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Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture in Amarillo, Texas, U.S. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm, and 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 tailfin) 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.
Cadillac Ranch is currently located at Interstate 40, in order to place it further from the limits of the growing city. Both sites belong to the local millionaire Stanley Marsh 3, the patron of the project. Marsh is well known in the city for his longtime patronage of artistic endeavors including the "Cadillac Ranch", Floating Mesa, "Amarillo Ramp" a work of well known land artist Robert Smithson, and a series of fake traffic signs throughout the city known collectively as the "Dynamite Museum".. It was originally located in a wheat field, but in 1997 the installation was quietly moved by a local contractor two miles (three kilometers) to the west, to a cow pasture along
Cadillac Ranch is visible from the highway, and though it is located on private land, visiting it (by driving along a frontage road and entering the pasture by walking through an unlocked gate) is tacitly encouraged. In addition, writing graffiti on or otherwise spray-painting the vehicles is also encouraged, and the vehicles, which have long since lost their original colors, are wildly decorated. The cars are periodically repainted various colors (once white for the filming of a television commercial, another time pink in honor of Stanley's wife Wendy's birthday, and yet another time all 10 cars were painted flat black to mark the passing of Ant Farm artist Doug Michels or simply to provide a fresh canvas for future visitors. In 2012 they were painted rainbow colors to commemorate gay pride day. The cars were briefly "restored" to their original colors by the motel chain Hampton Inn in a public relations-sponsored series of Route 66 landmark restoration projects. The new paint jobs and even the plaque commemorating the project lasted less than 24 hours without fresh graffiti.
Cadillac Ranch has appeared in American popular culture media. A tribute to the Cadillac Ranch was featured in the Walt Disney and Pixar film Cars. The fictional town of Radiator Springs sits at the edge of an area referenced on a map as the "Cadillac Range", and throughout the movie, rock formations shaped like the upended cars can be seen as a horizon backdrop. Much of the film's plot deals with the dying towns along Route 66.
"Cadillac Ranch" is the name of a Bruce Springsteen song on his 1980 album The River, later covered by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Cadillac Ranch is also the inspiration for a song performed by Christian Rock band Family Force 5 called "Cadillac Phunque". It can also be seen in King of the Hill in the episode "Hank Gets Dusted". There is also a song called "Cadillac Ranch" by John Stewart, on his album Rough Sketches, which is about Route 66. In addition there is a song by Chris Ledoux called "Cadillac Ranch".
In 2008, Cadillac Ranch can be seen in the musical video for the song "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" by Cage The Elephant. All outdoor shots in the 2009 video of Brooks & Dunn's song "Honky Tonk Stomp" were filmed at the Cadillac Ranch. The Cadillac Ranch was also featured on Oxygen's reality show Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood as part of the family's cross-country road trip.
The cover of Supercharge album, by the band of the same name, depicts the Cadillac Ranch.
As a birthday present for Marsh, Stanley Marsh's brother had a Volkswagen Beetle mounted on a skid with wheels in a manner similar to the Cadillacs being buried in the ground and presented it as a "Volkswagen ranchette."
The ranch was featured on the television programme Billy Connolly's Route 66, a travel documentary on the British ITV channel, in September-October 2011.
In No Sex Last Night, a 1996 film about a road trip across America, Sophie Calle and Gregory Shepard visit Cadillac Ranch.
On January 30, 2012, a group of local grassroots campaigners repainted every car to support Ron Paul and his presidential bid.
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