a walkabout with jim hinckley



About Jim Hinckley

Route 66 figures prominently in Jim’s association with Kingman, his adopted hometown. His family made a trip west from Virginia in 1959, and followed Route 66 from St. Louis to Arizona. In 1966 they relocated from Michigan to Kingman, following Route 66 from Illinois.

His father built a house along Oatman road, the pre 1952 alignment of Route 66. It was on that old highway that he learned to ride a bicycle and to drive a truck. His first job was working for Ed Edgerton at Ed’s Camp that had been established in the 1920s. And the first ranches that he worked on were headquartered in Truxton Canyon, Hackberry, and Valentine, Arizona.

His wife Judy, lovingly referred to as his dearest friend, has a Route 66 connection dating to the 1940s. In the mid 1940s her great grandfather relocated from Tombstone and established Hood’s Court and Hood’s Market at what is now the intersection of Andy Devine Avenue and Hualapai Mountain Road.

Building on the work of Route 66 renaissance pioneers such as Michael Wallace, Jerry McClanahan, and Jim Ross, Jim began writing feature articles and books about Route 66. He blended this history with stories about the infancy of the American auto industry, road trips, and Kingman. With his wife, Judy, they established Jim Hinckley’s America as a multifaceted network to “tell people where to go and to share America’s story.”

With these projects as a foundation they developed cooperative partnerships within the international Route 66 community to ensure that the highway remained relevant into the centennial and beyond.These partnerships have been used to transform Kingman into a destination for Route 66 enthusiasts.

Jim is a founding member of the Route 66 Association of Kingman Arizona. He has served as the chairman of the annual Route 66 Arizona Association Route 66 Fun Run committee, and assisted with development of the 2014 international Route 66 festival, the 2016 and 2018 European Route 66 festivals and the first Miles of Possibility Conference. In Kingman, Jim served on the city’s economic development committee as well as the historic preservation committee. He currently serves on the economic development advisory committee for the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership and the Route 66 centennial committee in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Jim’s presentations about Route 66, road trips and American history have been made at events throughout the United States as well as in Europe. He also developed a series of community education programs about Route 66 and related tourism, the economic impact on communities and how to utilize Route 66 tourism as a catalyst for historic district revitalization.


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