Outside of Alliance, Nebraska, a structure emerges from the prairie grass. From the distance, it looks like nothing more than a cluster of oddly shaped stones but as you get closer, the details start to emerge. The details of the structure seem to be a bit confusing. Cars are placed upon each other while other cars seem to sinking or surfacing from the ground. One of the obvious questions that may come to mind when looking at this large metal structure is “Why?” Why would someone construct a monument to rusted, old cars? Then, as if a light bulb switches on, it begins to look familiar.
The monument in question is called Carhenge. It replicates the famous Stonehenge structure in England and consists of 38 American vintage cars that are spray painted gray. The diameter of the Carhenge circle is around 96 feet and proportionally similar to Stonehenge.
Artist Jim Reinders assembled and dedicated the car sculpture in the summer of 1987 as a memorial to his father, a local farmer who lived where Carhenge stands.
At one point, a couple of foreign cars were included, but the artist tore them down and buried them. He replaced them with Detroit-made cars instead. A 1962 Caddy takes the place of a traditional gravestone on the foreign cars’ “graves.” On the Caddy it reads, “Here lie three bones of foreign cars. They served our purpose while Detroit slept. Now Detroit is awake and America’s great!”