Texas: The Cadillac Ranch...

The lore of this roadside attraction has always called to me so when we knew we were driving by it, we got off US 40 and cruised a bit on Route 66.

There have been several stories told about the Cadillac Ranch's creation but the truth was, it was always a planned artistic endeavor.

In 1973, eccentric Texas millionaire, Stanley Marsh 3, invited a San Francisco artists’ collective called the Ant Farm to help him in the creation of a unique work of art for his sprawling ranch just west of Amarillo.

The group acquired ten used Cadillac's, ranging in model years from 1948 to 1963. Built along the tattered remains of historic Route 66, the cars were meant to represent the "Golden Age” of American automobiles. Most of the cars were purchased from junk yards, and averaged about $200. The cars were then buried nose-down, facing west along the old highway. In 1974 the project was completed and in no time at all, visitors began to come from all over the world, leaving their mark on the ever-thickening graffiti covered cars.

At first, the cars displayed their original paint jobs – turquoise, banana yellow, gold, and sky blue, but barely was the monument complete, when people were scratching or painting their names in the cars. Over time, vandals and souvenir hounds smashed the windows, made off with all the chrome, radios, speakers and even some of the doors. The wheels have since been welded to the axles to prevent more theft.
While we would have loved to have seen this steel Stonehenge in its original appearance, it was a stop that made me gleeful. It was a combination of things I love: classic cars, open fields, photo ops and a story to be shared.

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Nickanddeb Bako said...

Love it! Super cool place.

For Travel's Sake said...

What a bummer that people have defaced it. Lame. I like the original pictures better! But, regardless, still a cool place to visit!

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