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".
'Cars on the Route' sell sandwiches, snacks, antiques, and both Route 66 and "Cars" memorabilia, including several made by local craftspeople and artists.
This was a particularly memorable stop on Route 66 where I was lucky enough to meet 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.