In 1957 , as a way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of statehood for Oklahoma , eight brand-new Plymouth Belvedere cars were buried in a vault beneath the lawn of the city courthouse in Tulsa . The cars were buried with relics and keepsakes from the state’s culture , and a contest was held to guess the city’s population of 2007 , with the winner to receive one of the buried cars .
The Burial and Excitement . The burial of the Plymouth Belvedere cars in 1957 was met with great excitement and anticipation . The cars were encased in a concrete vault and buried 50 feet below ground , with the hope that they would be preserved in pristine condition for future generations to see . The burial was seen as a unique and innovative way to celebrate the state’s history and mark a significant milestone .
The Opening of the Vault . In 2007 , fifty years after the burial , the vault was finally opened with much fanfare . However , what awaited inside was not what everyone had hoped for . The winning car , a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere , was found to be in poor condition , held together only by rust and mud due to water damage from being buried underground . The microfilm of the contest entries had disintegrated , and many items inside the car were in poor condition , including the engine , interior , and key .
The Disappointment and Challenges . The opening of the vault was met with disappointment and shock . The once shiny and new Plymouth Belvedere car was now a rusted and deteriorated shell of its former self . The water damage to being buried underground for fifty years had taken its toll , and the restoration process proved to be challenging . The engine was beyond repairing , the interior was heavily damaged , and the key was no longer functional .
The Attempted Restoration . Despite the challenges , efforts were made to restore the Plymouth Belvedere car . The restoration process involved de-rusting and stabilizing the car , but it proved to be difficult and costly . The extensive damage to the engine and interior posed significant obstacles , and the restoration process was eventually halted after initial attempts . The car’s poor condition made it nearly impossible to fully restore it to its original state.
The Winner’s 100-Year-Old Sister . In the end , the 1957 Plymouth Belvedere car was eventually handed over to the winner’s 100-year-old sister . However , due to the extensive damage and challenges in the restoration process , the car could not be fully restored to its former glory . Nevertheless , the car served as a unique piece of history and a reminder of the challenges that time capsules can face.
The story of the buried Plymouth Belvedere cars in Tulsa , Oklahoma is a fascinating tale of a time capsule gone awry . Despite the initial excitement and anticipation , the cars were ultimately found in poor condition due to water damage to being buried underground . The restoration process proved to be challenging and costly , and the car could not be fully restored to its original state . Nevertheless , the story serves as a reminder of the importance of proper preservation and maintenance when it comes to time capsules and preserving history for future generations .