Cruising San Mateo I.

Chevy on a Stick

Field review by the editors.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

In the endless parade of reverential car museums and automotive shrines that bewitch Route 66 pilgrims, one tribute stands above the rest, literally. "Cruising San Mateo I" was erected in June 1991: a 1954 Chevy salvaged from an Arizona junkyard, facing West atop a 26-foot-high triumphal arch. Both the car and arch are covered in tiles, arranged in such a way that the midnight blue Chevy appears to be bleeding into the turquoise arch.

At the time, artist Barbara Grygutis called her artwork "a very American image" because, she said, the USA puts cars on pedestals. Its critics called it far less flattering things. One city councilman said that Albuquerque's taxpayer money should've been spent on a memorial to veterans or astronauts. Another suggested holding a party at the artwork "with sledgehammers." Within a month of its dedication, the sculpture had mockingly been dubbed by its detractors, "Chevy on a Stick."

That name has stuck to it ever since -- most people have long forgotten that it was called anything else -- but the animosity that produced the moniker has faded. Albuquerque residents now seem to accept Chevy on a Stick -- or at least they recognize it as a useful landmark for giving directions.

Chevy on a Stick

Gibson Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM
On the northwest corner of San Mateo Blvd SE and Gibson Blvd SE.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

High School Sea SerpentHigh School Sea Serpent, Albuquerque, NM - 1 mi.
Historic Microsoft HeadquartersHistoric Microsoft Headquarters, Albuquerque, NM - 1 mi.
Muffler Man: Lumberjack MutantMuffler Man: Lumberjack Mutant, Albuquerque, NM - 2 mi.
In the region:
Tinkertown, Sandia Park, NM - 15 mi.

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November 29, 2020

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