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Berwyn Route 66 Car Show 21st Annual Historic Car Show


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21st Annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel


BERWYN, IL – September 16, 2011: The Biggest and Best Car show on Route 66 happens just outside Chicago in Berwyn. Chicago's Buckingham Fountain located near the corners of Jackson Boulevard and Michigan Avenue serves as the traditional starting point of Route 66.

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21st Annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show
Thousands of travelers start their Route 66 adventure here since it is truly “Where the Mother Road Begins.” Illinois is the only Route 66 state east of the Mississippi. Route 66 defined a remarkable era in the growth of the United States. As it threaded its way across eight states, it left its indelible mark on our nation’s physical, historical and cultural landscape. No other road symbolizes optimism, freedom and the American Dream quite like Route 66.

In Berwyn, Route 66 was originally called Plank Road and later Ogden Avenue and it parallels the story of the United States in the 20th Century. Beginning as a rural country road, it became a Roaring 20’s highway frequented by the likes of Al Capone. By the late 40’s, it was a prototype of the Auto Malls so common today.

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The Berwyn Route 66 Museum has as its mission to discover, present and preserve the history of Route 66 as it passes through Berwyn. Originally a display in the Skylite Restaurant and later in the Anderson Ford dealership, the museum now is located in a permanent facility with its display of artifacts and memorabilia. In Berwyn, the White Castle, dating from 1938, is the oldest original site of the hamburger chain on the entire stretch of the “Mother Road”.
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One can’t imagine a better place to stage a car show than along Route 66. This 21st annual show featured headliner Chris Karamesines, the Golden Greek, and his top fuel dragster. Chris is a Drag Racing legend and one of the very best drag racers of all time. In 2001, he was named one of the 50 Greatest NHRA Drivers and was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

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Beautiful September weather brought out the best “wheels” in Chicagoland and made for prime car show viewing. Whether it be hot rod, muscle car, drag car, low rider or custom, a multitude of “car art” was displayed.

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Route 66 is arguably one of the most famous roadways in the world. Come get your “Kicks on Route 66”.

© Larry Nutson