There are countless replicas and reimaginings of England’s mysterious Stonehenge—a prehistoric stone monument which historians believe was built to observe the summer solstice. One of the quirkiest and most imaginative Stonehenge recreations is Nebraska’s Carhenge, which was created by farmer Jim Reinders in the late 1980s.
After spending time in England, Jim Reinders discovered that several types of vintage cars from the 1950s and 60s were approximately the same size as the stones of Stonehenge. This discovery inspired Jim Reinders to build a car-centric Stonehenge out of cars that were salvaged from nearby junkyards and farms. Reinders named his project Carhenge and dedicated his modern take on Stonehenge to his deceased father, who had a special love for vintage cars.
In the early days of Carhenge, the residents of Alliance, Nebraska were not terribly happy about Reinders’ “junkyard sculpture.” A few years after Carhenge was constructed, Reinders spray-painted his sculpture grey so that it would bear a stronger resemblance to the original Stonehenge. Once Carhenge had a more finished appearance, the people of Alliance warmed to the sculpture—especially after they realized that it attracted tourists to the area.
Carhenge attracted special attention in 2017, when it was in the path of totality of a solar eclipse. Thousands of people gathered at Carhenge to observe the rare celestial event, including the sitting governor of Nebraska.
Carhenge features a visitor center and an additional field of car sculptures known as the Car Art Reserve. Highlights include a dinosaur, sunflower, and fish fashioned out of discarded car parts. Much like the original Stonehenge, one of the most popular times to visit Carhenge is on the summer solstice. If you find yourself driving around the state of Nebraska in late June, a trip to Carhenge to commemorate the longest day of the year is certainly worthwhile.
2141 County Road 59
Alliance, Nebraska, 69301