Day Trips

Cadillac Ranch is the most popular art installation in the Texas Panhandle

People's art
People's art (Photo by Gerald E. Mcleod)

Cadillac Ranch off I-40 west of Amarillo is the most democratic art installation in the nation. Visitors who pull off of the interstate for a closer look at the 10 classic Caddies half-buried nose-down in a cow pasture are invited to add their own messages on the upended tail fins. Bring your own can of spray paint, or drain the last few squirts from one of the many cans that litter the field.

Now a remnant of old Route 66 that was created in 1974 by Stanley Marsh III, the car bodies have lost parts to souvenir hunters and gained a thick coat of paint. Every day hundreds of graffiti artists pull off the highway to leave their tags on the most popular attraction in the Texas Panhandle.

The local attorney and grandson of a Texas oil millionaire has funded other public art projects in the Amarillo area, such as the Floating Mesa. A white band around the mesa off FM 1061 west of town makes it look like the top is suspended.

Cadillac Ranch is about six miles west of Amarillo on the south side of I-40 between the Hope Road and Arnot Road exits. Open during daylight hours, there is no admission fee for this monument to artistic eccentricity.

1,051st in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

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Stanley Marsh III, Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Floating Mesa

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