Kitschy Carhenge up for sale

Photo courtesy Alliance Chamber of Commerce

Carhenge, a classic and kitschy roadside attraction just outside of Alliance, Neb., is up for sale.

Price tag: $300,000.

Created 24 years ago by Jim Reinders during a family reunion, Carhenge is a sculpture made of 38 gray-spray-painted vintage American cars replicating Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England. Some of the cars stand upright, while others are welded in place to form arches.

“It’s astronomical what Carhenge means to our community,” said Dixie Nelson, executive director of the Alliance Chamber of Commerce. “More than 87,000 people visit it each year. The people in Omaha said they wished they had it, even though they already have so many attractions there.”

Not long after he built it, Reinders gave Carhenge, and the 10 acres of farmland it sits on, to the nonprofit Friends of Carhenge, a group that has maintained the site and improved it over the years with a building, a parking lot and additional sculptures.

But Marcia Buck, president of Friends of Carhenge, says the group no longer has the money or the staffing to do Carhenge justice. “We do what we do and we do it every summer, but we recognize there’s more that can be done out there. Putting in an RV park or a restaurant or expanding the building, for example, would take a lot of cash that we just don’t have.”

Buck said she’s talked with Reinders, who now lives in Arizona and visits Alliance and the sculpture about once year. “He’s always surprised it’s lasted this long,” said Buck. “And he understands.”

This story first appeared on msnbc.com’s Overhead Bin.

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