There is photographic evidence supporting the idea that townsfolk perhaps didn't expect the ultimate result of the construction of I-40:
But despite the tough times Radiator Springs and its residents have been through, evidence was everywhere of a possible turnaround.
The primary evidence of a turnaround in Radiator Springs was the fact that nearly all of the old neon signs were in perfect condition. Like glittering jewels in the Arizona desert:
Plan your own visit, or read about a similar town. Also, there is this really cool Route 66 guide to the “Cars” movie someone put together.