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1959 Chevy Pickup: A Unique Art Piece in Wisconsin

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Although Chevy trucks are often considered an American icon, the blue and white 1959 Chevy pickup perched in a tree in Clinton, Wisconsin, takes it to the next level.

This unique art piece has been a local landmark for the past 24 years. It all started when Mark Madson, dubbed the “Wisconsin Mad Man,” hoisted his Chevy 50 feet high in the fork of a tree. He intended it as a tree house for his son Luke. Madson removed the engine and transmission before lifting the truck into the tree. He also installed brackets to further secure the truck.

Madson’s idea was for Luke and his friends to climb the tree and climb inside the truck through the windows. Not the safest design for a kid’s treehouse, but once the kids were inside they could imagine driving off to anywhere their imaginations could take them. Kind of like the flying car in Harry Potter.

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Madson occasionally uses a lift to take down the truck to wash and wax it, to make sure the icon lasts for years to come. Just this Monday, a fundraiser commemorated the art piece’s 24th anniversary.

The truck in the tree creation isn’t Madson’s only eccentric handiwork, however. According to, he has also built “The Answer is Blow’n In The Wind” big block Chevy engine weather vane and “The World’s Most Famous Automobile Mail Box.” He’s also invented Madson Power Blasters (“the cutouts that don’t leak”) as well as the Madson Crossfire distributor cap.

But to residents and travelers who drive through Clinton, his truck in the tree art piece is perhaps the most famous of his works.

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News Sources: Truck in the Tree, GM Authority