Cadillac Ranch

Top choice in Panhandle Plains

To millions of people whizzing across the Texas Panhandle each year, the Cadillac Ranch, also known as Amarillo’s ‘Bumper Crop,’ is the ultimate symbol of the US love affair with wheels. A salute to Route 66 and the spirit of the American road, it was created by burying, hood first, 10 west-facing Cadillacs in a wheat field outside town.

In 1974 controversial Amarillo businessperson and arts patron Stanley Marsh funded the San Francisco–based Ant Farm collective’s ‘monument to the rise and fall of the Cadillac tail fin.’ The cars date from 1948 to 1959 – a period in which tail fins just kept getting bigger and bigger – on to 1963, when the fin vanished. Marsh relocated the cars in 1997 to a field 2 miles west of its original location due to suburban sprawl (which is again encroaching on this location).

The cars are easily spotted off the access road on the south side of I-40. The accepted practice today is to leave your own mark on the art by drawing on the disintegrating cars, which gives them an ever-changing patina. Bring spray paint in case other visitors haven’t left any around.