To coincide with the 50th anniversary of Rancho Mirage, Preservation Mirage worked with the current ‘Rancho Super Car Wash’ operators and owner to obtain a full historic designation for the city’s only neon sign, ensuring it remains a permanent fixture on Highway 111 for generations to come. The harsh desert environment has taken a toll on the pink elephant over the years, Preservation Mirage commissioned artist John Pirman to create an original work of art depicting the most iconic Rancho Mirage landmark, all proceeds will fund the full restoration and ongoing maintenance of the historic sign.
The ‘Rancho Super Car Wash’ Pink Elephant Poster is an 18” x 24” offset lithograph, printed on Endurance cover stock. It bears the Preservation Mirage logo and a brief history of the sign, this piece is sure to become collectible in the years ahead.
ABOUT THE PINK ELEPHANT
The Anderson family in Seattle owned and operated one of the city’s first automated car washes. In 1956, they opened a second ‘Elephant Super Car Wash’ on Battery Street and commissioned Campbell Neon founder and designer Beatrice Haverfield, known as the “Queen of Neon”, to create a large rotating pink elephant with 380 blinking lights – a masterpiece of motion, light, and kitsch.
In 1966 Richard Fromme, whose wife Marilyn was the daughter of Eldon Anderson, opened the ‘Rancho Super Car Wash’ in Rancho Mirage and used a similar pink elephant sign to attract attention. Of the seven original car washes, only the Rancho Mirage location is still in operation and only three of the iconic signs remain. In 2022, the two Seattle signs became historic landmarks; the large sign was donated to the Seattle Museum of History and Industry’s neon collection, while Amazon stepped in to restore the smaller sign which now stands near its headquarters.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
John Pirman is a mid-century modernist, artist, and designer based in Sarasota, Florida, where he is associated with Architecture Sarasota. His work is featured in The New York Times, Vogue, Wallpaper, and Fortune, among other publications. John has created campaigns for The New York Botanical Gardens, The Ringling Museum of Art, Viacom, and American Express. For 15 years he has designed holiday cards for the Museum of Modern Art. His private commission artwork, limited edition prints, and sculptures are widely collected.
top of page