Spindle - Cars on a Spike (Gone)

Field review by the editors.

Berwyn, Illinois

Berwyn's Cermak Plaza Shopping Center featured a piece of public art like no other: eight cars impaled on a 40-foot-tall spike in the center of its spacious parking lot. Named "Spindle," the car kebob went up in 1989, skewered by Los Angeles artist Dustin Shuler, and had a cameo appearance in the film Wayne's World.

Spindle beckoned generations of video-shooting visitors, who yielded to the irresistible urge to drive doughnuts around it. But time and the elements took their toll on the eight skewered junkyard cars, leaving them battered and rusted by Chicagoland weather and caked with pigeon poop.

Cermak Plaza wanted to tear down Spindle so that it could build a Walgreens with a drive-thru. Proposals were floated to move the sculpture to another spot in the parking lot, or to build a new Spindle elsewhere. Multiple deadlines passed, yet Spindle still stood.

But not forever. Spindle was finally demolished on May 2, 2008, after a failed attempt to sell it on eBay. The top two cars -- the VW Beetle and the BMW -- were lifted off the spike (for possible future display), then the rest of the sculpture was toppled with a backhoe.

Spindle - Cars on a Spike

Torn down May 2008. Local health policies may affect hours and access.

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