SEDILLO, N.M. (KRQE) – Route 66 is traveled by many, as one of the first highways in the United States.
“This is a main thoroughfare for visitors in New Mexico,” said Roger Holden.
Roger Holden is the President of Relive the Route, also known as Retro 66. It’s a group of volunteers with a mission to revitalize the historic road, an idea conceived by Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort.
“We wanted to do some economic development in the East Mountains and how can we best do that, then capture the essence and the history or Route 66,” said Holden.
Just like National Geographic did with the musical highway just outside Tijeras, that sings America the Beautiful as cars drive over it. It’s drawn a lot of traffic, and now the Retro 66 crew has another idea to bring in travelers.
“We’re putting a wall up here of license plates, in the background will be the yellow New Mexico license plates, 960 of them,” said Holden.
Sixty-six of the plates will be turquoise, outlining the route in New Mexico. The other plates were donated by the New Mexico Department of Motor Vehicles.
The wall will stand on a historic property along the route, what was once a gas station built in the 40’s, lived on by a man named Bob Audette.
“Bob Audette is known as the guardian of the route,” said Holden.
And that’s exactly why the Retro 66 volunteers will construct the license plate wall where Audette once lived. He died in 2012, and the wall will be made in his honor.
“The New Mexico State license plate, if you look at it, there’s one that says 66 on it… that was his design,” said Holden.
In the future, the group plans on building a drive-in movie theater on the land, refurbish the old gas station into a museum, and bring back some of the original gas pumps.
“To make this an attraction… a place to stop, a place to enjoy Route 66,” said Holden.