OK Route 66 Run

By: Eric Climer

Oklahoma is home to the longest drivable stretch of historic Route 66. With 426 miles of open road and a multitude of roadside attractions, Route 66 is hard to ignore. Among its historical markers and uninterrupted pavement, the route also happens to bridge the gap between Oklahoma’s major cities of Tulsa and Oklahoma City. It’s for this reason, Audi Club Oklahoma chose Route 66 for its first Audi only cruise of 2022.

Audi Club Oklahoma recently rebuilt itself after a multi-year drought and has seen a shift of core members move from the original group’s headquarters in Tulsa to Oklahoma City. With membership revival and a sense of unity in mind, Audi Club Oklahoma decided to let the two hubs start on their own and meet in the middle for a fun day of driving.

OKC started off from Edmond while Tulsa met at the famous Golden Driller statue at the Tulsa Expo Center. Towering 75 feet in the air with one hand on an oil derrick, the Golden Driller was erected in 1966 as homage to the workers who helped put Tulsa on the map.

Driving west from Tulsa, the group made their first stop at the Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum. Here visitors can see vintage cars from Route 66’s heyday, and also the world’s tallest gas pump for a quick photo op before proceeding back down the road. The stop went longer than expected when the group ran into a couple visiting from Germany who were extremely excited to see Audis on a cruise.

Back on the road, the Tulsa group traveled on, passing the towns of Kellyville, Bristow, Depew, and Stroud. Each town has its own unique look back at the days of travel before the I-44 turnpike left them behind.

Coming from the west, the Oklahoma City group had a stop at Pops near Lake Arcadia. Besides their massive selection of sodas from around the world, Pops has become a landmark in its own right thanks to the giant 66-foot-tall soda bottle out front. At night, it can be seen lit up in an array of colors.

Moving onward the group passed the historic round barn of Arcadia. Built in 1898, it’s a large red beacon for a small town. The scenery flows by quickly on this stretch of Highway, cut only by the small towns of Luther, Wellston, and Warwick.

Finally, the two groups met in Chandler at the Route 66 Bowl. Their parking lot adorned with old gas signs and memorabilia, with the inside a well curated collection of more items which can be admired in between games of bowling, laser tag or their very own roadside attraction; a 101-foot bowling lane.

This is where the cruise stopped and the groups got together, enjoyed lunch and were able to commandeer the parking lot for a fun photo shoot. Surprisingly, the friendly German couple from earlier also made the stop for lunch. Audi Club Oklahoma took the opportunity to present them both with club t-shirts and a pin that was made to commemorate the 2022 cruise. While the language barrier was tough, they were able to communicate through their passion including a shared memory of when the couple picked up their A4 Avant at the factory in Ingolstadt.

While it was a shorter cruise compared to others, the ability to merge the OKC and Tulsa groups was a success. Sharing stories of their Audis and making a visitor’s trip through Oklahoma even more special, the Audi Club Oklahoma Route 66 cruise will be remembered for years to come even as plans are being made to revisit it again in the future. There are many more attractions and sites along the historic route and the Audi Club is eager to see them soon.

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