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: The other Tulsa time capsule

06-24-2007, 11:09 PM

Officials took different precautions for the car in the 1998 time capsule.

Encased in modern plastics and stored in a vault above ground, a 1998 Plymouth Prowler stands a good chance of emerging from its time capsule in better shape than the 1957 Plymouth Belvedere, officials said Friday.

Entombed at Centennial Park as part of the city of Tulsa's 100th birthday celebration, the Prowler's time capsule won't be opened until 2048.

Instead of being lowered into an underground vault like the Belvedere, the Prowler was driven into an above-ground mausoleum, which was then sealed shut and partly covered with dirt.

"That should bode well for it being a little more resistant to water," said Ed Monnet, a past president of the Rotary Club of Tulsa, which collected memorabilia to include with the car.

And instead of being wrapped in plastic sheeting like the Belvedere, the Prowler was enclosed in a seamless plastic "box," specially manufactured here in Tulsa for the time capsule, Monnet said.

Locked away on Jan. 17, 1998, the purple-painted Prowler was a rare prototype of what was then a brand-new design, meant to resemble a 1950s dragster.

Officials drained the oil and other fluids, replacing them with synthetics that won't degrade, officials said. And the vault itself was filled with an inert gas to keep the exterior in good shape.

Along with the car, the Rotary Club enclosed a huge collection of keepsakes, including a teddy bear, a pair of in-line skates, an envelope with four crisp $50 bills, a cellular phone, a postal uniform, a business card from an Arabian horse dealer, a family photo album, a case of Webers Root Beer and the faceplate from an ATM.

If Monnet remembers correctly, the time capsule also holds a large collection of Beanie Babies, which were at the height of their craze at the time.

"People tried to think of things that would define 1998," Monnet said. "And especially things that might not be the same when the vault is opened."

In 2003, officials moved the time capsule to make way for the construction of a new park center and a retention pond. But the capsule wasn't opened, and the new location remains in Centennial Park near the original site.

A 1998 Plymouth Prowler sits at the entrance of an above-ground mausoleum, where it was entombed at Centennial Park during the city’s 100th birthday celebration.

06-24-2007, 11:28 PM
Hmm...I know where to make a quick $200 and catch a ride home from Tulsa at least.

06-24-2007, 11:59 PM