Cars on the Route

Galena, Kansas

KansasRoadside Attraction

Galena, Kansas is a Route 66 town that partially inspired the Pixar movie Cars. And at the popular roadside attraction Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas you can meet one of the stars of the movie in person: Tow Mater.

Cars is a Pixar movie set in a world where anthropomorphic talking cars populate the world. A racer, Lightning McQueen, gets lost and finds himself in Radiator Springs, a location that was once a bustling stop on Route 66 that had since fallen from maps due to highway expansion. Many of the characters and locations featured in the film were based on Route 66 attractions. The Cozy Cone was based on Wigwam Motel, Ramone’s was the U-Drop Inn, and Lizzie’s, Hackberry General Store. One of the most iconic characters in the film was Tow Mater, a beat up tow truck who befriends and supports Lightning McQueen and teaches him a couple of tricks along the way.

The character of Tow Mater was partially based on an unlikely Route 66 attraction: an old 951 Harvester International Tow Truck that stands outside of a former Kan-O-Tex gas station in Galena, Kansas.

The Kan-O-Tex gas station first opened in 1934. In 2007, a group of four women – Betty Courtney, Melba Rigg, Renee Charles and Judy Courtney – purchased the property and restored it, reopening as “Four Women on the Route.”

Now, the old service station is known as Cars on the Route and has been converted into a cafe where you can find sandwiches, snacks, and Route 66 and Cars souvenirs. You can visit for a quick bite and to meet the rusty old tow truck who inspired the Disney character. The owners have even added cartoon eyes for those who can’t quite make the connection plus few more cars to complete the collection.

Last modified: April 21, 2024
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Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas Route 66 Roadside Attraction

Cars on the Route

5 based on 1 reviews

Address:
Kan-O-Tex Service Station, 119 N Main St, Galena, KS 66739

Hours:
Business open 10am-3pm, Wednesday-Saturday (Attraction Visible 24/7)

Cost:
Free

Phone Number:
(620) 783-1366

Official Website

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Photos of Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas

Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas Route 66 Roadside Attraction
Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas Route 66 Roadside Attraction
Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas Route 66 Roadside Attraction
Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas Route 66 Roadside Attraction
Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas Route 66 Roadside Attraction

Know Before You Go

To make the most of your visit to Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas, here are some things to know before you go.

  • Kansas is the shortest state on Route 66 with only 13 miles of road.
  • While the cafe and gift shop have limited hours you can stop by at any time to admire the vintage architecture of the service station and the old-fashioned cars beside it.
  • The facade of Cars on the Route faces west, so for the best pictures visit in the afternoon to early evening.

Where to Stay Near Cars on the Route

Complete your travel itinerary and get a good night’s rest with a stay at one of these hotels near this Kansas Route 66 roadside attraction.

Boots Court Motel

The Boots Motel in Carthage, Missouri opened in 1939. This historic Route 66 motor hotel hosted actor Clark Gable numerous times.

Stay on 66

With only 13 miles of road, there aren’t too many motels on Kansas Route 66. Stay on 66 fills a need with boutique B&B experiences. With properties like the The Old Riverton Post B&B in Riverton and The Mollie Retreat on Route 66 in Galena, you have warm options if you want to spend the night in Kansas.

The Old Riverton Post B&B

The Mollie Retreat on Route 66

Attractions Near Cars on the Route on Route 66

Plan Your Route 66 Road Trip

Reviews & Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

1 Review of Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas

  1. Such a cute stop in Galena! When I got there the business wasn’t open but I was able to see all the fun architecture and the cars that helped inspire Cars!

    Reply

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