen sparkling GM 350s.

It would be fun watch 350s smoke the Fords.

The informed among us know why builders use GM engines. They're cheap. Cheap to buy, cheap to build, cheap to break.

@papajim you can keep your 350, but every true square body man nows the 383 is the true drag king small block.

Love those stepsides, and the front end of that apache. Great colors too, original or not, something that manufacturers today could learn from.


Do you mean a 383 stroker (GM small block)? Or are you referring to the antique 383 MoPar engine from the 1960s you only see in museums and car collections? Strokers kick butt

.........The article says the '56 Ford had a 351 Cleveland.

Posted by: Rowdy Douillard | Jun 1, 2018 11:20:47 AM

That explains why the hood is up on that truck.

There are a lot of precious metals on display.


The comments to this entry are closed.