Graffiti Artists Welcome: The Story Behind the Kitschy Cadillac Ranch

By | July 8, 2019

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Amarillo Texas famous Cadillac Ranch teen spraying paint off of Route 66 old Cadillacs buried in ground on Route 66. (Photo By: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

If you happen to be traveling down Route 66 and you find yourself outside of Amarillo, Texas, pull off the highway and find yourself a Home Depot store. There, load up on some spray paint. Don't worry: No one will question you about it. Once you get back on the road, look for the signs that will point you to the Cadillac Ranch. Here is the one place where you can unleash your inner vandal and deface a bunch of cars with your arsenal of spray paint, all under the protection of the law. This totally unique and truly American roadside attraction see visitors from all over the world, but do you know the story behind this kitschy tourist trap? 

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A row of Cadillacs planted in the ground has become one of Texas's most popular tourist attractions. (

Two Origin Stories

The origins of Cadillac Ranch have reached mythical proportions. If you ask a local how the colorful car graveyard came to be, they'll probably tell you that a Texas millionaire with money to burn and an obsession with Cadillacs didn't want to see his vehicles in the hands of a new owner. Therefore, every time he bought a new Cadillac, he buried the old one nose first in the Texas sod, eventually amassing a collection of vertical vehicles. While that makes a fun and quirky story, the truth is that the Texas millionaire actually planned this odd attraction, banking on the novelty of seeing luxury automobiles stuck nose first into the ground to bring in visitors.