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Carhenge, Alliance

4.4
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Carhenge, which replicates Stonehenge in England, consists of the circle of cars, 3 standing trilithons within the circle, the heel stone, slaughter stone, and 2 station stones, and the Aubrey circle, named after Sir John Aubrey who first recognized the Stonehenge earthworks and great stones as a prehistoric temple in 1648. It was not until excavations undertaken in the 1920's that they were found to be holes cut to hold timber uprights. A total of 56 holes were discovered and named the Aubrey Holes in honor of John Aubrey's observation. Jim Reinders, the artist of this unique car sculpture, experimented with unusual and interesting artistic creations throughout his life. While living in England, he had the opportunity to study the design and purpose of Stonehenge. His desire to copy Stonehenge in physical size and placement came to fruition in the summer of 1987 with the help of many family members.

Thirty-eight automobiles were placed to assume the same proportions as Stonehenge with the circle measuring approximately 96 feet in diameter. Some autos are held upright in pits five feet deep, trunk end down, while those cars which are placed to form the arches have been welded in place. All are covered with gray spray paint. The honor of depicting the heel stone goes to a 1962 Caddy.

Carhenge was built as a memorial to Reinders' father who once lived on the farm where Carhenge now stands. While relatives were gathered following the death of Reinders' father in 1982, the discussion turned to a memorial and the idea of a Stonehenge replica was developed. The family agreed to gather in five years and build it. The clan, about 35 strong, gathered in June 1987 and went to work. They held the dedication on the Summer Solstice in 1987, with champagne, poetry, songs and a play written by the family.

Carhenge has been preserved by Friends of Carhenge, a local group, who now owns and maintains it. Reinders donated the 10 acres of land where Carhenge is located. They have added a paved parking lot, picnic tables, and an educational display board.

Additional sculptures have been erected at the site, known as the Car Art Reserve. One of the first sculptures to be added to the Car Art Reserve is a sculpture of a spawning salmon created by 29 year-old Canadian Geoff Sandhurst. Sandhurst won a $2500 prize and placement of his car art creation at the Reserve.

Reinders' "Ford Seasons," comprised only of Fords and inspired by Vivaldi's Four Seasons, suggests the Nebraska landscape's seasonal changes as wheat is planted, grows, is harvested, and then the field lies barren during a windy winter.

Carhenge's uniqueness, novelty and unusual components continue to draw the attention of film and television production crews as well as thousands of tourists every year. Alliance is lucky to have such a fun, interesting attraction known the world over. 2012 is Carhenge's 25th year! To visit Carhenge and other attractions in Alliance, use our Alliance trip planner.
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Carhenge Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
589 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Every year when I go skiing I travel from Minnesota to Colorado. My college roommates were from a tiny town in Nebraska. I learned that there are some awesome stuff not on the interstate. In...  more »
  • On a road trip from South Dakota back to Denver Colorado I stopped here. The sun had already gone down but I used the lights from my rental truck to illuminate the area. It was cute and quite...  more »
Google
  • Worth the visit if you are passing through. Free to do and cool if you like interesting art. Lots of people stop by from all over the world. Only takes about 15 min if you are walking and taking pictures but it was still fun. My wife and I enjoy finding free places to visit on our travels and that is why we stopped by here.
  • I love the one car placed for visitors to decorate and take pictures with their own added creation to this part of the exhibit. Love the story of its creation to honor a man's father's memory and love of vintage cars now on permanent display! And you can buy a "key" to it's entire make-up, showing the year, make and model of each car displayed and their placement location in the exhibit!

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