View Full Version : 1957 Pontiac Unearthed in Oklahoma

06-15-2007, 10:31 PM
1957 Pontiac Unearthed in Oklahoma

Associated Press Writer
(AuGmENTor: No end of the world new world order stuff here, this made me grin, so I thought I'd share it with yas.)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -

Thousands watched Friday as a crane lifted a muddy package from a hole in the courthouse lawn: a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere buried a half-century ago to celebrate Oklahoma's 50 years of statehood.

The wrapped car was covered in red mud as it came out of the hole. Its trademark fins were exposed, caked with either rust or mud, and a bit of shiny chrome was visible on the bumper.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Miss Belvedere," said event organizer Sharon King Davis, a fourth-generation Tulsan whose grandfather helped bury the Plymouth.

The gold and white two-door hardtop spent the last half-century covered in three layers of protective material and encased in a 12-by-20-foot concrete vault, supposedly tough enough to withstand a nuclear attack.

But event officials already had to pump out several feet of water from its crypt.

Some in the crowd had arrived downtown at dawn and endured torrential rain just to glimpse the car. By the time of the midday ceremony, people were standing on rooftops and looking out office buildings as news helicopters buzzed overhead.

The car was placed on a flatbed truck so it could be unwrapped, spruced up and officially unveiled Friday evening at the Tulsa Convention Center. Spectators lined the streets to watch its journey.

Whether the car will start was unknown. The suspense drew Pittsburgh car enthusiast Dave Stragand.

"It's our King Tut's tomb," Stragand said. "It's like a fairy tale."

He and others weren't too concerned about the car's condition. "It's just the whole idea somebody thought of it in 1957 and here we are living it," said Denver retiree Bob Petri.

Buried with the car were 10 gallons of gasoline - in case internal combustion engines became obsolete by 2007 - a case of beer, and the contents of a typical woman's handbag placed in the glove compartment: 14 bobby pins, a bottle of tranquilizers, a lipstick, a pack of gum, tissues, a pack of cigarettes, matches and $2.43.

There was also a spool of microfilm that recorded the entries of a contest to determine who would win the car: the person who guessed the closest of what Tulsa's population would be in 2007 - 382,457 - would win.

That person, or his or her heirs, will get the car by June 22, along with a $100 savings account, worth about $1,200 today with interest.

Legendary hot rod builder Boyd Coddington, host of the TV series American Hot Rod on The Learning Channel, will try to start the car Friday afternoon. Thousands of tickets were sold for a Friday evening unveiling.

Back on the day the Belvedere was buried, all Bixby resident Marlene Parker wanted to do was find a photographer for her wedding. Catching a glimpse of the car being lowered into the ground was the last thing on her priority list.

Unfortunately, not for the photographer: He was shooting the burial.

This weekend, the 70-year-old will celebrate 50 years of marriage and may come downtown to see what all the fuss was about back then. "Probably across the pond people know about it," Parker said. "If nobody knew where Tulsa, Oklahoma was before, they do now."