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Birds of a Feather: 1954

Birds of a Feather: 1954

April 1954. "Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas." Medium format negative for the Look magazine assignment "What Price Gambling in Nevada?" View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Cadillacs L to R

'53 (one piece rear window), '50 (shape of tail light lens), '52 (three piece rear window, bumper exhaust ports), probably a Buick station wagon between and the far right car is a '52 Chrysler New Yorker St. Regis hardtop coupe.

Since Dennis M asked

I'm no expert, but with my grandmother owning a 1956 Coupe DeVille and my uncle having a 1954 Series 62 4-door Sedan, I grew up enthralled with the P-38 inspired tail fin era (1948-1956) and learned to play the First/Last game, which can be applied to either the front or the rear of the car.

The Cadillac closest to the camera is a 1953 Series 62 4-door Sedan—First year for the one-piece rear window/Last year for that particular bumper design.

The middle Cadillac is a 1950 Series 61 2-door Club Coupe—First year for that style bumper/Last year for the chrome piece under the tail light where the reverse light would be from 1951-on.

The Cadillac furthest away is a 1952 Series 62 4-door Sedan—First year for the through-the-bumper dual exhaust and for the higher rear deck lid contour/Last year for the three-piece rear window.

Behind the Cadillacs

From the rear, 1954 Imperial, 1952 Oldsmobile, a 1953-54 Ford station wagon. I learned to drive with a 1953 Ranch Wagon. Anyhow, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


I had a professor in college who used to refer to a Cadillac as a "Merry Widow". He was quite elderly, and said that every time one of his friends died, the widow would immediately go out and buy a Cadillac.

Gas Cap

Not enough for me to ID the years, although the first two Cads are '51 to '54. A Cadillac expert could probably differentiate.

However, it might be of interest to point out that the gas filler is under the left taillight. Push on the round reflector, which is actually a button, and the taillight pops up to reveal the gas cap.


The tower in the background was one of the most beautiful neon creations in Las Vegas. Made up of hundreds of small circular neon lights in soft white, they lit from the bottom to the top (or 'boiled'). It was often referred to back then as the "champagne tower."

What's in Your Trunk?

Hmmm. A row of Cadillacs in 50s Vegas. I wonder how many dead bodies are in the trunks?

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