Cars on the Route, Galena

At the north end of Main Street in Galena, Kansas, stands the old Kan-O-Tex service station. First opened in 1934, this building has been part of Route 66 history for over 80 years! In 2007 the old building was purchased and restored by four women from Galena with a shared vision of renewing interest in Kansas' small share of Route 66. Betty Courtney, Melba Rigg, Renee Charles and Judy Courtney helped lead the rebirth of Galena's stretch of Historic Route 66. They dubbed their gas station "Four Women on the Route" and operated it as as a tourist attraction for several years.

Following some changes to the original group of owners the business is now known as "Cars on the Route", with the emphasis on the connection to the movie "Cars". This restored Kan-O-Tex service station is home to “Tow Tater” - inspiration for the character Tow Mater from Pixar's classic movie. Cars on the Route openly celebrates the connection between Route 66 and the Pixar movie "Cars". In 2011 Pixar returned to the site to interview the owners for the DVD release of "Cars 2". They sell sandwiches, snacks, antiques, Route 66 and "Cars" memorabilia, including several made by local craftspeople and artists.

This was one of my most memorable stops on Route 66 where I met one of the original “4 Women” Melba Rigg - a very open and friendly host who was more than happy to show my wife and I around, take our picture and tell us all about the building and their plans. I definitely recommend this stop as you drive through the short stretch of Kansas 66.

Visit their website.


3 comments on “Cars on the Route, Galena”

  1. When my daughter & I visited in early June last year, the grill and refrigerator were both broken so there was no food to be had. Melba said they were trying to save enough money to get things fixed. Maybe the snack bar is back in business? Hope so. Melba is a true treasure! Loved visiting with her. Highly recommend stopping by this neat place. I wrote a blog entry about our visit there.
    Dusty -

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What started as a record of my personal Route 66 experience has grown into an active community of Route 66 veterans and newcomers alike. This website relies entirely on the experiences of its users so please feel free to recommend your own personal favourites.

Every Route 66 road trip is unique, and this site is in no way intended to be a definitive guide to the old road. However, I sincerely hope it offers a starting point to anyone planning their own Route 66 vacation.

Steve Bellamy

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