Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cadillac Ranch

Cadillacs in a Field
Years ago, I saw a piece in one of my automotive magazines about the Cadillac Ranch, where someone took a bunch of old Caddies and planted them in the ground. They were each planted slightly off perpendicular, with the front half under the ground, and the iconic Cadillac fins sticking up in the air. The cars were from the late fifties and early sixties, so they were from the hey-days of "big fins". The cars were complete, with tires, windows, and chrome, and were in original condition, as if someone just drove them into the ground.

Paint Job!
I'm not sure when I first read of this man-made automotive attraction, but it is probably 10 or more years ago. As we drove towards the campground in Amarillo Texas, I saw the Cadillacs sticking out of the ground off in a field to the left of the highway. The campground even had a RV planted front first with the rear wheels sticking up un the air.

On the way out for BBQ that evening we stopped so I could walk across the field and get some pictures of the Cadillac Ranch.

Classic Cadillac
The ranch really hasn't weathered the years and the human attention very well. The cars are still there, they still are planted in a neat row with the distinct Cadillac fins in the air. One car has nothing but the rear axle and trunk left, and there is no glass or trim left. The remaining tires are nothing but chunks of rubber hanging on the rims.

The biggest change in the paint. All the cars are completely covered with day-glow spray paint, vandalized and tagged by hundreds of visitors. As you walk towards the cars, your initial reaction is sadness That it had been "ruined", but as you get closer, you realize that rather than seeing it as vandalized, it has actually been changed into something new, different and interesting.

Cadillac Ranch
The cars are now completely covered in new paint from spray cans. This new paint it probably over half an inch thick in places. While I was there there were two groups of people painting their "tags" on each car and taking pictures of their work. As each person visits with their collection of spray cans, they paint over other tags, so the cars are constantly changing. It really has become a completely different attraction. Where before it was a static visual thing, it had changed into a constantly changing interactive piece of Automotive art.

A lesson learned; things change, keep an open mind and instead of getting upset at the change, embrace it and enjoy what it has become.

No comments:

Post a Comment