Authentic Route 66 Car Shows Including The Mother Road Classic

Route 66 car shows are more than just exhibitions—they are vibrant festivals of speed, design and innovation, showcasing the evolution of the automobile from its humble beginnings to the present day.

These events bring together communities, car lovers, and Route 66 history buffs, offering a unique glimpse into the past while celebrating the technological advancements that have shaped the automotive industry.

Among these swingin’ celebrations, the Mother Road Classic in Flagstaff stands out as a quintessential experience for anyone with a passion for vintage cars and the freedom of the open road.

As they would say in the 50s, “It’s a real gas for those who dig the nostalgia and thrill of cruising down the Mother Road, surrounded by the coolest cats and the most boss rides you’ve ever laid eyes on.”

In this blog, we explore the nostalgia with lists of all the major Route 66 car shows from Illinois to California! Included are car shows that take place on Route 66 or original alignments of the Mother Road.

Summary

This post will cover:

  • What’s it like behind the scenes at an authentic Route 66 car show?
  • List of all major Route 66 car shows by month
  • Route 66 Car AZ Car Shows Calendar
  • Route 66 Car Shows in New Mexico

The lists will help immeasurably with your Route 66 travel planning. But more on that in a sec!

Now, our guest host, Suzanne Edmonds of the Route 66 Car Club, will give you a peek behind the curtain of what authentic Route 66 car shows are all about.

Suzanne is the secretary of the car club that puts on The Mother Road Classic car show in Flagstaff, AZ. As an added scoop, Suzanne is also the Mother Road Classic car show chair.

Let’s hear what she has to say:

Car people are a slightly different breed. When looking at a rusted relic of a car, they see potential where others see ruin. Their eyes perceive what once was and what could be. Their brains start calculating the steps to bring that potential to fruition. Their hands remember the sensation of past resurrections. They foresee the path before them.

Car people are the ultimate optimists.

So, too, they look at a vacant Flagstaff parking lot and imagine the Route 66 Car Show it could hold.

ruste out classic truck that used to be green lays in desert with mountains rising from background
The potential of a rusted relic of a vehicle | Remi Jacquaint photo via Unsplash

In the winter of 2023, the parking lot of Flagstaff City Hall was partially buried under icy mounds left by snowplows—a testament to the heaviest winter the old town had seen in years. Even then, the Flagstaff City Hall lot, the parking area across the street and Aspen Street running between them were transforming in the minds of a handful of optimists. They could be the perfect sites to bring a car show back to downtown Flagstaff after an absence of nine years.

What once was, and what could be.

The Mother Road Classic pays homage to Route 66, which is not only the name of the car club but also the famed ribbon of asphalt that still runs through the heart of Flagstaff.

Looking for a place to stay in Flagstaff? Use our favorite hotel finder.

Route 66 Car Show: The Mother Road Classic

poster art with text "2nd annual Mother Road Classic Route 66 car show Aug 17 Flagstaff AZ

The Mother Road Classic is smaller than the original Flagstaff Route 66 Days Car Show that spread across downtown in yesterdays. The current Route 66 car show limits its entries to 200 cars.

Many vehicles come from out of the area, and their drivers related how pleased they were to have Route 66 car shows back in the heart of Flagstaff.

The tree-lined streets and access to Wheeler Park make for a picnic-like venue, which participants, sponsors, vendors and spectators appreciate.

The hurricane predicted to land smack dab on the day of the 2023 show decided not to ‘rain on our parade,’ and the weather was perfect.

In the end, the inaugural Mother Road Classic was a success, and the club is applying the lessons learned to make the 2024 Route 66 car show even better.

The Mother Road Classic happens on August 17, 2024, in Flagstaff, AZ. Get the schedule and entry form.

Check out the Feature Car Exhibit at Mother Road Classic

1911 Stevens Duryea, originally owned by Percival Lowell | Route 66 Car Club photo
1965 Chevrolet tow trunk | Route 66 Car Club photo
shiny black car from the 1020s with tall wheel fenders, bulbous headlights and an angel crowning the radiator - people look on in shady, treed setting
1928 Springfield Brewster Rolls Royce | Route 66 Car Club photo

Since the Mother Road Classic pays homage to Route 66, a special award is given to the vehicle that best represents the spirit of the Mother Road in addition to the more typical car show awards.

A unique element of the car show is the Feature Car Exhibit, which elevates the chosen vehicles.

The 2023 honorees were:

• the 1911 Stevens Duryea, originally owned by Percival Lowell, founder of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona,
• a 1965 Chevrolet tow trunk, one of two tow trucks in Flagstaff in the 1960s and 70s, and
• a 1928 Springfield Brewster Rolls Royce that drove itself from Jerome the morning of the show.

Mother Road Classic judges selected them for their historical significance and gave them prominent places of honor.

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The success of Route 66 car shows is measured in various ways

two women walk by hot rod and mini yellow school bus during a Route 66 car show in summertime
The Mother Road Classic car show on Route 66 in Flagstaff | Photo courtesy of Route 66 Car Club

The success of Route 66 car shows are gauged in several ways. One is fun for the club members and our guests. Another is to promote Flagstaff and, to be honest, show it off.

The third is the most important. Part of the charter of the Route 66 Car Club of Flagstaff is fund-raising to support local 501 c3 charities. Six local charities each received $1,100.00 as a result of the proceeds of the 2023 show.

What’s Next

The club is firming the details of designating a local motel as the official Mother Road Classic Lodging Place. The excitement of the upcoming Route 66 Centennial celebration is spurring increased interest in Route 66 car shows.

All things are poised for the Mother Road Classic to become a premier event on Route 66 and in Flagstaff and Northern Arizona.

Looking for a place to stay in Flagstaff? Use our favorite hotel finder.

Evolution of the Car Show Route 66 Style

logo of Thunder Over Flagstaff a Route 66 event
Thunder Over Flagstaff is held just off Route 66 at the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG)

Starting in 2005, the Route 66 Car Club of Flagstaff was part of the Route 66 Car Days event. On those days, downtown was closed to traffic on the day of the show, and streets were lined with over 500 vehicles of all descriptions. Spectators filled the area, and the Route 66 car show became known as one of the premier car events in the area. After a decade, however, several factors came into play that spelled the end of the downtown car show in that iteration.

The car club continued to sponsor a car show to raise money for the local charities it supports. The Thunder Over Flagstaff event at the airport was the most recent venue and had been successful, but a growing desire of the car show members to have a show back downtown spurred the efforts of a small group to investigate the options. The inaugural Mother Road Classic was held in 2023.

For information, contact the Route 66 Car Club on its website.

Table of Contents

Major Route 66 Car Shows by Month, State and City

You can sort this list of Route 66 car shows by month, state and city. Make sure to reserve your accommodations now because many of these small Route 66 towns are limited when it comes to beds!

You don’t want to show up on the short end of the stick!

Route 66 Car Shows

DateTownStateRoute 66 Car Show NameWebsiteAccommodations
May 2-4, 2025SeligmanArizonaAZ Route 66 Fun Runwww.historic66az.com/33-fun-run.htmlCheck availability
May 17 – 19, 2024KingmanArizonaKingman Route 66 Street Dragswww.kingmanrt66streetdrags.comCHECK AVAILABILITYCheck Availability
May 18, 2024FlagstaffArizonaBob Sarkesian Memorial Car Showwww.flagstaffcarcruisersclub.comCheck availability
May 18, 2024SpringfieldIllinoisTommy T’s Memorial Kruz66motorheads.comCheck availability
June 1, 2024GrantsNew MexicoSpokes on 66 Car Showgrantsmainstreetproject.com/spokes-on-66-car-showCheck availability
June 1, 2024AlbuquerqueNew MexicoAlbuquerque Lowrider Super Showowriderexperience.com/EventsCheck availability
June 7 – 8, 2024WilliamsArizonaHistoric Route 66 Car Showwilliamshistoricroute66carshow.comCheck availability
June 8, 2024EdwardsvilleIllinoisEdwardsville Route 66 Car Show and Festivalwww.edwardsvilleroute66.comCheck availability
June 15, 2024VinitaOklahomaVinita Route 66 Festival Car Showvinitaroute66festival.com/car-showCheck availability
June 22-23, 2024TulsaOklahomaAAA Route 66 Road Festroute66roadfest.com/car-showCheck availability
July 27, 2024GallupNew MexicoRoute 66 Freedom Festival Car, Truck & Street Rod Showwww.gogallup.com/route-66-ride-flight-cruiseAre there rooms left?
August 3-4, 2024LagunaNew MexicoChampionship Chili Cook-Off and Annual Calendar Car Showwww.rt66casino.comCheck availability
August 17, 2024FlagstaffArizonaThe Mother Road Classicroute66carclub.orgFind your best rate
August 31, 2024BerwynIllinoisBerwyn Route 66 Car ShowBerwynRt66.comCheck availability
September 2024SapulpaOklahomaRoute 66 Blowout Car Show & Festivalwww.route66blowout.comBook your room now!
September 14, 2024MaplewoodMissouriMaplewood Route 66 Celebrationwww.cityofmaplewood.comGet your best prices when you book your hotel now at our trusted site.Get your best prices when you book your hotel now at our trusted site.
September 27-29, 2024SpringfieldIllinoisInternational Route 66 Mother Road FestivalRoute66fest.comCheck your dates for the best deals
September 28, 2024ClaremontOklahomaAnnual Route 66 Cruisers Car & Motorcycle Showvisitclaremore.com
October 5, 2024WinslowArizonaJust’ Cruis’n Car Club ShowCheck availability
May 1-3, 2026SeligmanArizonaAZ Route 66 Fun Runwww.historic66az.com/33-fun-run.htmlCheck availability

If your favorite Route 66 car shows are not listed here, email us the dates, city and link to the website, and we’ll get ‘er listed!

Route 66 Car Shows in Arizona | AZ Car Shows Calendar

cherry red sedan with wide fenders popular in the 1940s and lots of chrome - man sits on folding chair nearby in the delightful weather
Classic car at Route 66 car show | Photo courtesy of Mother Road Classic

The following is a list of 2024 Route 66 Car shows in Arizona:

2024 Arizona Route 66 Car Shows Calendar

May 3-5, 2024, Seligman, AZ Route 66 Fun Run | Over 800 vehicles join the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona to cruise Route 66 in Seligman. One of the most attended AZ car shows is sponsored by the Seligman Chamber of Commerce. More information.

May 17 – 19, 2024, Kingman, AZ, Kingman Route 66 Street Drags | The city closes Route 66/Andy Devine in the middle of Kingman, AZ, for a week of authentic street racing! Watch or participate in 1/8 mile drag races right down the middle of Historic Route 66. Get the scoop!

May 18, 2024, Flagstaff Classic Cruisers | Bob Sarkesian Memorial Car Show benefiting the Cedar Closet Thrift Store. At the Village Center, 1808 E Route 66 #2, Flagstaff, AZ, next to China Star.

June 7 – 8, 2024, Williams, AZ Historic Route 66 Car Show | The Historic Route 66 Car Show is held in the heart of downtown Williams, directly along the famed Route 66. The festivities usually commence with a “Cruise the Loop” event on Friday evening, allowing attendees to parade their cherished vehicles along the historic road. Come Saturday, the spotlight shifts to the main attraction: a Route 66 car show showcasing many vintage and custom vehicles. Hosted by the American Legion. Grab the lowdown.

August 17, 2024, Flagstaff, AZ The Mother Road Classic | Get the schedule and entry form. | Reserve your room now at our favorite hotel finder.

October 5, 2024 Winslow, AZ Just’ Cruis’n Car Club Show | The almost 30-year-old club holds the Route 66 car show on the streets of historic downtown Winslow on Old Route 66 at the Standin’ on the Corner Park. Experience the fun with a Poker Run, Sock Hop and Burnout Contest on eastbound Route 66.  Get more info.

October 4 -5, 2024 Williams, AZ JDM Route 66 Classic | Annual car show encompasses ALL Japanese classics built 1998 and earlier. The AZ car show Route 66 judging is informal and peer-based, with ALL proceeds from registrations, raffle tickets and t-shirt sales supporting Raising Special Kids. | Get your best rate from our favorite hotel finder.

May 2-4, 2025 Seligman, AZ, Route 66 Fun Run Over 800 vehicles join the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona to cruise Route 66 in Seligman. Sponsored by the Seligman Chamber of Commerce. More information.

May 1-3, 2026 Seligman, AZ Route 66 Fun Run Over 800 vehicles join the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona to cruise Route 66 in Seligman. Sponsored by the Seligman Chamber of Commerce. More information.

Route 66 Car Shows in New Mexico

Here is a list of the significant Route 66 car shows in New Mexico in 2024:

NEW MEXICO Route 66 Car Shows Calendar

June 1, 2024, Grants, NM Spokes on 66 Car Show | This Route 66 car show includes music, food, and fun! With classic and newer cars, motorcycles, trucks and lowriders

June 1, 2025, Albuquerque, NM Albuquerque Lowrider Super Show | This car show on Route 66 features pedal bikes, motorcycles, vehicles and hoppers. Stay in the loop.

July 27, 2024, Gallup, NM Gallup Route 66 Freedom Festival Car, Truck & Street Rod Show | Come together with enthusiasts of vintage, classic, muscle and street rod vehicles for a series of cruises and an impressive car show Route 66. This is Northwest New Mexico’s premier automotive event that’s not to be missed. All proceeds from the Route 66 car show will benefit Veterans Helping Veterans. Reserve your accommodations here.

August 3-4, 2024 Laguna, NM Championship Chili Cook-Off and Annual Calendar Car Show at Route 66 Casino Hotel.

If you do not see your favorite Route 66 car shows on this list, please email us, and we’ll get them listed!

Let’s make this coming Route 66 Car Show season the best ever!

If you enjoyed this story, please give a shout-out to Suzanne in the comments below and share the calendars with your favorite Route 66 communities!

UNSTOPPABLE Stacey was NOT provided with accommodations, meals or other compensation for the purpose of this guide. The Arizona travel writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

In addition, this blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active. 

Further, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for reading.

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