Is my car ready yet?

Centennial time capsule car found ruined

A car buried half a century ago in a time capsule had been transformed into a hunk of junk by the time it was unveiled on Friday as part of Oklahoma's Centennial. The concrete vault, built in 1957 and meant to be opened this year to celebrate Oklahoma's Centennial as a state, has leaked in the intervening 50 years and most of its contents were ruined, to the dismay of those hoping to find a pristine, gold '57 Plymouth Belvedere. Would-be auto restorers unwrapped 1950s-era protective covering from the mud-caked relic onstage Friday evening at the Tulsa Convention Center, revealing a ruined hulk with rotting upholstery, collapsed suspension, flat tires and an engine that appeared to be a solid chunk of rust. 

Why would anyone want to bury a new car? Lewis Roberts, chairman of the Tulsarama committee was asked, way back in 1957. "The 'Tulsarama!' committee," he replied, "decided on the event after looking for a method of acquainting the citizens of the twenty first century with a suitable representation of 1957 civilization."

"In our judgment," commented W.A. Anderson, Jubilee chairman, "Plymouth is a true representative of automobiles of this century - with the kind of lasting appeal that should still be in style fifty years from now.... Tulsans think big. And we feel we can over come any technical difficulties we encounter'.

As part of the "Tulsarama!" festivities, citizens of Tulsa were asked to guess what the population of Tulsa would be in the year 2007. The guesses were then recorded on microfilm and sealed in a steel container buried with the car. The person, whose guess is closest to Tulsa's 2007 population is to be awarded the Belvedere. If that person is dead, the car is to be awarded to his or her heirs.