The roadside art installation known as the Airstream Ranch has caused double-takes along I-4 between Tampa and Orlando since 2008 despite local lawmakers lobbying to have the shiny trailer parade put out to pasture.
Frank Bates, the owner of a nearby RV dealership, envisioned Airstream Ranch as a tribute to the iconic company’s 75th anniversary. He was inspired by the similar Cadillac Ranch installation in Amarillo, Texas which consists of a row of the classic cars sticking out of the ground in the same fashion. The Airstream Ranch sees eight silver bullets of the open road jammed into the earth at an angle not unlike a chromed out set of giant’s dominoes. Thousands of visitors frequent the attraction each year to marvel at the odd automobiles, but not everyone is so tickled.
Some of Bates’ neighbors viewed the installation as a nuisance, attracting too many unwanted visitors, and just generally being an eyesore. So after complaining to the county officials, the haters were able to get a recurring fine levied on the Bates’ trailers. However after taking the matter to court it was decided that the Airstream Ranch could stay and the Bates’ no longer had to pay any fines.
America does not have as many iconic standing stones as much of the rest of the world that is home to such ancient wonders as the heads of Easter Island and Stonehenge, but our collection of standing car formations is becoming a beloved tradition in its own right.
Update: The Airstream Ranch was torn down February 9, 2017 to be replaced with an Airstream Museum.
Know Before You Go
Sadly, this is now gone. It has been torn out for further commercial development.