Vintage Photo of the Day: Unsold 1973 Ford Mavericks Being Stored Underground

(Ed: this was the most popular post on CC in 2023)    This vintage picture of unsold 1973 Ford Mavericks being stored underground has been making the rounds of the internet recently, so I figured I would share it here. At first, I thought this picture was fake or at least staged, but after doing a little research, it turns out that this photo is very much the real deal.


A warehouse 560,000,000 years in the making.


Specifically, the cars were being stored in a former limestone mine near Kansas City, Missouri called SubTropolis. As it turns out, Ford has been using this underground facility for decades to store both parts and completed cars, and as we shall see it is still very much in use today. 


If you’ve never heard of SubTropolis, you are not alone – I hadn’t heard of it either before researching this post. Today, Subtropolis is a booming commercial hub, managed by Hunt Midwest.

 With 55,000,000 square feet (about 1.75 square miles), SubTropolis bills itself with the trademarked phrase as being “The largest underground business complex in the world.” SubTropolis clients include the USPS, which supposedly stores millions of stamps here, and the National Archives and Records Administration. 



With both Ford and GM assembly plants close by, SubTropolis also makes an ideal place for upfitters and customizers. SubStopolis has an entire subterranean “Automotive Alley” dedicated to such businesses.