Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX

Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch, contrary to its name is not a ranch at all, but instead consists of various models of Cadillac cars ranging from the year 1949 to 1963 that are halfway buried in the ground. You can see this interesting piece of art just off of Interstate 40 a few miles west of Amarillo, Texas. It was installed in 1974 and is so famous that it is in art textbooks, is mentioned in several country songs, and is also a rock formation in the Disney movie Cars!

So the question is why are a lot of rusted out old cars buried in the ground famous? Who really knows, but you can’t grow up in Amarillo or the surrounding area and not visit it at least once in your lifetime. It is almost like a right of passage to go out to Cadillac Ranch and spray-paint the cars. Where else can you go and legally graffiti something and have it called art? Spray-painting the cars is actually encouraged! So many people visit that chances are if you spray paint something on Monday, by Friday it will be covered up by something else. Sometimes groups of people will paint them a solid color for a cause, like pink for breast cancer awareness, or blue for autism awareness. It is really interesting to see them like this, but within weeks they will go back to their crazy graffiti colored selves.

Because there is so much paint on the cars, you can actually peel back the layers. When you do this you can look at the side and see all of the layers like a super colorful sedimentary rock. It is like going back in time with all the other crazy people who have gone out and spray-painted. Eventually one would think that the cars would become so rusted that they would fall apart, but I think part of what is keeping them together is their massive paint exterior like the exoskeleton on a bug.

So if you ever find yourself close to Amarillo take a trip down I-40 and spray paint a car. It is legal, it is fun, and you can take some cool pictures!