How’d Those Cars Get There, Daddy?



“Mr. Marsh will see you now,” said the pink-haired secretary.

I stood first. Hudson took his time, looking particularly hippie-ish amidst all the Texas décor, his tie-dye shirt loose over his belt, long hair over his shoulders. Chip looked ok—a little spaced out from the joint we’d blown in the parking lot, but about as normal as he could manage. I had my hair pulled back in a ponytail to look more or less straight-laced, at least from the front.

Chip carried the folder with the concept sketches, hours of work cutting Cadillacs from magazines and pasting them in.




Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture in Amarillo, Texas, U.S. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquezand Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm. It consists of what were (when originally installed during 1974) either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line (most notably the birth and death of the defining feature of mid twentieth century Cadillacs; the tailfins) from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt

Located just west of Amarillo on the south side of Interstate 40, Cadillac Ranch originally wasn’t planned as an everlasting tribute to the tail fin. When the 10 vintage Cadillacs were entombed in concrete – nose first at the same angle as Egypt’s Great Pyramid – Marsh envisioned a temporary gag of sorts.

“I thought I would take them out at the end of the summer. I had promised the family that owns ranch where they are that I wouldn’t leave them there just to junk things up. I thought it would be fun,” said Chip Lord, one of the creators. “Suddenly, it was just extravagantly popular. Everybody liked it … If I knew how to do it again I would do it.”


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