Cars & Racing | 12 October 2016Barn Finds on Route 66 Share article facebook twitter google pinterest For many automotive enthusiasts, the holy grail of adventure might be a road trip in a vintage car upon the iconic Route 66. How about if we throw in a search for incredible barn finds, as well as a look at each region’s classic motels, roadside attractions, diners, service stations, drive-ins, dives and the characters along the way. It might simply be way more than any car nut could handle. Sound like fun? Well, in Route 66 Barn Find Road Trip, you ride along with author Tom Cotter, his pal and barn find expert Brian Barr, and photographer Michael Alan Ross as they carve their way from Chicago to Santa Monica in a 76-year-old Woody “SUV”. Following are a few of the images from this colorfully illustrated new book from Motorbooks. Wearing the shirt of his hometown basketball team—the Davidson College Wildcats—Brian Barr (pictured) and author Tom Cotter were within minutes of hitting Route 66 from its eastern terminus in Chicago, heading to Los Angeles via a seventy-six-year-old car. This forlorn 1954 Studebaker was found in a backyard in Missouri. The owner hopes to hot rod it with a Chevy drivetrain Before this Missouri-based ’57 Chevy was restored as a street car, it was Ken York’s drag car. Since then it has received a flamed paint job, Buick grille, and a show finish on the chassis and floorpans. You want 1959 Chevys? Purkey’s Auto Salvage in Kansas has some. Dozens of them, in fact, all neatly lined up. Behind those ’59s was a row of 1958 Chevys, and so forth. Tim Harville (right), his brother Shawn, and a couple of other family members are the nucleus for their business, Mustang Corral in Illinois, which deals exclusively in Mustangs. Tim handles the parts counter and Shawn is the restorer. Ken Knepper has a couple of custom-bodied Packards, including this ambulance, which was fabricated by Henny of Illinois. According to Knepper, the same body could function as an ambulance or a hearse. One of the most iconic sites along Route 66 is this restored former Conoco gas station in Texas. Known as the Tower Building, it was constructed in the 1930s and today is on the Texas Historical Registry. It houses Shamrock’s Chamber of Commerce. Our favorite bartender of the trip, Schuyler Cochran, who tends bar at the Hoffbrau Steaks in Amarillo, Texas. The stuffed armadillo is her pet. (An Amarillo armadillo?) Buy from an Online Retailer Abandoned cars on America’s most iconic abandoned road. Sounds like a great idea for a road trip. For a nation that loves the idea of the road, there is no more legendary ribbon of highway than the 2,451 miles comprising historic Route 66. Along the Mother Road lies the detritus of the automotive age: motels, roadside attractions, diners, service stations, drive-ins, and dives. Hidden in, around, and behind its buildings or abandoned along its roadside hide collector cars, lost trucks, and moldering motorcycles. How could there be a better destination for automotive archaeologist Tom Cotter? In Route 66 Barn Find Road Trip Cotter and his BBF (best barn finder) pal Brian Barr jump on Route 66, just outside Chicago, seeking rusted gold in every state Route 66 passes through. Along the way, ace lensman Michael Alan Ross documents their finds, mishaps, and various adventures. Starting in the Midwest and barreling through Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico, the barn-find bunch continues on to Arizona before completing their quest in Santa Monica, California. You’ll never guess what automotive treasure they see peeking out from corroded garages and behind weary buildings along the way. You can bet every awesome barn find was investigated and recorded in Route 66 Barn Find Road Trip. Whether you’ve only dreamed of retracing US 66 or are familiar with its path but never considered car hunting there, Route 66 Barn Find Road Trip will take you on the trip of a lifetime. Hop in; you can ride shotgun. THE AUTHOR Michael Alan Ross has carved out a career photographing the studied nuances, latest models, adrenaline-rushed raceways, and proud owners of the car world. His love of automotive design includes an encyclopedic knowledge of sculptural engineering details with a parallel appreciation for the evolution of componentry. Michael’s photography is featured in Motorbooks’ Barn Find Road Trip and Rockin’ Garages, as well as in a wide range of editorial and advertising in the US and Europe. He lives in San Rafael, California. Before writing his first book, Tom Cotter had long been involved in nearly every end of the automotive and racing industries. From mechanic and auto salesman to heading the public relations department at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Cotter formed his own racing and automotive PR and marketing agency, Cotter Group. The agency represented some of the largest clients in NASCAR, IndyCar/CART, drag racing and road racing. He has written biographies of the legendary Holman-Moody race team, Tommy Ivo and Dean Jeffries, but is best known for his series of barn find books, such as Cobra in the Barn , 50 Shades of Rust and Barn Find Road Trip. Cotter appears in the Barn Find Hunter video series, which is distributed by Hagerty Insurance. He teaches public relations at Belmont Abbey College, sits on the advisory board of McPherson College’s Auto Restoration program, and is a member of the Road Racing Driver’s Club (RRDC.) He is married to Pat, has one son, Brian, and lives in Davidson, N.C. 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