Delgadillo's Snow Cap Drive-In
Delgadillo's Snow Cap Drive-In is a historic eatery and roadside attraction located along former Route 66 in Seligman, Arizona USA. The drive-in was built in 1953 by local resident Juan Delgadillo (May 17, 1916 - June 2, 2004). Delgadillo was working on an extremely limited budget, so he built the restaurant mostly from scrap lumber obtained from the nearby Santa Fe Railroad yard.
To bring attention to the restaurant, Delgadillo sliced the roof off of a 1936 Chevrolet hardtop, adorned the automobile with paint, horns and various automotive emblems and even an artificial Christmas tree in the rear of the car.
Delgadillo's flair for showmanship extended to his menu, which still features such choices as a "cheeseburger with cheese" and "dead chicken." His sense of humor is evident in "Juan's Garden" at the rear of the property with its collection of old automobiles and kitsch in general; the humorous approach extends to the building itself. Hand-painted signs in the parking area warn drivers that they are parking at their own risk. A neon sign in the window informs patrons, "Sorry, we're open." The door which leads to the counter has two knobs, one on the right and one on the left. The knob on the right is a dummy; the one on the left actually opens the door. Delgadillo would continue his humorous approach by bantering with his patrons over their choices of food, asking, for example, if they wanted cheese on their cheeseburgers.
While researching the history of Route 66 for the 2006 Disney/Pixar motion picture Cars, John Lasseter met Delgadillo's brother, Seligman barber and Route 66 historian, Angel Delgadillo, who told him how traffic through the town virtually disappeared on the day that nearby Interstate 40 opened. Both brothers are acknowledged in the film's credits.
Since Delgadillo's death in 2004, the Snow Cap has been run by his daughter Cecilia and son John, all whom work the counter in the same playful manner. 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. On a January 11, 2012 episode of the History Channel's "American Restoration" show, Angel asked the host to restore his nephews' old Wurlitzer jukebox from the 1950s to full working order, which he did.
Old railroad block signal on display in the garden at the rear of the restaurant
"Must-see" marker placed by Hampton Hotels
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- Internet Movie Database. The Inspiration for 'Cars. (2006), with Angel Delgadillo, barber and John Lasseter, director.
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Media related to Delgadillo's Snow Cap Drive-In at Wikimedia Commons