Thursday, November 02, 2006

Cadillac Ranch

Some 32 years ago a group of artists decided to make a statement about class and status in America. They targeted the Cadillac, then the vaunted symbol of American prosperity. They scraped together enough money to buy ten Cadillacs from local dealers and private owners (average cost per car: about $200 – one owner who would not accept less than $700 for his pride and joy watched in horror as the new owners beat the front end of his former ride with sledgehammers in his driveway). A helium magnate in Amarillo, Texas donated some land along old Route 66 for the boys to bury the Caddies, front end first, in a line facing west. The Cadillac Ranch was born.

The Cadillac Ranch inspired other artists to make their own statements using cars, including Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska and The Spindle in Berwyn, Illinois.

Visitors are welcome to make their own statement via the old cars. Spray painting the cars is encouraged and a dumpster near the gated entrance to the field (itself a nice piece of spray painted art) was loaded with spent aerosol cans on the day of my visit.

The particular car above is a 1958 Sedan. It came equipped with some hot technology for its time: cruise control, two-speaker radio with signal-seeking, and an automatic parking brake release. None of it worked at the time of its burial.

Click on pictures to enlarge. Photographs © 2006 James Jordan.

1 comment:

Philip said...

Nice shots. Here's one I took earlier this year on a visit to Amarillo.