Delgadillo's Snow Cap Drive-In

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2009 view of Delgadillo's Snow Cap Drive-In
Juan Delgadillo's 1936 Chevrolet, on permanent display in front of the restaurant

Delgadillo's Snow Cap Drive-In is a historic small restaurant and roadside attraction along a part of what used to be Route 66 in Seligman, Arizona USA.[1] The drive-in was built in 1953 by a man who lived in the town, Juan Delgadillo (May 17, 1916 - June 2, 2004). Delgadillo had very little money, so he built the restaurant mostly from scrap lumber he found at the nearby Santa Fe Railroad yard.[2]

Delgadillo thought of a fun way to bring attention to his new restaurant. He cut the roof off of a 1936 Chevrolet, put paint, horns and emblems from other cars all over it and placed an artificial Christmas tree in the rear of the car.[3]

Delgadillo's had a sense of humor which could be seen both on his car and on his menu. That menu still has such choices as a "cheeseburger with cheese" and "dead chicken." "Juan's Garden" at the rear of the restaurant is just as funny. That is the place Mr. Delgadillo kept his collection of old cars and other strange things. Even the building itself has strange and funny things written on it.[4] Hand-painted signs in the parking area warn drivers that they are "parking at their own risk." A neon sign in the window tells people, "Sorry, we're open." The door which leads inside has two knobs, one on the right and one on the left. The knob on the right is fake; the one on the left opens the door.[5] Delgadillo would have fun with his customers by asking, for example, if they wanted cheese on their cheeseburgers.[6]

While learning about the history of Route 66 for the 2006 Disney/Pixar motion picture Cars, John Lasseter met Delgadillo's brother, Seligman barber and Route 66 expert, Angel Delgadillo, who told him how traffic through the town almost completely went away on the day that nearby Interstate 40 opened.[7]

Since Delgadillo's death in 2004, the Snow Cap has been run by his sons John-Michael and Robert. They both work the counter and play with the customers like their father did. The walls around the counter area itself are covered with business cards from all over the world.

Author Michael Wallis covers the history of the Snow Cap in his book, Route 66: The Mother Road.[8]

Gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Lukas, Paul (April 1, 2001). "Kings Of The Road Four Great Summer Road Trips". CNN Money. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/moneymag_archive/2001/04/01/299331/index.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  2. Naylor, Roger (May 1, 2009). "Seligman still getting kicks from Route 66". AZCentral.com. http://www.azcentral.com/travel/arizona/northwest/articles/2009/05/01/20090501seligman0503.html. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  3. Slater, Shirley (November 8, 1992). "RV rookies hit bumps in discovery of America". Chicago Sun-Times. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=CSTB&p_theme=cstb&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB373DF883B7407&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  4. "Seligman, Ariz.: A historic stop on The Mother Road". Farmington Daily Times. April 12, 2008. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=FDTB&s_site=daily-times&f_site=daily-times&f_sitename=Daily+Times%2C+The+(Farmington%2C+NM)&p_multi=FDTB&p_theme=gannett&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=12007E9649CD5A88&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  5. "Disney's Cars inspires ultimate Route 66 holiday". Travelbite UK. August 3, 2006. http://www.travelbite.co.uk/news/north-america/united-states/disneys-cars-inspires-ultimate-route-66-holiday-$446630.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  6. "Goodbye, Juan...". Travel Southwest. http://www.travelsw.com/southwest-trips/southwest-trips-arizona/juandelgadillogone.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  7. Internet Movie Database. The Inspiration for 'Cars. (2006), with Angel Delgadillo, barber and John Lasseter, director.
  8. Wallis, Michael (September 15, 1992). Route 66: The Mother Road. St. Martin's Griffin. pp. 199. ISBN 0312082851. http://books.google.com/books?id=EdKm3l7dVLMC&pg=PA199&dq=snow+cap+drive-in,+michael+wallis&ei=CBFlSuDwII32kAS2zZ3BDw.