Cruisin' Route 66 With Michael Wallis

Season 1
 (10)
2007ALL
It began in the 1920's with the vision of a paved highway that connected Chicago with Los Angeles and the West, rolling through 2,400 miles, 8 states and 3 time zones while tying together the Great American Southwest. Discover Route 66, the Mother Road, with noted author Michael Wallis, the road of dreamers and ramblers, drifters, and writers, of no-tell motels and salty truck stops.
Starring
Michael Wallis
Genres
Special InterestDocumentary
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English

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  1. 1. Episode 1
    January 1 2007
    24min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    We'll begin our cruise along Route 66 where it all begins, or ends depending on your direction of travel, in Chicago's Grant Park. From there we travel south and west past the cornfields and tourist spots of Illinois, visit Ted Drewes Frozen Custard stand and the Coral Court motel in St. Louis, and much more. Then it's on to Kansas.
  2. 2. Episode 2
    January 8 2007
    24min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Once a busy highway, Route 66 is now relegated to second-class status by the super-slab Interstate. But instead of falling into obscurity, the Mother Road soldiers on as a 2,400 mile tourist attraction. Join us as we skirt the southeast corner of Kansas, cross Oklahoma and dive into Texas. Along the way we'll play with Devil's Rope and try to down a 72 ounce steak at the Big Texan.
  3. 3. Episode 3
    January 15 2007
    24min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Michael Wallis has come to know and love old highway 66, with its special towns and quaint attractions. Join Michael as he cruises west out of Amarillo into the Texas Panhandle, with its own share of oddities. We visit the Cadillac Ranch, the ghost town of Glenrio and the neon motels of Tucumcari. We meet a former Harvey Girl and go on a photographic tour of Santa Fe. Then, it's on to Arizona.
  4. 4. Episode 4
    January 22 2007
    24min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Route 66 is the quintessential blue highway, the one you take to slow down, savor life, and begin a great adventure. In this episode we visit the Grand Canyon, take in a custom car show in Seligman, get a haircut with a famous barber, take a trip over Sitgreaves Pass where we visit a hotel said to be haunted by Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, and then on to California.
  5. 5. Episode 5
    January 29 2007
    24min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Taking historic Route 66 gives the traveler the perfect opportunity to escape the Interstate and return to the way America used to be. From his study in Tulsa, Oklahoma, author Michael Wallis recounts his memories of the old road, the people and places that are still there along both flanks of the historic highway- unique hotels and motels, historic cafes and bars, and a look at Mother Road autos.
  6. 6. Episode 6
    February 5 2007
    24min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    In episode six, author Michael Wallis relives more of his nostalgic childhood memories of the Mother Road. He explores a mining museum in Galena, Kansas, the Devil's Rope Museum in Texas, the withered up and blown away ghost town of Cuervo in Eastern New Mexico, and the hot Mojave oasis of Needles, California. Plus, we meet some unique travelers celebrating the 75 anniversary of Route 66.
  7. 7. Episode 7
    February 12 2007
    24min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    While our Interstates all seem to look and feel the same, Route 66 is always changing. In 2001, when Route 66 turned 75, author and Route 66 Road Warrior Michael Wallis traveled the Blue Highway to document the changes to Meramec Caverns, several drive-in theaters, the Totem Pole Park, the Blue Wale, Round Barn, Big 8 Motel, U Drop Inn and Pop Hicks Cafes and more.
  8. 8. Episode 8
    February 19 2007
    24min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Traveling America's Main Street, historic Route 66, has always been an adventure because nothing on the two-lane blacktop ever stays the same. As the road celebrated its 75th anniversary, Michael Wallis drove west from Amarillo to document some of those changes such as the new Big Texan Steakhouse, historic Blue Swallow Motel, low riders in New Mexico, and a gold mine in Arizona.
  9. 9. Episode 9
    February 26 2007
    24min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    For some Route 66 is a road of motion and flight. It's living art. It's the ultimate travel experience. But the highway would be nothing if it wasn't for the cars, busses, trucks, and bikes that use its two-lane blacktop. In this episode, Michael Wallis salutes all those magnificent vehicles that have cruised the historic highway over the years, and the unique people who have driven them.
  10. 10. Episode 10
    March 5 2007
    24min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    To understand why so many people are eager to exit the dreaded super-slab and slide onto blue highways, it helps to meet some of them. In this episode Michael Wallis introduces us to a classic Packard collector, two Grapes of Wrath actors, a couple of Mother Road musicians, and many, many more.
  11. 11. Episode 11
    March 12 2007
    24min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Historian Michael Wallis continues his search for the most interesting people who inhabit the world's best-known blue highway, Route 66, the cars they drive and the unique places they go. In this episode; a sample of Tin Can Tourists, a man who brings broken trailers back to life, a '66' themed casino, neon that speaks, a green Packard, red Thunderbird, a trip to the cotton fields and more.
  12. 12. Episode 12
    March 19 2007
    24min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    In this final episode of the series road warrior Michael Wallis introduces us to Bob Moore, who's tying the famous Route 66 together by radio, Pop's gas station, a '66' post card collector, Dean Walker and his Spook Light, the Lincoln Museum, custom cars by Bozo, and much, much more.

More details

Directors
Christopher Lewis
Producers
The Entertainment Group
Season year
2007
Network
Janson Media
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

10 global ratings

  1. 44% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 21% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 26% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 0% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 9% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Charles CastelReviewed in the United States on August 21, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Warm and nostalgic at expense of historical substance
This is a light and enjoyable look at Route 66. The series includes 12 episodes, 4 of which filmed in the early 90s, another 4 in 2002, at the time of the 75th anniversary of the Mother road, and another 4 in about 2007 around the time of the 80th anniversary. I get the sense this show was made to be broadcast as a syndicated show on TV stations along Route 66 and whatever additional markets would be interested in showing this. NO doubt there are DVDs of this show for sale at the myriad Route 66 museums along the road. According to the end credits the show was produced in cooperation with the historic route 66 historical societies of each of the 8 states the highway traversed.

As a result, this is a very homey and nostalgic series. What I enjoyed most were the trips across Route 66 in the early 90s and early 00s and seeing how the road and various towns, businesses and tourist attractions had changed over that timespan. Some of the characters profiled were interesting though I didn’t find all of them of interest, but such is life.

Episode 10 is my favorite episode because it touched on the darker side of Route 66—the accidents caused by uneven grade, the Dust Bowl families using the road to get to the so called promised land of California during the Depression, the checkpoints California set up at the border ostensibly for Agricultural inspection, but really to discourage the “Okies” and “Arkies” from entering the state. I wished there had been more history and less nostalgia in this series. It would have made for a more substantive viewing experience for me. Among topics I would like to have seen explored:

1-What was traveling Route 66 in its hey day like for African Americans? Did certain businesses we see in the series not serve African Americans prior to the end of Jim Crow? Were any of the towns on the route “Sundown towns”, that is, towns where Blacks were expected to clear out by sunset?
2-How did the highway vary in its design/engineering? Were there divided 4 lane stretches? If so, in what areas? I would like to have heard more about how rough Route 66 was in New Mexico and Arizona before certain stretches finally received pavement.
3-The series mentions when the final stretch of interstate replaced 66 in Williams Arizona, but how long did it take for 66 to be replaced by interstate? What state was first to do so? I remember in 1975 my dad driving me and my sister down to Kansas on I-55 in Illinois and certain parts of 55 gave way to 66 which was much different in feel than I-55. It would have been interesting to hear from those who traveled on these hybrid 66/interstates and their feelings as the old Mother Road was slowly being replaced.
4-Finally the series emphasizes how nostalgic Route 66 makes its travelers feel and the interstates are constantly derided as Concrete slabs. Fair enough. But it seems many drivers abandoned 66 for the interstates. What are the conditions that led to this? Maybe most drivers didn’t really care for 66 and preferred the speed and convenience of the interstate?

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the series for what it is: a warm nostalgic and folksy meditation on Route 66 and how it represents the best of Americana. I certainly now want to get out to Oklahoma City, rent a car and drive west and see the sights Route 66 has to offer in the Great plains and high dessert. Hopefully someone someday will either write a book or film a documentary about the full history of Route 66 rather than evoke the nostalgia of the Mother Road. If someone reading this user review knows of one, feel free to tell me in a comment/reply to this review.
4 people found this helpful
L. C. LewisReviewed in the United States on June 14, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fun on Route 66 - hosted by renowned author and Route 66 expert, Michael Wallis!
Famous Route 66 author Michael Wallis hosts and narrates this series, it highlights many of the attractions on the old highway. We watched the series to prep for a road trip vacation on Route 66, knowing the history of towns & attractions made our vacation a lot more fun for the kids and for us! If you love Americana, history, travel, kitsch, nostalgia & Route 66, don't miss these programs.
5 people found this helpful
MidgeReviewed in the United States on September 24, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
This show made me happy!
In just 4 episodes, this show will make you want to travel Rt 66, the Mother Road. Soon to be a cult classic, Cruising Route 66 will forever change your views of American road travel. route 66 is a Phoenix that is about to rise from the ash.
Steve DReviewed in the United States on August 14, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Boring!
Not very well done. I turned it off after a few minutes. If I heard him say "mother road" again I was going to get the TV brick out. There are better done accounts than this....just about any.
2 people found this helpful
JC HobbesReviewed in the United States on August 19, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Aweome scenery!
While release date says 2006, actual filming occurred in early or mid 80's through early 90's. This is most obvious by the vehicles. The studio footage was recorded much later, as evidenced by Michaels graying mustache and hair :) Really enjoyed this series.
One person found this helpful
Mom2ScottReviewed in the United States on January 31, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great info!
Watched the whole season and loved it, very informative!
3 people found this helpful
TaffyReviewed in the United States on November 23, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very informative and entertaining
My boy and I watched the whole season and loved it! We may end up moving to Albuquerque, NM just to live on route 66
One person found this helpful
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