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Cadillac Ranch

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10 Cadillacs Buried nose-down in the ground!

The Cadillac Ranch is located on Historic Route 66 in Amarillo Texas.
Story: It is a classic attraction consisting of ten Cadillac cars which are half-buried nose-down in the ground in a single file.
This public art work was created in 1974 by the unconventional artists of the Ant Farm group. The cars are covered with multicolored grafitti. Fire: One of the cadillacs was Vandalized by arsonists in Sept. 2019.

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The Cadillac Ranch

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Cadillac Ranch Directions:

This roadside landmark is on the south side of Interstate 40, just 10 miles southwest of Amarillo, Texas between the suburban towns of Soncy and Bushland.

See our Cadillac Ranch location map.

See our Detailed directions to get there.

Cadillac Ranch seen from I-40

View of the Cadillac Ranch from the Highway

Can you see Cadillac Ranch from the highway?

Yes, you can see the Cadillac Ranch from I-40.

They are roughly 200 yards to the south of the South Frontage Road. See the image.

Cadillac Ranch Hours:

It is free of charge and open 24 ⁄ 7.

Park your car next to the South Frontage and walk the 200 yards to the Cadillac Ranch across the field.

Warning: it may be muddy after rain or snow.

Front view of the Cadillacs

front view of grafitti covered and buried cadillacs
Front view of grafitti smeared Cadillacs, Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch: Some figures

  • 10 cars are buried in a single file.
  • East to West, they are aligned with an east to west orientation.
  • Cadillacs, all cars are Cadillac models, from a 1948 to a 1963 (some say 1964) model.
  • Relocated, the cars were relocated 2 miles west of their original position in 1997.

Cadillac Ranch, a song by Bruce Springsteen

There is a well-known song that mentions the Cadillac Ranch. It is a track in the album, "The River".

Bruce Springsteen, contemporary American songwriter and performer, wrote this Rock song as an allegory of death and the impermanence of life.

The track is named (as expected) Cadillac Ranch, and uses the "ranch" as a metaphor for death, as the song itself deals with the inevitability of death. The Cadillacs, once glamorous symbols of wealth and luxury are now just car bodies stuck in the ground, rusting away, glory gone.

Cadillac Ranch Fire - 2019

September 8, 2019 around 2 AM, the oldest of the ten cadillacs was set aflame by an arsonist.

However the blaze did not damage the structure of the car, which still stands, as a testimony of art vs. vandalism.

Potter County Sheriffs Office has not yet found the culprit and a reward has been offered.

burned out cadillac at thecadillac Ranch
Burned out cadillac after fire at the Cadillac Ranch, Sept. 2019

All About the Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch: Getting there

I-40 Exit 60, along South frontage road 4.4 mi east of Bushland. Coords: USGS 35.187276, -101.986898

Reaching the Cadillac Ranch

Historic U.S. Route 66, the Mother Road, passes right in front of the Cadillac Ranch.

Directions: Map with directions. From downtown Amarillo, (0 mi.) on Amarillo Blvd. and Pierce St. (US 87) take a left, bridge over railroad and (1 miles) take a right onto SE 6th Ave. (TX-279) Go straight, it becomes SW 6th Ave., underpass (2.3 mi.) and change of course of 6th Ave. (2.9 miles) then keep west, through the Historic Sixth Street District. Take a left onto Bushland Ave (3.8 miles), which runs towards the SW, passes the Golf Course and passes under Bell St. (5 mi.). After the Underpass, take a left onto W. Amarillo Blvd. (I-40 Buss), and pass the Veteran's Hospital.

The road curves softly until crossing Coulter ST. (5.8 miles), adopting a westward direction. After crossing TX-335 (7.5 mi.) it reaches Soucy, passes in front of the Historic Helium Plant (8.5 miles) and before reaching the "S" curve under the old railway line, the old alignment takes a right (9 mi.) onto Indian Hill Rd.

Stick to Amarillo Blvd. and exit at Hope Rd. (10 miles), take a right along the South frontage Rd. and reach the Ranch (11.5 mi.).

Where is The Cadillac Ranch?

Maps showing where is the Cadillac Ranch:

location map of the Cadillac Ranch in the US
Location of the Cadillac Ranch on the Old Route 66

Map of Route 66 at the Cadillac Ranch

Static Map showing Route 66 alignment through thecadillac Ranch

Map of US 66 Cadillac Ranch
Map showing Route 66 by the Cadillac Ranch inAmarillo, TX

Another Map showing where the Cadillac Ranch is

The Cadillac Ranch Story

What is it?

How the Cadillacs were buried

Buried 1948 Cadillac, A. Whittall

The Cadillac Ranch

The Amarillo Cadillac Ranch (also known as the Caddy Ranch), is a public art work, created in 1974 exhibited in open ranchland which is used for farming and breeding cattle.

It is the creation of a group of "underground" artists from San Francisco, known as the , it and was sponsored by Texas millionaire Stanley Marsh 3.

Marsh wanted a modern art work to perplex the local Amarilloans and the artists proposed a tribute to the evolution of the Cadillac tailfin.

This "work of art" consists of a group of 10 Cadillac cars buried nose-down in the ground, so that they can show off their tailfins, with an east to west alignment.

Each car belongs to a different model, from 1948 to 1963.

View at the "Caddy Ranch" or Cadillac Ranch

Painted rear part of ten cadillacs jutting out of the ground
Cadillac Ranch on US 66 near Amarillo, Texas

The artists: Ant Farm

Chip Lord (b. 1944) and Doug Michels (1943 - 2003) founded this media-based collective in San Francisco, in 1968. They were trying to create a group that could express their non-orthodox views on architecture, design and media. It was the Heyday of pop-art and counterculture.

The collective would incorporate Curtis Schreier and occasionally Douglas Hurr and Hudson Marquez.

They worked on media events, graphic arts, performances and videos in which they combined political criticism, irreverence with provocative pop culture.

They produced not only the Texas Cadillac Ranch, but also Media Burn (1975) in which they taped a Cadillac crashing into a wall built with TV sets that were set on fire.

Ant Farm undertook large scale projects that incorporated iconic elements of American culture, especially the kitsch, as seen in the tailfin exhibit of buried Cadillacs in Amarillo.

They recorded these "cultural happenings" on video and their work has been shown around the world: Haifa Museum, Israel, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Musee d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, France, and Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland, just to mention a few sites.

A fire gutted their studio (Pier 40 in San Francisco) in 1978, and shortly after they disbanded.

The sponsor: Stanley Marsh 3

Texas businessman Stanley Marsh 3 (1938 - 2014) -who used the Arabic numeral "3" instead of the Roman numeral "III" because it seems too pretentious, was the third Stanley of the Marsh lineage. His grandfather, Stanley Marsh I, made a fortune with oil and gas development in the Texas Panhandle.

Stanley Marsh 3 was a controversial character who owned several media companies in Amarillo. Despite his support to colleges and art in its modern and non-conventional forms (he sponsored the Amarillo Ramp earthwork-art, his legacy is mixed due to a series of lawsuits that he faced in his final years.

Starting in the 1990s and continuing until 2013, he was taken to court on charges regarding alleged improper sexual behavior with teens, which were settled out of court.

One of the settlement statements (Feb. 21, 2013) mentioned that "...The Parties agree that Stanley Marsh 3 does not own the Cadillac Ranch. The Parties will have no further comment." It is likely that his estate was managed by someone else after strokes that left him incapacitated during 2012.

The Location of the Cadillac Ranch

Marsh provided the land where the cars were to be buried, on the south side of Interstate 40. Originally it was closer to Amarillo than the current location:

Cars Relocated

The current location of the Cadillac Ranch is not the original site.

Amarillo is a growing town and its suburbs are slowly pushing westwards along Interstate 40. The original site (by I-40 exit 64) was valuable property so the cars had to go.

In 1997 they were dug up and hoisted out of the ground with cranes. The new site was selected two miles west of the original location, along I-40.

The work of art

A classic landmark on Route since 1974; it consists of ten classic Cadillac cars buried nose-down in the ground. They are covered in multicolored graffiti and spray-painted (a practice which is allowed). Its official date of inauguration was June 21, 1974.

The cars are spaced out along a stretch of 140 ft. (42 m). They face west, in a line.

The last car that the group bought was the 1949 Club Sedan model, and it was also the first car to be buried, it is the westernmost one of the group.

There is a sequence to the placement of the cars: they follow a chronological order, from the 1949 model to the newest, a 1964 (1963 Sedan DeVille according to other sources) model.

Angle of Inclination of the Cars

The cars are supposed to be tilted at exactly the same angle as that of the faces of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, in Cairo, Egypt.

The angle is usually given as 52°, but it is, according to R. Greenberg, 51° 50' and 40".

Time goes by at the Caddy Ranch

The cars were buried in their original conditions, with their normal body color (as can be seen in the book cover image).

But the cars did not remain untouched for long, shortly after 1976, visitors started painting graffiti on them and there was no way to protect the cars.

The Cadillacs were repainted over the years, with many different colors and hues. Pink was quite popular, so was red. But the graffiti would return, every time.

They were moved in 1997 and the effects of 23 years of water and weathering were noticeable.

Other "imitations" of the Cadillac Ranch

There are other similar structures on Route 66:

Parody: the "Buggy Ranch"

I-40 Exit 96, along South frontage road before TX-207. Conway, TX. USGS 35.215561, -101.383488

The Buggy Farm in Conway Texas, on Route 66, east of Amarillo is a parody of the Cadillac Ranch.

It is known as the Bug Farm, Buggy Ranch and Bug Ranch and it consists of five Volkswagen "beetles" buried nose-down in the ground. They too are covered with graffiti.

View of the "Buggy Ranch" a parody of the Cadillac Ranch

half-buried VW beetles at the Buggy Ranch, Conway Texas
View of Bug Ranch, Conway Texas. Chuck Coker

Another Parody: the "Rabbit Ranch"

1107 Historic Old Route 66, Staunton, IL.

Far from Texas, in Illinois, Rich and Linda Henry own Henry’s Rabbit Ranch, a post that deals with highway and trucking memorabilia plus a replica of a vintage gasoline station.

It has plenty of classic highway items and a selection of Route 66 collectibles and gifts.

Among the trucks and cars are a set of six cars half-buried in the ground, with four facing one way and two the other. They are almost vertical, and are of different makes.

half-buried cars at the Rabbit Ranch, Staunton IL
Rabbit Ranch, Staunton Illinois, Carol M. Highsmith
Stacked gray color cars in Carhenge Nebraska

Carhenge, Nebraska


2151 Co Rd 59, Alliance, NE

Carhenge (after "Stonehenge" England, but built with cars) is not on Route 66, it is located in Nebraska, it dates back to 1987. And consists of buried and stacked cars.

Tailfin, the craze of post war America

Tailfins appeared as an appendage on cars shortly after the end of World War II. Streamlined aircraft were the source that inspired the fad (quite a long fad indeed; it lasted for almost 20 years).

Cadillac Tailfin, extravagant kitsch from the 1950s

Cadillac Eldorado 1959 Tailfin
Cadillac Eldorado (1959) Tailfin.

Cadillac Tailfins: their evolution

Cadillac Tailfin evolution
Cadillac Tailfin Evolution.

The first model to carry a tailfin was the 1948 Cadillac. Harley Earl, a GM designer was inspired by a US fighter plane, the P-38 "Lightning". It had two rounded rudders which caught Earl's eye at the Selfridge airfield in the late 1930s.

After the war, Earl incorporated them as two bulbous fins; actually they were very discreet upward humps on the tail panel. But they were a success.

Where to Stay: Accommodation

Accommodation close to the Cadillac Ranch in nearby Amarillo: There are plenty of hotels in the town

Motels and Hotels in Amarillo:

>> Book your Hotel in Amarillo

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Comments & Responses

See Comments & Responses


Cadillac Database, Saunders & Franchitti.

Sonia Smith, (2014). Forty Years of the Cadillac Ranch; Texas Monthly. 08.18.14

Ralph Greenberg, 2000. The Slopes of the Egyptian Pyramids

Banner image: Hackberry General Store, Hackberry, Arizona by Perla Eichenblat.

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