Legends of America

Follow the links to the various pages of Legends of America

The Old West Legends of America Outhouse Madness Ghostly Legends Outlaws Old West Saloons Rocky Mountain General Store Legends Photo Store The Book Store Make your travel reservations here! Route 66 Native Americans The Old States - Back East

Legends of America    |    Legends General Store    |    Legends Photo Shop

 

Legends Of America's Facebook PageLegends Of America's Twitter PageLegends on Pinterest

Legends Home

Site Map

What's New!!

 

Content Categories:

American History

Destinations-States

Ghost Stories

Ghost Towns

Historic People

Legends & Myths

Native Americans

Old West

Photo Galleries

Route 66

Travel Center

Treasure Tales

 

   Search Our Sites

Custom Search

Google

 

About Us

Advertising

Article/Photo Use

Copyright Information

Blog

Facebook Page

Guestbook

Links

Newsletter

Privacy Policy

Site Map

Writing Credits

 

We welcome corrections

and feedback!

Contact Us

 

Legends' General Store


Old West/Western

Route 66

Native American

Featured Items

Sale Items

Books/Magazines

CD's - DVD's

Nuwati Herbals

Personalized-Engraved
Postcards

Wall Art

Custom Products

and Much More!

 

  Legends Of America's Rocky Mountain General Store - Cart View

 

Legends' Photo Prints

Legends Photo Prints and Downloads
 

Ghost Town Prints

Native American Prints

Old West Prints

Route 66 Prints

States, Cities & Places

Nostalgic Prints

Photo Art Prints

Jim Hinckley's America

David Fisk (Lens of Fisk)

Specials-Gift Ideas

and Much More!!
 

Legends Of America's Photo Print Shop - Cart View

 

Family Friendly Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas State Flag - Lone Star Legends Icon

TEXAS LEGENDS

Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo

Jazz up your saloon!

  Bookmark and Share

 

Cadillac Ranch Amarillo, Texas

The Cadillac Ranch, copyright by Rik Gruwez, Ant Farm's Cadillac Ranch

 

 

Several myths have been perpetuated about the origin of the Cadillac Ranch, the most popular of which is the one I heard growing up in the Texas Panhandle. As the story went, an eccentric Amarillo, Texas millionaire would buy one Cadillac after another and when it was time to buy a new one, he would have the old one buried nose first on his land. However, the truth is, the Cadillac Ranch was a planned artistic endeavor.

 

Yes, Texas millionaire Stanley Marsh, 3 is eccentric. He is also said to be very down to earth, quickly disregarding the "III” as too pretentious and using "3" instead. In 1973, Marsh 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 set about acquiring ten used Cadillacs, 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. Those that could run, were driven into the half-burial holes, the rest were hoisted in. 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. However, Marsh still says "We think it looks better every year.”

 

In 1997, the Cadillac Ranch was exhumed and replanted about two miles to the west, in order to escape the encroaching city of Amarillo. Under Marsh’s orders, even the old site’s trash and clutter was gathered from the old location and spread around the new location. Otherwise the monument remains the same (and, ever changing) since it was erected.

 

Marsh encourages visitors to visit the Cadillac Ranch and seemingly doesn’t mind the constant graffiti added to the cars.

 

However, Marsh has many other "artistic endeavors" in the Amarillo, one of which is the placement of eccentric and odd "road signs" placed all over the city. As to these colorful signs, he does mind if they are mutilated or stolen. (You can read more about Marsh's Road Signs by clicking HERE!)

True Texan in form, Marsh has had more than a few run-ins with the law over his brand of enforcement. At one point, it was said that he penned an 18-year old boy with a hammer inside his chicken coop, when the boy was caught red-handed with one of his signs.

Throughout the years, the Cadillac Ranch has been repainted many times. In May, 2002, the cars were restored to their original colors. In June, 2003 the cars were again painted, this time in flat black, in response to the passing of the founding member of the Ant Farm.

Some people today may think the burial of these now much sought after collector’s items is a sacrilege. But in 1974, these cars were not popular and most of them were bought from junk yards at an average price of just $200.00. Had they not been used for the ranch "sculpture,” they would have wound up in the metal crusher.

This monument was built as a public sculpture and visitors are encouraged to participate in it. So, it’s ok if you take your can of Krylon with you, leaving your name or an inspiring message, which will, no doubt, be erased by another message soon. Photographs may be taken at the site, however, any commercial exploitation in advertising or product promotion is expressly prohibited without written permission from the artists. The Cadillac Ranch has appeared on numerous TV shows, magazines, and newspaper accounts.

 

The Cadillac Ranch is located west of Amarillo on old Route 66, south of I-40 between exits 60 and 62.

 

 

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated August, 2011.

 

 

 

 

Stanley Marsh at the Cadillac Ranch

Stanley Marsh on the Cadillac Ranch in

1981, copyright by Rik Gruwez, Ant Farm's Cadillac Ranch

 

 

 

 

Cadillac Ranch

Graffiti covered Cadillac Ranch, May, 2004,

Kathy Weiser

 

Cadillac Ranch Amarillo Texas

Cadillac Ranch David Alexander, May, 2004

This image available for photographic prints HERE!

 

Also See:

 

Amarillo, Texas - Panhandle Cowtown

The Haunted Natatorium

Quirky Amarillo, Texas

 

 

 

 

 

Cadillac Ranch Amarillo Texas

Cadillac Ranch at sundown, Kathy Weiser, May, 2004

 

  Return to Route 66 

 

To Bushland

 

Return to Route 66

 

To Quirky Amarillo

 

From Legends' General Store

Mother Road EmporiumRoute 66 - ah, what great memories she brings. At the Legends' General Store, you will find all kinds of memorabilia to bring you more!  Our Mother Road Emporium  has added dozens of Route 66 Postcards, Books, Historic Signs, photographic prints and more.

 

66 Exclusive 66

Photographic Prints

Route 66 Book Shelf

Signs of Route 66

Signs of Route 66

Postcards of the Road

Route 66 custom design

Custom Route 66 T-Shirts

 

                                                            Copyright © 2003-Present, www.Legends of America.com