Bill's Backyard Classics

Art installations are quite a popular thing in the city of Amarillo. In different areas of the city, you can spot replicas of American Quarter Horses painted in their own unique way. This project is called “Hoof Prints” and is an art display by numerous local artists through the interior of the town. Statues can be found in front of stores, banks, and other various businesses. One used to stand on a corner of Polk and SW 3rd St. that was covered in paintings of Marilyn Monroe in various poses sporting her famous white dress. Damage to this horse called for its removal, so this horse is no longer on display, but one that is still in good condition is the one located in front of Bill’s Backyard Classics.

Bill’s Backyard Classics was opened and operated by Bill Pratt. Mr. Pratt is a local resident of the city who found himself bored by the idleness of retirement. To stay busy and amused, Bill decided to put his time into building a car collection. He started accumulating various models from different eras in 2015. When he was first starting out, his collection was only 10 cars big. Today, the museum that features this collection has grown to house over 90 different vehicles of various makes and models. Bill’s oldest car was manufactured in the 1920s.

Before Bill began his pursuit to form a collection, he was already in possession of a few retro cars. While on his collection journey, he came to the realization that more people were into collecting, studying, and viewing these spectacles. Upon this realization, Bill decided to share his beauty with the public through a museum. Amarillo didn’t have too many things to offer in the entertainment industry anyways, so this would be a good place for families and the community, in general, to go for an excellent time.

The museum began construction, and Bill continued to grow his gallery. His mission was to share the collection that he loved so much with anyone who wanted to see it. To keep people entertained and interested, Bill would need to keep an eye out for eye-catching cars he could add to his museum. Both Bill and his wife would find collectibles in magazine ads, and at car shows, and within an 18-month period, the couple accumulated 88 new cars. All were cleaned up, restored, and displayed to the public. Today, they are the owners of the biggest private car collection in Amarillo.

With a variety of makes and models, the museum has something for everyone to see. The couple also managed to get their hands on a few extremely valuable cars, including a ‘61 Pontiac Catalina convertible belonging to Bob Segar, a famous American singer who sings “Old Time Rock & Roll,” and a ‘56 Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine that was Roy Hofheinz, famously known as “The Judge” and a former mayor of Houston. 

To keep the cars well maintained and restore new ones coming in, the museum features a custom and repair shop. This shop is used to make necessary touch-ups to cars in the collection. In the near future, the museum plans to install a playground for the kids who visit and an exhibit with a “Mator” (a character in the animated movie “Cars”) fire truck. Bill’s Backyard Classics is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

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Map from Bill’s Backyard Classics to William Wheeler, Amarillo REALTOR

Map from Bill’s Backyard Classics to Wildcat Bluff Nature Center