Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Cadillac Ranch (wikipedia.org)
56 points by prismatic on March 24, 2023 | hide | past | favorite | 34 comments

I'm glad it has fared better than Chicagoland's Spindle (1989-2008). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spindle_%28sculpture%29

The desert is probably a better place for automobile-sculpture than the temperate Midwest, but it's still a shame the Spindle was never able to find a new home.

It's more of a windy plateau at high altitude, liberally decorated with tornados and nukes.

If you want things to last put them in places that nobody want to build a walgreens :/

Also don’t make it a home for thousands of pigeons. The amount of bird poop in and around the sculpture was incredible.

Sounds like a weird maxim of commercial real estate.

I realized it was nearby as I was stopping for gas on a 7,500 mile road trip in the summer of 2021 and so stopped by. I spent quite a while there photographing the installation as well as the other people visiting it. Corn was planted in the field it's in and it was about 2' at the time. There were a couple vendors in the parking lot along the frontage road selling snacks and cans of spray paint. It was pretty fascinating to see how thick the pain was that has been deposited on those vehicles over the years and to watch people climbing all over them to add their own "touch".

I texted a photo to my sister and she remembered that we'd visited as kids on a road trip out West. She was even able to dig up the photo and send me a copy which was pretty neat.

Springsteen wrote an upbeat fun song with the same name about the inevitability of death. Very catchy tune.


I visited a few years back. Knowing that this is on private land, that the owner graciously allows people to visit, I was saddened. So many people come to look at the exhibit, and then throw their paint cans and other trash all around.

“those graffiti artists keep giving us free paint, our shit will never rust if we don’t put a stop to that”

-no railroad ever

Point is, the land owner probably doesn’t care about the paint, just the trash.

That is a bummer. I love that people actively repaint it but I wish they wouldn't dump their trash on site.

Here's an article from 2021 about the current state of the place: https://www.petersen.org/blog/cadillac-ranch

I love these kinds of open air art exhibits in the middle of nowhere. I've visited and enjoyed the Goldwell Open Air Museum [0] and Prada Marfa [1]. I recently read about City [2] and would love to visit it one day.

[0]: https://www.goldwellmuseum.org

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prada_Marfa

[2]: https://www.npr.org/2023/01/01/1141952369/michael-heizer-cit...


Much better to drive south of Amarillo an hour and spend some time in Palo Duro Canyon, which is magnificent.

Or visit the Goodnight Ranch museum. Small, but interesting.

Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight Ranch State Historic Site +1 806-944-5591 https://maps.app.goo.gl/roWMrpW6YJXkeqBp9

Reminds me of CarHenge https://carhenge.com/

This kind of reminds me of "The Lightning Field": https://www.diaart.org/visit/visit-our-locations-sites/walte...

If you're near it, go see it, just to say you did. Then do yourself a favor, go have lunch at The Big Texan Steakhouse, to admire the 72oz steaks.

That said, not sure why you were out there to begin with. Maybe you were out admiring the sights in Bushland?

You only told part of the story of the 72oz steak. Yes, it's 72oz (4.5 lbs) of beef, but if you eat it in the time limit, you get it for free. Your average burger is 1/3lb, so that's 13.5 burgers in one sitting.

Some people aren't so elitist that thinking they are in some part of the country not left or right coast would think this is just something that happens in their part of the world.

You have to eat the whole meal (inclusive of the shrimp cocktail, salad, baked potato, and dinner roll) without getting up and without throwing up in the allotted hour.

The no-throwing up rule was instituted some time ago because passers-by (mostly long-haul truckers at the time) would essentially dine for free irrespective of whether or not they completed the challenge. You are also on the hook for the $72, which was not the case back in the day.

See https://www.bigtexan.com/72-oz-steak/ for current rules and regulations.

I didn't want to spoil the fun of all those road signs telling about the free 72oz steak in Amarillo. (Those signs start popping up outside of Oklahoma City and Albuquerque)

If you're lucky you will see someone attempting the challenge. I remember some years back seeing a small 20 year old woman win her free meal. It was thrilling seeing a whole room of people root for someone to eat so much food.

I wonder what they do now, but part of your winning was to live in immortality by having a Polaroid taken and pinned to their winner's wall (or whatever they called it). Did they even get a free t-shirt? "I ate 4.5lbs of beef in one sitting, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. (and constipation)"

You could be visiting beautiful Palo Duro Canyon State Park, or passing through as others have mentioned.

You could, like I was many years ago, be doing field work at Pantex as part of your Master's thesis.

The people in the Texas Panhandle and Amarillo in particular are, in my experience, just as nice and welcoming as anyone else - present OP excluded, of course.

It's right next to I-40, so if you happen to be driving from the east coast to the west coast on that highway (as I once did), it's hard to miss.

There was (maybe still is) a smaller similar setup of Airstream RVs (those shiny metal exterior RVs) on the south side of Interstate 4 just outside of Tampa. Some people thought it was trashy, I thought it was cool looking

2016 Google Street View of it : https://goo.gl/maps/gwdnY7K2tNu562Bm9

Airstream ranch was torn down in 2017.

Required watching for context is The Plutonium Circus: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114147/

Marsh died two years after allegations of sexually abusing teenagers. Police arrested him, raided his offices, and publicized evidence. He settled lawsuits with the accusers out of court in 2013 but was still indicted on 14 counts of sexual performance, assault, or indecency with children.[1][2][3][4][5] The charges were dropped only with Marsh's death prior to a trial date.[6] The accusations followed other publicly known sexual misconduct accusations and charges in 2001, 1998, and 1996.[4] Following his death, his survivors were also accused of sex trafficking.[7] Several businesses associated with Marsh's office settled suits with accusers in 2015.[8]

1: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/21/us/stanley-marsh-cadillac...

2: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/us/millionaire-stanley-ma...

3: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/23/arts/design/stanley-marsh...

4: https://www.amarillo.com/story/news/crime/2013/04/11/million...

5: https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/darkness-on-the-plains...

6: https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2014/06/19/stanley-mars...

7: https://www.lubbockonline.com/story/news/local/2015/10/09/la...

8: https://www.amarillo.com/story/news/crime/2015/04/07/chase-t...

cf. Marsh 3's feud over the Ranch with the Whittenbergs, another eccentric oil-rich family: https://www.texasmonthly.com/true-crime/big-feud-at-cadillac...

Marsh left the Ranch land to a trust unaffected by the lawsuits: https://www.petersen.org/blog/cadillac-ranch

Yeah, those are legitimate allegations as far as I am experienced.

When I was in high school and college in the 90s I used to hang around with various punks in Amarillo.

I worked with a guy bussing tables Abuelo's who was part of being molested by that dude. It was kind of common knowledge among the people I was around, but being young and dumb it just sounded like stuff that happened, or maybe even something that young gay dudes might not be opposed to doing for fun.

For context this was in the years around the time Brian Deneke was murdered.

The horrific fuck-up-ed-ness of that town was lost on me until later in life.

But yeah, lots of cool art from that old guy, and the punk scene there was sometimes more interesting than Lubbock so I guess that's a thing.

I went to college in Lubbock. It was a great time but man West Texas can be a strange place, it’s hard to describe.

Does anyone know if Marsh’s road signs can still be found in and around Amarillo? I used to think they were cute.

Most are now out at the Mariposa Land Trust just north of town.

When visiting, I highly advise doing so when it is dry. As the pictures show, it is solid dirt, so after it rains it is a mud pit.

It's so cute. One of my favorite parts of driving the 40.

Any ex Accenture people here click this expecting something different?

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact