A Diamond In The Rough: This Car Was Dug Up After 50 Years And Looked Much Different Than When It Was Buried
Throughout the ages, humankind has amassed a wealth of remarkable and unforgettable moments. To immortalize and honor these occasions, people and places have come up with creative ideas.
Today, we discuss a peculiar event from Tulsa where locals commemorated their state’s history. Step into the world of Miss Belvedere and discover the tale.
Let’s Rewind to 1957
On June 15, 1957, the city of Tulsa celebrated Oklahoma’s 50th year of statehood extraordinarily. A brand new 1957 Plymouth Belvedere was ceremoniously entombed in an underground vault beneath the lawn of the city courthouse.
Dubbed “Miss Belvedere” by the locals, the car was meant to serve as a time capsule. The Tulsa citizens waited eagerly for 50 years to hear the stories tucked inside her!
The Competition to Win Miss Belvedere
Miss Belvedere was more than just a time capsule; the gleaming gold and white car was a coveted prize. To earn the vehicle after its excavation, one had to predict the population of Tulsa in 2007 precisely. All 812 entries were sealed and stored in the glove compartment.
As an ode to the state’s rich heritage, Miss Belvedere also held a variety of souvenirs. A reinforced concrete bunker was built to protect her, designed to withstand even nuclear blasts.
Waiting for 50 Years With Bated Breaths
As the state’s hundredth anniversary came closer, the city of Tulsa became abuzz with the fate of Miss Belvedere. Many wondered if she would still be as glamorous and remain the same – a reminder of Tulsa’s past. Or would she be transformed, reflecting the city’s evolution over the years?
Families of the participants were also eagerly waiting to see the results of the competition that went on for 50 years. All in all, the centennial celebration was rife with anticipation.
The Unveiling of Miss Belvedere
The city officials and volunteers finally pulled Miss Belvedere from her sleeping grave on June 14, 2007. While this historic event caught everyone’s attention worldwide, the ending was quite anti-climactic.
As they scraped away the layers of earth and concrete, her form was revealed, encapsulated in a waterproof covering and submerged in murky water. People were overcome with grief as they saw Miss Belvedere’s completely corroded and damaged shell in a thick coat of rust.
Dun Dun Dun, It’s Time for the Winner
Despite the gloom with seeing Miss Belvedere’s state, the people of Tulsa were still eager to learn who the winner was. For people who were present during its burial in 1957, the excitement for the excavation and winner declaration magnified a hundredfold.
In the end, Raymond Humberston won the prize for correctly predicting Tulsa’s population in 2007. Unfortunately, he passed away before he could collect his award, and it was given to his centenarian sister instead.
Queen of the City, Now an Old Lady
After the excavation and the winning reveal, all eyes were on Miss Belvedere, the aging object of their collective past. Everyone wanted to know if they could turn back the clock and bring her back to her old-time splendor, yet no one had the heart to part with her.
That’s when Ultra One stepped in, given the task of restoring the car to its former glory. With the help of a generous benefactor, the work began in earnest.
Miss Belvedere’s Uncertain Future
Even after removing the rust from the car, Miss Belvedere seemed beyond repair. She was way past her prime, and the state didn’t want to put her up for exhibition.
Now, the city struggled with the dilemma of what to do with the car. Dumping her in a scrapyard was out of the question, as it was such a beloved symbol of Tulsa’s history. After much deliberations, Dwight Foster, owner of Ultra One, took charge of the rickety car.
The Slim Chances of Saving Miss Belvedere
Miss Belvedere emerged from her watery prison in a dismal and decrepit state, so much so that Dwight Foster of Ultra One referred to it as papier-mache. They had no idea about the car’s condition before its arrival and were quite sorry because they had raised people’s expectations.
Dwight and his team had a hard time going along with their plans. Attempting to restore it from such a precarious state could have crumbled the entire structure.
Did Miss Belvedere Survive Her Cruel Fate?
Following a series of sorrowful events, Miss Belvedere was graced with an uplifting end to her saga. The Humberston family decided to donate the car to the Historic Auto Attractions Museum in Roscoe, Illinois, where it now stands in a permanent exhibition.
Foster, in addition, reached out to the citizens of Tulsa to donate photographs and relics to the museum in honor of Miss Belvedere. In 2017, the beloved car was finally sent to its new abode in Illinois.