Skip to main content

See also:

Carhenge: A monument to Detroit Iron

Here are some recent photos from Carhenge, located in Alliance, Nebraska, which mimics Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England.
Here are some recent photos from Carhenge, located in Alliance, Nebraska, which mimics Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England.
Photo by Ted Hollman

Carhenge, located north of Alliance, Nebraska, is a monument to American cars. It is made up of thirty-eight vehicles, anchored in the ground in a circle about 100 feet in diameter. Originally three import cars were part of Carhenge, but the artist decided the monument should be a tribute to just American cars. He removed the foreign cars and gave them a proper burial on the Carhenge grounds. You can't make this stuff up.

Carhenge is a rather accurate parity of Stonehenge in England. The old American cars from the 1950s, '60s and '70s are roughly the same size as the ancient stones of Stonehenge. The cars are painted a similar gray color to the Stonehenge behemoth stones. The cars are not placed in perfect alignment, but rather are placed to resemble the current state of Stonehenge. Like the stones of Stonehenge, some cars are placed to appear to have fallen from their original location, half buried in the ground at odd angles. The resemblance to Stonehenge isn’t a coincidence, as the artist, Jim Reinders, lived in England and studied Stonehenge, before returning to his family's farm outside of Alliance, Nebraska. Alliance is a town of 8500 people, located on State Highway 87, in the Nebraska Sandhill area.

Reinders built and dedicated Carhenge during the summer solstice of 1987, as a memorial to his father. Initially the monument wasn’t well received by the nearby residents of Alliance, who at first wanted it torn down. The Nebraska Department of Highways wanted to label it a "junkyard" and put a high fence around it. However, Alliance residents soon discovered that the monument drew an eclectic mix of car enthusiasts, Americana buff, modern–day Druids and off-the-beaten path tourist (along with their money), to the town that now proudly calls itself "Home of Carhenge."

After building the monument, Jim Reinders donated Carhenge and 10 acres of his family farm it is located on, to a nonprofit group called Friends of Canhenge. In 2011, Carhenge and the property was gifted to the Alliance City Council. In August of 2013, the City of Alliance voted to become the legal owners of Carhenge and maintain and operate the grounds. Admission to Carhenge is free. To learn more, call the Carhenge Gift Shop at: (303) 762-1520

Trivia Question: Where is “Cadillac Ranch” located?

Answer to last article’s Trivia Question: In 1954, Mickey Thompson invented the first slingshot dragster, also known as a rail or digger.

Subscribe above and receive an automatic e-mail notice as soon as each new Classic Car article is published.