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.