Stanley Marsh 3, owner and patron of the Cadillac Ranch, died June 17th.

For my readers under the age of 40, Cadillac Ranch was an art installation built in 1974 by the Ant Farm, a San Francisco collective of artists and architects. It is still visible along the old Route 66 near Amarillo, TX.

Cadillac Ranch soon after installation, 1974

In an episode of Charles Kuralt’s On the Road, Marsh had this to say about the work:

Charles Kuralt: “When people ask you, what are all those ten Cadillacs doing out there in your wheat field? What do you answer?”

Stanley Marsh 3: “Depends on who they are…when I get a chance I lie to them. I tell them it’s for an Elvis Presley movie or Evel Knievel to jump over or maybe it’s the Caddy Cult, and it’s the new Mother Church for Home Religion. I tell them whatever strikes my fancy.”

CK: “If I asked you, what would you tell me?”

SM: “Well I’d have to tell you the truth. The truth is it’s a roadside spectacular sculpture made by a group called the Ant Farm, architects from San Francisco.

“From ’48 to ’64 that was the American Dream, the Cadillac fins. They’re the American Dream because they were so badly made and so cheap that after two or three years anyone could have one.”

"Caddy Ranch July 2006" by David // Released under Creative Commons 2.0

“Caddy Ranch July 2006” by David // Released under Creative Commons 2.0

Early photos of the project can be found at Wyatt McSpadden Photography.

ht Simone // via Route 66 News.