San Bernardino Celebrates a "66-Diamond Day" with Auto Club

Masinter, Miss 66, Brackney

(SAN BERNARDINO, June 7, 2005) — The Automobile Club of Southern California today honored the city of San Bernardino's devotion to preserving the history of Route 66 by presenting Mayor Judith Valles with commemorative replica signs similar to those that once pointed the way

Masinter, Miss 66, Brackney
Todd Masinter, "Miss Route 66" (Amanda Cothran of Fontana) and Dave Brackney.
along the "Mother Road."

At a ceremony in Court Street Square in front of the Route 66 mural, the Auto Club and Mayor Valles unveiled the signs and the Auto Club declared Tuesday a "66-Diamond Day" in San Bernardino.

One sign points the way to Barstow and Santa Monica along the route, and the other is a replica of the National Old Trails Road identification signs that were originally posted along the road by the Auto Club in 1914, 13 years before the federal government took it over and renamed it U.S. Route 66.

"For early travelers, these signs not only pointed travelers in the right direction, they also came to represent a recommendation that the road ahead was well maintained," said Yvonne Beeman, manager of the Auto Club's San Bernardino office. "It was rather

Masinter and Brackney
Todd Masinter (left) and Dave Brackney finish up their Route 66 road trip at the Santa Monica Pier.
like the way AAA awards hotels and restaurants with one to five diamonds today."

To commemorate Route 66's 80th anniversary next year, the Auto Club is updating its popular Route 66 GreatestHits™ Map with new photos and information about the road's unique roadside eateries, historic motels and scenery. The team who is updating the map, writer David Bracknet and photographer Todd Masinter, arrived in San Bernardino Tuesday and were on hand for the sign ceremony. After visiting San Bernardino, they continued on the final day of their 22-day research trip by traveling the rest of Route 66 to the Santa Monica Pier.

Also on hand for the San Bernardino ceremony were officials from the San Bernardino Convention and Visitors Bureau, City Hall, "Miss Route 66" Amanda Cothran of Fontana, and representatives from several Route 66 preservations groups and museums in the Inland Empire.

The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest affiliate of the AAA, has been serving members since 1900. Today, the Auto Club's members benefit by roadside assistance, insurance products and services, travel agency, financial products, automotive pricing, buying and financing programs, automotive testing and analysis, trip planning services and highway and transportation safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on the Auto Club's Web site at