Tonight was the big unearthing and unveiling of the 1957 Chrysler Belvedere that was buried in front of the courthouse in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma 50 years ago. After the car's underground tomb was opened earlier in the week and it was discovered filled with water, no one was sure what condition "Mrs. Belvedere" would be in. Brenton Burke, a friend of Autoblog, was present at the unveiling and filed this report.
"Three men from OSU's automotive school pulled the cover back and there she sat. Mrs. Belvedere was in ruins. Just destroyed... I was totally bummed and the old people around me really took it hard... They then continued to show flicks of interviews with people who watched the event, while Boyd et. al. tried to open the various compartments. They succeeded with the trunk and hood, but were having difficulties opening the side doors. In the trunk was some fun stuff. They had put the gas in glass jugs, then placed those in steel containers. There was a six pack of beer and some other destroyed memorabilia. The beer was still in tact! They opened the hood and removed the plastic cover that disintegrated over it, and showed us the mold/algae covered engine. At that point, there was nothing much left of the car.
They proceeded to cut open the big steel boiler that doubled as the real time capsule. It was perfect. They cut it open and pulled out an American Flag that looked brand new. Awesome! There were postcards, letters from the school districts, etc. Most of the stuff was random memorabilia that the people of Tulsa threw in, last minute, and un-documented."
More after the jump.
[Photos: Brent Burke]
The local news in Tulsa also reported that the car's keys were rusted inside the ignition. Any hope the car could be started was out of the question, as the engine is apparently now one giant oxidized block of metal.
Yet hope springs eternal. As Brent mentioned, Boyd Coddington was present in Tulsa as the car was revealed. Hemmings has reported that the custom car builder will be restoring the '57 Belvedere to its original condition. It's also understood that the car will eventually be given away to the person who correctly guessed what the population of Tulsa would be in 2007 some 50 years ago. The guesses were buried in the time capsule and reportedly survived intact.
All this nostalgia kind of got us wondering what 2007 model year car we'd bury if given the opportunity. A Mustang? A Prius? After seeing what 50 years of flooding can do to a car, perhaps the Aquada would be more appropriate.