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Tulsa, Oklahoma: Time Capsule: 1957 Car Was Buried Here (Gone)

Whoever in 1957 had the closest guess to Tulsa's population in 2007 got the car. Except that it was a rusty, waterlogged mess.

Was downtown, at the northwest corner of Denver Ave. and W. 6th St.
Revealed! Destroyed by water damage.

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Hood open on the 1957 Belvedere.

Time Capsule - 1957 Belvedere Exhumed

[Emily was at the exhumation ceremonies of the 1957 Belvedere in Tulsa's time capsule] I'm told that the Tulsa World's Friday edition -- which included a special wraparound all about the Belvedere, with our 1950s-era masthead at the top -- actually sold out before noon Friday because people were so eager to get a souvenir from the unearthing of the car.

I talked to people from Michigan, Florida, and even some folks who came all the way from Norway just to see them dig up that car.

Low fin view of the resurrected Belvedere.

It was amazing ... and I thought the car was gorgeous, in a heartbreaking kind of way. It reminded me of some of the pictures taken by Gulf Coast residents when they returned to their homes after Katrina -- same type of damage, same desperately sad vibe, where you've got an object that's recognizable by its lines but so badly mutilated by water damage that it no longer serves any useful purpose except to tell a story about its past.

[Emily Priddy, 06/21/2007]

Time capsule plaque

Time Capsule: 1957 Car Buried Here

The 1957 Plymouth Belvedere buried in downtown Tulsa as part of time-capsule will be unearthed at noon on Friday, June 15, 2007, as part of the year-long celebrations marking the Oklahoma Centennial. A live webcast will be provided for both the unearthing and the presentation of the time-capsule items later that afternoon. The original burial was accompanied by a contest to predict the 2007 population of Tulsa. The closest prediction wins the car (or what's left of the car). Results of the contest will be part of the ceremonies on the 15th.

[Stephen O'Connell, 06/16/2007]

The car was disinterred on Friday, found in four feet of water, almost completely rusted, with flat tires and rotting upholstery. Apparently, 1950s preservation technology could not withstand the ravage of five decades of weather and bad drainage. The postcards from contestants guessing the city's population survived undamaged in a sealed steel capsule. The winner of the car's remains will be announced within a few weeks...

1957 Chrysler in a Time Capsule

We are members of the Route 66 listserv, and we found this link about members of the Tulsarama festival in 1957 burying a brand-new Chrysler car in a time capsule that's supposed to be unearthed in 2007. Whoever has the closest guess to Tulsa's population in 2007 wins the car. If that person is dead, the heirs get the car. The Web site has a countdown, and apparently there is a brass plate above ground marking the spot.

Here is the link:

[Ron Warnick and Emily Priddy, 11/11/2000]

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