Self-professed gearhead - and sometimes installation artist - Weston Akins spins a nice yarn about how the hind end of a black 1978 Cadillac ended up on backside of a Basis school on East Broadway.
His fantastical version involves a really big catapult and a lot of upper body strength.
In reality, the Caddy, an 11th-grade art project for the former student and two friends, was installed on an exterior wall at the school using a hoist and a bunch of concrete anchors.
"The whole back area of the school where we have lunch, our art teacher gave us each our own section and we were supposed to paint a mural," said Akins, now a University of Arizona student. "I'm not much of a painter, but I build cars and I weld."
Akins happened to have a '78 Caddy lying around and asked if he could use that for his art project. Fellow students Andrew Geary and Charlie Johnstone helped Akins with the project.
"We worked on it for a couple months and got it mounted out there on the very last day of school, and our principal gave us the license plate - BASIS T - for Basis Tucson," Akins said.
Around the Caddy - which all three signed - the students added a touch of paint, making faux cracks on the bricks to give the wall that just-crashed-into look.
The high school moved this year, and the building at 3434 E. Broadway, across from El Con Mall, has been repainted and put up for sale. Yet the Cadillac remains.
"There's actually talk of that school not being sold and being reused," said Akins, who works at the new high school at East River and North Craycroft roads.
If the building is sold, however, Akins plans to retrieve the tail end of his Caddy.
"If it goes home, it will probably get mounted on the front of my garage. I have a shop where I still work on cars," he said.
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