Carhenge on Television! Which Henge is Next?

Image from Disney+ upcoming series Cars on the Road, from this tweet by @PixarCarsFacts1

Cars on the Road is the name of a new series based on the Cars animated movies, to be released in September on Disney+. We have never seen any of the Cars franchise but the trailer for this series caught our attention by briefly featuring a Stonehenge replica! The vehicles who seem to be the protagonists in the show are seen at Carhenge in Nebraska.

As some of you may be aware, many movies and shows have featured Stonehenge as part of the plot or at least scenery, so many that we made up a list of them (see A Quick List of Stonehenge Movies), including the good and the bad. But so far we are not aware of any movies or shows that featured a large Stonehenge replica not being used to represent Stonehenge but simply as itself. We’ve been waiting. We were certain it was going happen, and this appears to be the first. (Although it is worth mentioning that the best known Stonehenge replica in Indonesia, Stonehenge Merapi, was used in a popular music video there over a year ago.)

We don’t know anything about the circumstances of the Carhenge appearance in Cars on the Road or whether it is identified in the show as Carhenge in Nebraska. When we learn we’ll add that information here. Meanwhile another show caught our interest recently when in Umbrella Academy two characters are crossing through Pennsylvania and one while reading a list of roadside attractions mentions “Cowhenge”. While there is no Cowhenge (We live in Pennsylvania so we’re quite sure of this), a: It’s exciting that they’re recognising and mentioning henges as roadside attractions! and b: Maybe there should be one! 🐄🐄🐄

We’ve mentioned, probably a few times, a moment in the show Elementary when Sherlock is building a Stonehenge of gold bullion. Small replicas are cool but we think the larger standing Stonehenge replicas will show up on screen because of their uniqueness and ambience. Imagine a movie scene where to people are talking (or firing at each other!) at Washington State’s Maryhill Stonehenge or at the impressive Stonehenge replica in Odessa, Texas. Think of the light and shadows. Or imagine romance or drama unfolding at Montana’s beautiful limestone Stonehenge, set by a lake near mountains and a forest, with a rolling golf course and an air museum featuring vintage aircraft. Many possibilities!

Stonehenge itself is rich with symbolism of many kinds. Using a Stonehenge replica in a story can imply some of that depth without the heavier ancient implications. Stonehenge replicas are also, at least to us, implicitly humourous if you care to take it in that direction. Hollywood is often hungry for visuals that imply meaning and for places that capture light in interesting ways. Maybe they’ll discover North America’s Stonehenges as places people go on their way somewhere else or as destinations in themselves. We’ll be watching when they do!

Until then and until next time, friends, we wish you happy henging!

Glimpses of a Carhenge–An Odd Corner of Henging History!

The Secret Life of Machines is an educational television series presented by Tim Hunkin and Rex Garrod, in which the two explain the inner workings and history of common household and office machinery.” So says Wikipedia and why should we bother to reword it just to sound like we’re not quoting it?

Friend of the blog Josteyn Ward [about whom we know things you would not want to know about your friends!] posted this video and its henge on the Clonehenge Facebook group along with its partner video which shows a car engine, clearly meant as a sacrifice, being carried into the henge by people clad in white, starting at about23 minutes 45 seconds in. Brilliant!

On the website, they have this: “We made carhenge for the car and engine programme. There are several permanent carhenges in the world, most famously one in the US desert. Ours only lasted two months, but it had a good site, and many people made pilgrimages to it from the main road a mile away. It is best seen in the opening shot of the car programme.

We are amazed that we never heard of this autohenge before now! It is extremely rare for a television show to make and feature its own Stonehenge replica. The history of henging has many hidden corners. Score: 8 druids, as much for the procession and sacrifice of the internal combustion engine as for the Stonehenge replica itself!

This idea of Stonehenge as a place of human sacrifice persists, but happily it is not taken as seriously as it once was. It makes an excellent basis for jokes. Nothing tickles the funny bone like an innocent person being laid out on a stone and eviscerated before a large crowd! Possibly our friend Josteyn Ward would want to speak to this. Possibly. But we don’t actually want to know.

Until the next time friends, happy henging!

Dubhenge, Several Locations, U.K.


photo by Ian Lloyd, with permission (kombi trilithon here)

In 1996, a group of artists who call themselves Hugh Jart (get it?) set up this henge for the Beetle Bash at Avon Park Raceway for summer solstice. It was a Stonehenge replica made of donated junk VWs, both VW beetles and buses or kombis. More pictures: the whole replica, Hugh Jart’s Dubhenge photos, MTV’s video of solstice sunrise at Dubhenge. And the poster used to solicit the cars needed for the sculpture (we like this!).

The installation was moved to the Glastonbury Festival that year, to the Park Festival in Scotland and then to the V’97 Festival at Leeds before being scrapped.

What’s not to like? Score: 7 druids for the bug-ly henge. We like the happy hippy vibe and the idea of a monument to such a beloved piece of transportation!

Carhenge, little henge on the prairie


photo by Rich Koele, used by permission

Out in the Nebraska prairie one weekend in 1987 this mighty, prototypically American monument was raised by Jim Reinders and members of his family attending a reunion. Celebrated in news stories and in many elements of pop culture, it may be the best known of all the Stonehenge replicas. It certainly stands as a brilliant example of the Clonehenge principle: there is a human imperative to build Stonehenge replicas of anything vaguely resembling the original’s sarsen stones.

Unlike some builders of henges, Mr. Reinders had some knowledge of Stonehenge and did go to the trouble of duplicating features such as the heelstone, the inner trilithons, and the slaughter stone (Aubrey holes are still being placed). That and the grey paint used to protect the cars from rust give this henge a surprisingly authentic look considering the materials used. (This is unlike Cadillac Ranch, which is just a row of cars dug part way into the ground.)


Click around the official Carhenge website, and you can see pictures of Carhenge in many weathers and from many angles, plus the picture above, of a model Carhenge brilliantly made by ten year old Ryan Ceason of Farmington, MN, entirely from pictures without ever seeing the monument, for a social studies project on landmarks. We couldn’t resist asking permission to post this replica of a replica of Stonehenge, and we’re grateful to his mom, Mara, for getting back to us. It’s a Clonehenge to the second power!

Many thanks to Hallie Widner of the Carhenge website, to Rich Koele, and to the model maker and family. We score Carhenge itself a solid 8 ½ druids, and to the model of Carhenge we award 9 1962 Cadillacs!

Here it is on Google Street View. Not very clear, but it’s there!

And, sent in by friend of the blog David Raven, a Nebraska show’s video about Carhenge, with a little history.