My 2016 Mid-West Trip~Part 6

10 Aug

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

Day 6 (Thursday)


I was surprised when leaving Oklahoma City, on I-70, to discover that it was a Toll Road. As it turned out, by the time I got to Kansas City it had cost me eight dollars in tolls. On the way I stopped in Tulsa, OK to check out the Tulsa Air & Space Museum located adjacent to the Tulsa International Airport. This was a small museum with only about six nicely restored airplanes.


However, they did have a very unusual Spartan 12W as part of their collection. The Spartan 12W is an upgraded, tricycle gear variant of the Spartan Executive aircraft. I’m going to see if I can talk to my friend Terry (the airplane buff) to see if he has ever heard of, or seen, a tricycle geared Spartan 12W aircraft.


Just as I was about to cross the border out of Oklahoma I stopped in the small town of Afton, OK to visit in the Afton Station Route 66 Packard Museum. As part of the museum’s name implies, their claim to fame is a nice collection of beautifully restored Packard automobiles, dating from the 1920s through the 1960s. So, it surprised me to see a 1990 Maserati TC sitting off by itself in a side room.


The museum is located on the old Route 66 Highway and they have every conceivable Route 66 type of memorabilia for sale in their gift shop. It brought back lots of memories from my childhood, when I was raised in Albuquerque, NM with the two-lane Route 66 as our main street (Central Avenue) through town.



Just down the road a few miles was the National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame. I was amazed at the display of some 50 one-of-a-kind custom cars in this collection. I discovered that most all of them were designed and built by Darrell Starboard, who is a famous car show participant with his magnificent original designs.

There is no way to describe the beautiful workmanship of these cars. I would have to compare Darrell Starboard with Bert Rattan, as far as forward-looking design concepts are concerned, in their respective fields.


By the time I arrived at the TWA Museum located at the Kansas City International Airport they were closed. When I googled that museum I discovered that it was mostly memorabilia items recording the history of TWA’s hub, at what is now the Kansas City International Airport, from the 1920s to the 1990s.


On the other side of the airport was the National Airline History Museum which was also closed. This is one museum that I was really sorry to miss visiting as I am interested in the history of all the different U.S. airlines. It appears that this museum and the TWA Museum are closely linked, as both display mostly aircraft used by TWA over the years. This is not hard to understand since what is now the Kansas City International Airport was the TWA hub for so many years. The museum’s website indicates it has set an ambitious goal for itself, with the restoration of several large projects. A 1934 Northrop Delta 1D, one of America’s first single engine commercial transport airplanes.   A Lockheed Constellation, known worldwide as one of the first international piston-engine passenger aircraft. A Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, one of America’s premium international jet airliners, and a Douglas DC-8 jet transport just to name a few. Any one of these projects would be a challenge for any museum to take on.


The last museum on my list today was the Kansas City Automotive Museum located southwest of the city, just off I-35, between Lenexa and Olathe, KS. The museum was closed, but I was able to look through the windows to discover that this was a small museum consisting of 12 nicely restored cars dating from the 1950s and 1960s. There are just not enough hours in the day for me to see everything I want to see along the road I am traveling.


I had a quick and easy dinner at Taco Bell tonight. Three Crunchy Beef Taco Supremes with lots of Verde Salsa to spice things up. Then it was back to the motel for some TV and a good night’s rest.




—–To Be Continued—–

One Response to “My 2016 Mid-West Trip~Part 6”

  1. Onisha Ellis August 11, 2016 at 10:48 am #

    It seems that Greta was good to you on this leg of the trip!!


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