Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, TX

Baji J. Ram Rao
08:46 Sun. 05-Oct-2013

The Cadillac Ranch is a privately owned, public art display in the barren expanse, 13 km (8.1 miles) west of Amarillo, Texas, USA.
Essentially it is a row of ten, Cadillac automobiles, from model year 1949 to model year 1963, buried nose-down in the soil, standing in a cow pasture along Interstate freeway 40, west of Amarillo, Texas.

Created in the summer of 1974 by a group of San Francisco art-hippies: Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels -- part of an art group called “The Ant Farm”.

Bruce Springsteen the US heartland rock singer-songwriter and musician, sang a song called Cadillac Ranch in his 1980 album, The River.

...hey little girlie in the blue jeans so tight,
Drivin’ alone through the Wisconsin night,
You're my last love, baby you’re my last chance,
Don't let ’em take me to the Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac, Cadillac, ...
Long and dark, shiny and black,
Pulled up to my house today,
Came and took my little girl away...
~Bruce Springsteen



The Cadillac automobiles half-buried, were not all junk. At least some were perfectly running used cars.
They represented a number of evolutions of Cadillac from 1949 to 1963 (most notably the birth and death of tailfins).

  1. 1949 Club Coupe (aka Sedanette)
  2. 1950 Series 62 Sedan
  3. 1954 Coupe de Ville
  4. 1956 Series 62 Sedan
  5. 1957 Sedan
  6. 1958 Sedan
  7. 1959 Coupe
  8. 1960 Four door “four window” hardtop Sedan de Ville (flat top)
  9. 1962 Four Window Sedan
  10. 1963 Sedan de Ville
Cadillac Ranch
The cars are half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt

Now the windblown Amarillo flatland has been witness to these ten luxury cars, rusting away, the tires have rotted away.

Cadillac

Back in 1974, Cadillac was “the car”. The car to hit the endless highway and freedom. With tailfins and whitewall tires and skirted rear wheels. Get a sweet girlfriend beside you, make a pile of money in the casinos of Las Vegas, with the dream of becoming a matinee idol. When gasoline was cheap and driving a gas-guzzler evoked no guilt.
Today, Cadillacs stand for old people and luxury.

Cadillacs depreciated so badly that anybody could have one that was four or five years old.
The rich had to keep buying new ones to outdo the fine cars even their servants had.

Present status 2013

Cadillac Ranch is visible from the highway.
It is located on private land, but visitors are welcome to visit by driving along a frontage road and entering the pasture by walking through an unlocked gate. Nobody minds visitors, writing graffiti on or otherwise spray-painting the vehicles.

However a notice posted by the State of Texas, clarifies, “State of Texas Property. Graffiti painting of anything on this (freeway) side of fence is illegal!”

Graffiti Painted Cadillacs
The cars have long since lost their original colors, and are now wildly decorated.

Cadillac Ranch
In 2012, six Cadillacs were painted rainbow colors to commemorate gay pride day.

They were briefly “restored” to their original colors by the motel chain Hampton Inn in a PR-sponsored series: Route 66 landmark restoration projects.