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Route 66 Mobile Tour

Beard Motor Company

210 East 9th, Bristow




The Beard Motor Company opened in Bristow in 1947. The company sold automobiles and gasoline and provided repair services for local customers and those traveling Route 66. When the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads in November 1926 designated a national highway system, the network used existing roadways instead of planning new highways where none had existed. A large section of Route 66 through Oklahoma utilized the Ozark Trail system, including that which ran through Bristow's business district. Bristow's Main Street became part of "The Main Street of America." Capturing the spirit of the post-World War II era, the Beard Motor Company was designed in the Art Moderne style emphasized by curved corners and blue tile enhancements to provide linear detail against light brick. The primary roof is flat, and the service area roof is arched. The sliding doors gave this section the appearance of an aircraft hangar. Visible from Route 66 two blocks away and separate from the building is the signature 75 foot tower featuring the words CHRYSLER and PLYMOUTH. The tower reflects the association with the oil industry and utilizes some of the same design principles for drilling rigs that replaced earlier oil field technologies in the post-World War II period.