Carhenge (Alliance, Nebraska)

Photo by Mark Goebel

In the great tradition of replicas of England’s famous Stonehenge, the city of Alliance, Nebraska offers the world Carhenge. Located int eh High Plains region of the United States, this interesting replica uses cars stacked in a similar method to represent one of the world’s most famous and mysterious monuments. With Carhenge, instead of grey stone there are grey, vintage American automobiles.

Built by Jim Reinders, and dedicated for the June 1987 summer solstice, Carhenge consists of 38 automobiles arranged in a circle about 96 feet (29 m) in diameter. Replicating Stonehenge’s current state, rather than the original stone circle, Carhenge was designed as a memorial to Reinders’ father.

Reinders was living in England for a period of time, and while there studied Stonehenge a great deal. He used the information he gathered to replicate the size and proportions as accurately as he possibly could considering that his medium is full-sized cars and not stones.

Three cars were buried at Carhenge with a plaque that reads, “Here lie three bones of foreign cars. They served our purpose while Detroit slept. Now Detroit is awake and America’s great!” Carhenge has appeared in numerous films and was even the subject of a 2005 documentary titles “Carhenge: Genius of Junk?”.

Carhenge Facts

  • Some of the cars are held upright by 5 foot (1.5 m) deep pits.
  • The heelstone is a 1962 Cadillac.
  • The Carhenge site includes other artwork created from automobiles decorated with various colors of paint.
  • Since the introduction of other car sculptures at the Carhenge site the name has become the Car Art Reserve.
  • Reinders donated the 10-acre site to the Friends of Carhenge.
  • In 2011 the Friends of Carhenge listed the attraction for sale for $300,000.
  • In 2013 the Friends of Carhenge donated the site to the Citizens of Alliance.
  • Carhenge was listed in the 2007 travel book 1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die.
  • The path of totality of the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 included Carhenge.
  • An estimated 4,000 people, viewed the August 21, 2017 eclipse from the Carhenge site.