Nearly eight decades ago, the U-Drop Inn opened as an oasis of sorts on the then busy Route 66 highway in the Texas panhandle. Located in the tiny town of Shamrock near the Oklahoma-Texas border, the U-Drop Inn opened for business on April 1, 1936 and was the only cafe within one hundred miles of Shamrock.
Original owner and operator John Nunn created the design for the establishment, literally scratching it out in the dirt of a nearby motel parking area. Texas architect J. C. Berry drew up the plans on real paper. Seventy years later, Pixar artists would translate the art deco-inspired design into Ramone’s Body Shop in the 2006 feature film Cars.
After decades of decline, the U-Drop Inn was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997, and a restoration was completed in 2003. It currently serves as a museum, visitors center, gift shop and headquarters of the local chamber of commerce.