Posts From The Road: Cadillac Ranch Near Amarillo

Wide View: A wide view of the 10 Cadillacs buried nose first at Cadillac Ranch as other visitors approach the cars. The cold, gray, skies were not conducive to taking wide views but was ideal for looking closer at the vibrant colors of the Cadillacs. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

Getting Close: A closer view of the 10 cars at Cadillac Ranch reveal the various graffiti art and messages painted by visitors. If you choose to visit and paint, take a photo because it will be repainted within hours. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

By GARY WARREN
Photographer
Formerly of Los Alamos

If you have traveled I-40 across the Texas panhandle, you have probably seen the Cadillac Ranch, which is located just south of the interstate a few miles west of Amarillo, Texas.

The feeder road to I-40 where the cars are located is old Route 66.

This public art installation was created in 1974 by three members of the art group named Ant Farm. Amarillo millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 funded the project. Cadillac Ranch consists of 10 Cadillacs buried nose first in a Texas pasture.

The cars are buried in a row all facing west with the tail fins pointed upwards. The Cadillacs used were from model years 1949-1963.

While the ranch is on private property, it is accessible through a gate by the road. Visitors are encouraged to bring cans of spray paint and create art graffiti on the cars. 

After decades, the Cadillac Ranch is more popular than ever. Visitors come from all over the world to see the Caddies. The ranch has been featured in many films, TV shows and commercials over the years.

We first visited the Cadillac Ranch on a cold and windy December day. The ground was frozen, but the cars were surrounded by water, ice, and patches of snow from a recent storm making walking near the vehicles a muddy mess. 

The photos shown are from that visit. Since the sky was mostly gray and overcast, I chose to take photos of the cars close up to accentuate the vibrant colors of the spray paint.

We have since stopped in various weather conditions, but this first visit on a brutally cold and windy day remains our most memorable visit.

Editor’s note: Longtime Los Alamos photographer Gary Warren and his wife Marilyn were traveling around the country prior to the pandemic and he has been sharing his photographs, which appear in the ‘Posts from the Road’ series published in the Sunday edition of the Los Alamos Daily Post.

Colors: The colors and design of the graffiti on the Cadillacs become more vivid under the cloudy skies with flat lighting. The colors are reflected in the icy waters around the cars the morning we visited the ranch. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

Abstract: Viewing the Cadillacs through a telephoto lens creates an abstract view of the cars and the colors at Cadillac Ranch. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com

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