Author Publishes Book On Piece Of Unique Tulsa History

A unique piece of Tulsa's history is the subject of a new book. It's about a '57 Plymouth named "Miss Belvedere" that was buried here in 1957 and unearthed 50 years later.

Friday, September 22nd 2023, 5:13 pm


A time capsule car buried in Tulsa and unearthed 50 years later is the subject of a new book titled The Buried Plymouth: A Story Unearthed in Tulsa.

It all started in 1957. Oklahoma was celebrating its Golden Jubilee.

"My father got us up early and said we are going to go downtown and watch a car being buried. I was four, so of course, I went," Tulsan Cheryl Y. Forrest recounts.

The car was a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere to be sealed in a vault underneath the Tulsa County Courthouse lawn until the state's centennial. Forrest said she still remembers being picked out of the crowd that hot summer day.

"This person was at the Belvedere, and he said bring her forward," she continued, saying, "My dad brought me forward, and he handed me off to someone who placed me on the front of the car."

Forrest documented that moment in a short article titled The Buried Car and later wrote about it in her book The Girl on the Belvedere, published in 2022.

The "Miss Belvedere," as the car later was called, garnered national attention as plans for its unearthing began. The news traveled as far as New York, where Sanford Miles was teaching at the time.

"I was just surfing the internet, and I saw all of a sudden this pronouncement," said Miles, the author of The Buried Plymouth. "It was April 2005, and it said, '2 years, 2 months until she is unearthed,' and it was a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere."

Miles knew he had to go to Oklahoma, but the time capsule car inspired another idea. "I said, 'I want to be there when they pull it out of the ground,' and a colleague said, 'Why don't you write a book?' I did."

The book includes historical photos like the one of Forrest sitting on the car's hood. As he worked on his book, Miles said inspiration struck again. "I am online, and I saw this car for sale, and I said I have got to get that car because publicity-wise, it is a no-brainer."

He bought an exact replica of the Miss Belvedere, every detail a perfect match down to the desert gold and sand dune white exterior and push button controls. "I knew that I was going to debut here one day, but to debut with the car was just a dream beyond belief that I could acquire it," said Miles.

The original "Miss Belvedere" now sits in the Historic Auto Attractions Museum in Illinois. However, it took several years to restore it after the 2007 unearthing did not go as planned. "We knew that the vault had been flooded, that was announced a couple days before, but it was still the car that I sat on. It was still a piece of my history," said Forrest.

History that will forever be etched in the pages of both authors' books. More information can be found at their websites: HERE for The Buried Plymouth and HERE for The Girl on the Belvedere.

Miles is also in Tulsa this weekend to launch his book. He will be at Magic City Books at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 22, and the Tulsa Historical Society on Saturday, September 23 at 11 a.m.


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