Roys Motel and Cafe, Route 66, Amboy California

oil painting of Roy's Motel and Cafe sign in the middle of the Mohave Desert

Roys Motel and Cafe, Route 66, Amboy California

Roy’s Motel and Cafe on Route 66 is a classic legend you’ll find all along the road. Founded in 1938 by Roy Crowl it was originally a gas station constructed along the “Main Street of America”, the main east-west highway crossing the nation from Chicago to Los Angeles. In the 1940’s they expanded to include a service garage and an “auto court” for weary travelers crossing the Mohave Desert.

After WWII during the 1950’s, the American public discovered the joys of traveling the open road and their business grew to encompass and entire town of 700 people. But the icing on the cake for the business was the creation in 1959 of their huge boomerang sign which beckoned travelers from miles away.

Sadly in 1972 interstate 40 bypassed this entire section of Route 66, which is the part of the tale that is all too familiar to anyone who loves Route 66. Roy’s business nearly dropped to zero. The whole establishment faded into obscurity for many years until Timothy White purchased the entire town in 1995. They maintained a skeleton operation selling gas and souvenirs but sadly went into foreclosure in 2005.

At the moment, a man named Albert Okura is in the process of restoring the entire operation to its former glory as a “nostalgic tourist” destination and we applaud his efforts.

I’ve had the honor of visiting Roy’s twice. And ever since I’ve wanted to paint this wonderful sign. I knew the scale had to be large, so I chose a big horizontal canvas to help convey the vastness of the California desert where this little slice of Route 66 heaven lives.

I hope you enjoy it!

oil painting of Roy's Motel and Cafe sign in the middle of the Mohave Desert

Roy’s Motel and Cafe, oil on canvas, 76″x40″

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