When you’re driving east down I-40 from New Mexico, you’ll have no choice but to pass through Amarillo. Right before you get to the west side of town, you’ll notice ten Cadillacs sticking up out of the ground with their tail fins in the air. This is Cadillac Ranch.
Cadillac Ranch was created by the art group “Ant Farm” in 1974. It consists of ten junk Cadillacs that range from 1949 to 1963 models that are half buried in the ground. It’s a Route 66 icon and if you happen to be motoring West and making that California trip (or heading back East), you have to stop and take a gander.
The Ranch was actually relocated in 1997 by Stanley Marsh so that it would be further from the expanding city. Stanley Marsh 3 moved the cars to a cow pasture and the gate is always open welcoming visitors to come make their mark on the cars. You can bring your own paint or you might even find some leftover paint from the cans that lie about on the ground. Outside the fence, there’s a sign that states that the side of the access road and the dumpster is part of the City of Amarillo and not the display and that graffiti is not allowed. Ironically, it’s got a good bit of graffiti on it too.
Sporadically over the years, the cars will be painted all one color. One year they were painted pink in honor of breast cancer awareness and Marsh’s wife’s birthday another year. They were painted all black to mark the passing of artist Doug Michaels of the Ant Farm and Hampton Inn restored the cars to their original colors at one point as well. The cars lasted less than twenty four hours in their original colors before they were yet again covered in graffiti.
Cadillac Ranch is a must see if you’re traveling through Amarillo. It’s free and if you want to make your mark on the cars, there’s a Home Depot on Soncy St. in West Amarillo. I’m sure they would be happy to sell you some spray paint.