Route 66 Song Of The Week:  OMG, it’s Cadillac Ranch & Berwyn Rt.66 Car Show news!

Well, blush – we’re just overwhelmed by all the attention we’ve gotten lately!  This could turn a gal’s head, fellas.  Thanks heaps to Hertz NeverLost’s Tweet and mention of me, complete with a pix from last year’s Berwyn Route 66 Car Show, in their “Route 66 Road Trips” blog post and on their Twitter feed.  With this year’s car show coming up soon on Sept. 6th (the weekend after next), we here are getting in the carmania mood.  Come to think of it, this just seems to be a day for all things automotive.

Which just happens to be timely, because our fellow 66 blogger, Ron Warnick of Route 66 News, just passed along a Hertz NeverLost Tweet about Texas Monthly’s recent article on Amarillo’s famous Cadillac Ranch.  If you’ve never seen it, the Cadillac Ranch is a kind of linear vehicular Stonehenge and celebration of automobilia, smack in the middle of a field just off Route 66, that is both a pop-art installation by the 1970s artists’ collective known as Ant Farm and a form of performance art, in that it invites participatory graffiti from its visitors.  The 10 Cadillacs are all of tail-fin vintage, had to be relocated once due to the city’s expansion, and the whole thing is 40 years old now.  Whoa.

Cadillac Ranch - distance shot (via Wikipedia)

The car-garden was sponsored by the hugely eccentric, colorful and recently deceased art collector and millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 (yeah, he preferred the digit to III or the third).  The kooky but frequently entertaining Marsh had sponsored other art installations in the area and died in June just short of the automotive display’s June 21st anniversary.  How kooky was he, you ask?  Well, the Caddies are all planted in the ground with the bodies precisely inclined at 52 degrees – exactly the same as the sides of the Great Pyramid.  Go figure.  He also made it onto Richard Nixon’s infamous enemies list when he wrote Mrs. Nixon asking that she send him some of her dresses to fill up the first floor of his planned Museum of Decadent Art (which for some reason never opened; big surprise).  Marsh’s very strange life had become scandalous and tarnished over the last few years with sordid allegations of sexual molestation; though those weren’t proven before he died, there were more than enough accusers to sadden Marsh’s friends and supporters.  Texas Monthly also featured a Marsh obituary by Skip Hollandsworth, a reporter who knew Marsh well.  But none of that affects the blameless Cadillac Ranch, which apparently goes on without Marsh – and that’s good, because in 40 years, it’s become a beloved Route 66 landmark.

And since it’s been a while since we had a Route 66 Song Of The Week, you know which one I had to pick, right?  This one is a car-montage version assembled by the website folks at GearHeadLive, with a soundtrack from Bruce Springsteen’s original recording of the same name.  It’s a really rockin’ result, and we thank them all for their efforts!  For my own listening pleasure, however, I prefer a live version of Springsteen and his E Street Band performing in October 2007 at the United Center (not far from Ogden Avenue/Route 66!), which you can listen to here.  The video’s a bit shaky, but the energy’s absolutely great (makes you want to dance!).


The Berwyn car show, meanwhile has added a new event this year:  a pre-show welcome party the night before at Paisan’s Pizzeria & Bar, 6226 W. Ogden Ave. from 7pm to 10pm Friday, Sept. 5th.  Paisan’s, the major nongovernmental sponsor of the show this year, is just across the street from the big, colorful Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway multimedia info kiosk, right where the old glass-block, stone and neon Berwyn welcome sign used to be.  This year’s car show will have exhibitors lining up their cars early  from 7 to 10 am that Saturday, after which the public is welcome.  The programming usually begins around 11 am.  To register your classic or custom car, truck or motorcycle for the show and judging, look for info here.

BTW, if you’re going to the car show, PLEASE bring a little extra cash to donate to the Berwyn Route 66 Museum’s Save The Spindle restoration fund:  they’re restoring part of the famous Spindle car-kabob sculpture (i.e., the top two cars, which the museum has in storage) as well as one of the old Berwyn welcome signs, complete with colored lights inside.  And you know that kind of restoration doesn’t come cheap.  They need about $30K and right now only have about one-tenth of that.  As usual, the museum will have a tent somewhere in the middle of the show grounds on Ogden, between Oak Park Avenue and Ridgeland Avenue, so dig into your pockets and bring some bucks to feed the kitty.  We’ll post more details about the car show between now and next week Friday as we get them.

The VW from the top of The Spindle with Jon Fey popping out

The VW from the top of The Spindle with Berwyn Route 66 Museum director Jon Fey popping out at the Berwyn Route 66 Car Show  (photo copyright 2012 by M.R. Traska; all rights reserved).

In fact, we’re so stoked about the upcoming car show and all this attention that in honor of Hertz NeverLost, the Berwyn car show and that fabulous pink classic car I posed next to last year, here’s a bonus clip of Springsteen and the E Street Band doing – what else? – “Pink Cadillac”!  DAMN, baby – doesn’t that just make you want to go cruisin’?  Yeah!


As usual, all photos on this page and in this blog (unless otherwise indicated) are copyright 2014 by M.R. Traska; all rights reserved, which means that if you want to use them, even for a tweet, you have to get written permission from yours truly to do so.  No borrowing!  Intellectual property protection; please understand.  Thanks in advance.  And if you enjoy our posts, please rate them with a Like at the end of the posts and the star-rating system on the home page, which is right under the headline for each individual post.  Don’t forget to share your favorite posts here using Press This, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook or any other social media you use – and to follow us on Twitter.  We appreciate the readership!  And we thank you for your support.

Until next time,
your own DJ SweetMarie

Yours truly, appropriately next to a -- what else? -- PINK custom car.  Photo copyright 2012 by J.D. Kubal; all rights reserved.

Yours truly at last year’s Berwyn Route 66 Car Show, appropriately next to a — what else? — PINK custom car (you know I look good!).   Photo copyright 2012 by J.D. Kubal; all rights reserved.



3 thoughts on “Route 66 Song Of The Week:  OMG, it’s Cadillac Ranch & Berwyn Rt.66 Car Show news!

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