Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas
One of Amarillo, Texas' more popular attractions is Cadillac Ranch, where ten vintage Cadillacs were buried with their tail fins in the air by Stanly Marsh III. -(error on the name, it should be Stanley)
Photo: John Elk III
postmarked in 2010 with a 28 cent stamp
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The Cadillac Ranch, located along the tatters of historic Route 66, was built in 1974, funded by Stanley Marsh 3, the helium millionaire who owns the dusty wheat field where it stands. Marsh had The Ant Farm, a San Francisco art collective, design a configuration of used Cadillacs representing the "Golden Age" of American Automobiles (1949 through 1963). The ten graffiti-covered cars are half-buried, nose-down, facing west "at the same angle as the Cheops' pyramids."
It is visible from the highway, and though it is located on private land, visiting it (by driving along a frontage road and entering the pasture by walking through an unlocked gate) is encouraged. In addition, writing graffiti on or otherwise spray-painting the vehicles is also encouraged, and the vehicles, which have long since lost their original colors, are wildly decorated. The cars are periodically repainted various colors (once white for the filming of a television commercial, another time pink in honor of Stanley's wife Wendy's birthday , and yet another time all 10 cars were painted flat black to mark the passing of Ant Farm artist Doug Michels or simply to provide a fresh canvas for future visitors. The cars were briefly "restored" to their original colors by the motel chain Hampton Inn in a public relation sponsored series of Route 66 landmark restoration projects. The new paint jobs and even the plaque commemorating the project lasted less than 24 hours without fresh graffiti.