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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Bambi and the Cadillac: 1961

Bambi and the Cadillac: 1961

Somewhere in South Florida. "Marvin, Goble & deer. December 1961." My dad on the left and Mom in the car. 35mm Kodachrome by Aunt Marty. I found this slide just last week in a Kodak Carousel box labeled "Hunting." View full size.

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Vanishing Tailfins

The size of Cadillac tailfins began to diminish starting in 1960. By 1965 Cadillac tailfins were completely gone, but the tall narrow taillights, even seen on Cadillacs today, still hint of the heights they once reached.

The car pictured is a 1961 Cadillac Six Window Sedan de Ville. There was also a Four Window Sedan version that had a wrap-around rear window. The upholstery for each Cadillac model was different, so the open door on the drivers side, along with the number of side windows and type of rear window, helps to determine the exact model.

Prices for 1961 Cadillacs ranged from $4,892 for a 2-door Model 62 Hardtop to $9,748 for a Fleetwood 75 Limousine. Prices for 1961 Chevrolets were from $2,230 to $3,099.

Florida started using County Codes in 1938 on license plates, and in 1942 the state began using the "WW" code on license plates to indicate a passenger vehicle that weighed more than 4,500 pounds. The County Code system lasted through 1977.

The 1961 Cadillacs ranged in weight from 4,560 to 5,420 pounds. The six and four window versions of the Sedan de Ville are shown below.

RE: Key Deer

I would hope it's not a Key Deer, though it is the right size. Hunting Key Deer has been banned continiously since 1939 and the population dropped to near extinction in the mid-'50s.

Conservation efforts have worked to bring the population up a bit, from a low of around 25 to something in the mid 100s. They are still very Endangered.


I have a cat that isn't a whole lot smaller than that poor little deer!

Re: Key Deer?

From the size of it, my first instinct was that it was a Key Deer, too. Key Deer generally don't get much bigger than a large dog-- 75 lbs. at the most. However, because Key Deer are an endangered species, hunting of Key Deer became prohibited in 1939, and a refuge was established for them in 1957. Most likely, this is a small Florida Whitetail, or maybe even a crossbreed of a Florida Whitetail and a Key Deer that had wandered north looking for fresh water.

Very Cool!

Dave, your dad looks like a very cool guy and an interesting character.
Wish we could see your mom.

[Mom is here. -Dave]

Florida Chevy

Cadillacs were very popular in Florida (50's 60's) for many reasons, but most of all because they came standard with A/C... Hence, they were commonly called "Florida Chevys."

[Air conditioning was not standard in Cadillacs. -Dave]

Forlorn Florida Fawn

For transporting that teensy sized deer, a Corvair would have worked as well.

Key Deer?

Is the location far enough South in Florida to be in the Florida Keys, where they have miniature Key Deer?

Channeling Gonzo

Dave, the surreal qualities of this photo bring Hunter S. Thompson to mind. Fabulous picture. So rich, especially with your mother's body language.

[I suspect varying degrees of mortification all around except for my dad. (The deer of course being maximally mortified.) - Dave]

Oh Dear

Maybe they hit the deer on their Sunday drive. The woman in the car seems to be ready to go.

How could they?

Was that Rudolph? And did they eat him for Christmas dinner (as this was December)?

That's a deer?

We have fawns in North Missouri that are bigger than this

Florida tags

The old Florida tags had a number followed by the weight class of the vehicle. This Cadillac has a 1 followed by WW, which means that it was registered in Dade County (Miami) and the WW was for a large car that you see here. All 67 counties in Florida had a number prefix based on the population of that county sometime in the late 1930's, I believe. Examples are, Jacksonville (Duval County) had a 2, Tampa (Hillsborough) a 3 and so on. The practice was discontinued in the 1970s, I think.

I'd be embarrassed

There ain't enough deer meat there for a proper lunch.

Caddyshack hat

I'm reminded of Rodney Dangerfield's line from Caddyshack: "With a hat like that, you probably get a free bowl of soup. Oh, but it looks good on you."


Smiles and gore. God Bless America!

Cross Creek

I s'pose it isn't, but that house sho'nuf looks like the old Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings place on Cross Creek. I guess those fellers got the yearling!

Nice Mad Men outfits.

People even dressed nicely to go Hunting back then!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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