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Route 66 Street Scenes: Tulsa, Oklahoma and Springfield, Missouri

Today’s Route 66 feature images give a glimpse of travel during the mid-1920s and the late-1940s in cities on the Roadway that begins in Chicago and ends in Los Angeles during before the Interstate Highways where constructed. The lead image and the expandable sections of it (below) show a view of traffic on Southwest Boulevard and Route 66 in the Red Fork neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  • This photograph is a view of Route 66 taken in the mid-1920s in the center of Springfield, Missouri.

Share with us what you find of interest in this set of images courtesy of Route 66 Historian Joe Sonderman. View more postcard images in his collection at the Route 66 Archive.

Many other Route 66 photos can be seen in earlier posts here on The Old Motor.


25 responses to “Route 66 Street Scenes: Tulsa, Oklahoma and Springfield, Missouri

  1. In the lead photograph, parked on the far right, looks like a 1948 DODGE Business Coupé, with plenty in the trunk.

  2. In the lead picture, parked in the lower left corner, is a 1947 or ’48 CHEVROLET Fleetline Sportmaster and just behind it may be a similar ’47 or ’48 CHEVROLET but a Fleetline Aerosedan

  3. In Item 1 of 5, I see a ’48 Chevy Sport Sedan up front with possibly a ’42 behind it (less wraparound bumper) and a ’47 or ’48 Ford coming up the street.

    In Item 2 of 5, a ’46-’48 Dodge Business Coupe behind a possible ’39 Ford 5-window coupe with a ’40 Chevy Town Sedan up front

  4. In the 40’s image, I see a rather rare `42 Dodge 3-pass. business coupe parked on the right. Is that an early post-WWII Pontiac sedan parked on the left in the foreground?

    • We agree with you that the two cars on left are Pontiacs, maybe 1948. We have a 48 Aero Sedan and the moldings and bumpers are different.

    • Will,

      Good catch with the Post-WW2 PONTIAC in the lower left corner of the lead picture. Looks like a Torpedo model.

      Above I misidentified the car as a CHEVROLET Fleetline Sportmaster.


  5. In the Route 66 street scenes: I see a1940 Chevy 2door sedan with over ride bumper guards and a fog light .Behind it a 1942-46 Ford 1 ton panel truck .To its right I see a 1939 Ford coupe.

  6. That looks like the 4000 block of Southwest Blvd. in Tulsa. The building(s) along the right-hand side of the photo are still there, and are occupied by the the Tulsa Stove Hospital and Red Fork Art Gallery and Studio. The Tulsa Stove Hospital has been around since 1921.

  7. During the early/mid sixties I was stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. Several of us were taking classes at Drury College in Springfield, Mo. The Army provided us with a car, and three nights a week it was west on 66. My fondest memory is of stopping at Diamonds Restaurant in Villa Ridge, Mo. on the way back to post from Springfield. The ambiance was right out of a Mitchum film noir…especially in the rain. Life was grand.

  8. Can you imagine driving Route 66 to California and slowing down for every single small town or city you passed through? I’m glad I live in the Interstate era.

    • I can attest to the pre-freeway traffic as I grew up in Banning, CA. Ramsey St. was our main drag and it was bumper to bumper, 15 (or less) mph for 5 or 6 hours each Sunday from westbound, Cabazon to Redlands about 20 miles.

  9. In the 1st two pics, the truck parked on the left is a ’46-7 Ford F6 with some kind of towing rig, and the bus coming at us in 4 and 5, I believe, is a Twin Coach.

  10. The Springfield photo was taken from the public square looking east on St. Louis St. On the left side of the street is the Gillioz Theatre, still operating and a magnificent building. On the right side of the street can be seen Hoover Music Company. Hoover is still in business but has moved one block east and two blocks south.

  11. In the late summer of 1965, I drove my AC Bristol from Los Angeles to Fort Devens Massachusetts, a trip that would end in Vietnam.
    Much of the trip sort of followed Route 66 and just before Springfield, Missouri a steadily worsening scraping sound came from my right front wheel. It turned out to be a cracked spindle that was slowly bending and letting the brake drum hit the backing plate.
    I limped into Springfield on a Saturday and was helped by the nicest cops ever to the parking lot of a ancient machine shop. By Monday morning I had the spindle off and met the machinists. They welded it up, turned it to my English bearings and I was on my way Tuesday morning, What a wonderful town !
    That repair, plus a rear axle fix in Ayer, MA, made it back to LA in three days over July 4th, 1966.

  12. I disagree with Richard. For years I have felt that there would be value in resurrecting Route 66 as a tourist route only. Follow the original route as closely as possible with a two lane paralleling interstates when necessary. It would allow no commercial traffic of any kind, only passenger cars,motor homes, and other tourist traffic. I’d love to drive the whole length without a semi up my tailpipe.

  13. 2nd photo in front of Macs Place there is a 39 Ford coupe, possibly a 40 standard. No chevron tail lights on it.

  14. Although these photos are of traffic passing through towns, I imagine that post WWII there was heavy traffic all the length of US 66. A few years back ,my Wife and I drove from Flagstaff to Mojave Ca. on 66. My Wife remarked on how lonely the road was. I told her that in it’s heyday there was constant truck and passenger car traffic. imagine all the flat tires, breakdowns, and collisions that must have snarled up traffic for hours!

  15. Is that a Hudson convertible ad I see on a billboard in the 1st pic just above and right of the Safeway sign? Very cool.

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