When we had our family in town back in May, we did a lot of touristy things in West Texas we haven’t done in a while…. or had never done before. So much fun to be a tourist in your own backyard sometimes! One of the sight we visited: the Amarillo Cadillac Ranch. They farm cars in Texas, you wonder? No, but they stick’em in the ground 🙂 Just kidding. Amarillo is the only place in Texas where I’ve seen half-buried cars in the middle of a farm field. So, why would Marco and I take our visitors there? Well, we were in the area. We had done a jeep tour in Palo Duro Canyon in the morning, had lunch at the Big Texan, and since the Cadillac Ranch must be one of the most photographed sights in the area, we couldn’t just skip it now, could we? Plus, I’d never been there in all my seven years in West Texas, so I had to see it for myself 😉
What is the Cadillac Ranch?
The Amarillo Cadillac Ranch consists of ten old Cadillacs that are half-buried in the middle of a farm field. They are stuck in the ground, nose-first, at an angle of about 30-45 degrees. I had read somewhere that a millionaire put them there as a present for his wife – kind of a weird present if you ask me. Anyways, I looked it up and here are the facts according to Wikipedia: Members of an art group called Ant Farm came up with the idea for this public art installation for Stanley March 3 (not III, mind you; supposedly he insists on that) – a millionaire, so that part is true 🙂 – and installed the junkers on his farmland in 1974. In 1997, the whole thing was quietly moved by 2 miles, so Amarillo could keep growing outwards. When we were there, we saw a few empty cans of spray paint on the ground, and a handful of people leaving their mark on the cars. I only found out later that all ten cars are sometimes repainted for special occasions: black for grieving, pink for a lady’s b-day, or any other color just to create a blank canvas for future artists. Interesting, hm? We didn’t paint anything, but if I go again, I’ll try to remember to bring some spray paint just for the fun of it 🙂 Fun fact: Apparently, the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo was the inspiration for the area called “Cadillac Range”, an area right outside of Radiator Springs (from the movie Cars). Cadillac Range features rock formations that look like… you guessed it… cars stuck in the ground.
Where is the Cadillac Ranch?
It’s pretty easy to find. The Cadillacs are in the middle of a farm field off of I-40 close to exit 60 (Arnot Rd.). If you are coming from Amarillo, you take I-40 West and take exit 60 (Arnot Rd.). Take a U-turn under the bridge and stay on the feeder road towards Amarillo for a few hundred yards heading east. You’ll see the ten Cadillacs on your right side and there’s plenty of parking space close to the entrance. Just park your car, grab your camera and spray paint (if you brought any), and head in. Entrance is free. We went on a beautifully sunny day, but I would suggest to bring good shoes if it has rained before your go – the Cadillacs are literally on a field which I assume gets pretty muddy when wet.
What does the Cadillac Ranch look like?
Well, there are ten cars half-buried in a field. Is it art? Or just a crazy idea? Or a waste of time? Who am I to judge…. I thought it was fun to see and took a bunch of picture from various angles. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it, but there’s plenty of other stuff to do in Amarillo (like visiting the old Route 66 shops, eating at the Big Texan, admiring Palo Duro Canyon) and if you’re in the area anyways, why not stop at this Texas Cadillac Ranch?! See for yourself in person or just check out the pictures below. You can find a few more on my Facebook page.
What do you think about the Amarillo Cadillac Ranch? Art? Trash? Would you visit? Or have you already been there?
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