Who’s Framing Who? 1939 Cadillac Sixty Special Sedan

Here on Barnfinds, we’ve featured a number of cars that have appeared in Hollywood movies.  So when Barnfinds reader, Roger, tipped us off to this ’39 Cadillac, reported by its seller to have appeared in the Oscar-winning 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, I jumped at the chance to write about it.  But what I thought would be an easy car to write about has turned into a mystery even private eye Eddie Valiant would be challenged to solve.  Was this Cadillac actually used in the movie? Did the car debut at the 1939 World’s Fair (another claim by its seller)? And have I correctly identified it as a Sixty Special model?  Check out the ad for the car here on Craigslist where it’s available in beautiful Merritt Island, Florida for $5,000 and please let us know what you think in the Comments section!

The pictures provided by the seller in the ad really aren’t great and for the most part, consist of tightly framed shots of the car’s chrome hood ornament, bumpers, bezels, and door handles.  Thankfully, there is a photo of the car’s Fisher ID tag which, if original, reveals it to be body style number 39-6019S.  That would make it a Sixty Special model (according to my feeble research), but is it?  The seller offers virtually no help in identifying the car and simply refers to it as a Cadillac limo in the ad, although it sure doesn’t appear to possess any of the attributes of a limousine.  The car is without the side mounted spare tire carriers which confuse me since I can’t find a picture of a Sixty Special on the internet that does not have that feature.  Were those simply an option in 1939?

The seller is located about an hour from Disney World in Orlando, where he says he found the Cadillac.  Unfortunately, no provenance is offered and the seller’s claim that the car appeared in Who Framed Roger Rabbit appears only to be backed by his word.   Yes, the movie was produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios but that company is actually located in Burbank, California not Orlando!  And further research reveals the movie was filmed in California along with a couple of other locations, none of which were in Florida.  I’ve gone one step further and checked out a few websites that provide lists of cars featured in Hollywood films, most notably IMCDB, but can’t find any documentation of a Cadillac appearing in the movie.  But there’s more…

The seller reveals the car is without both motor and transmission.  Hmmm…that led me to some more sleuthing. As it turns out when the original Disney’s MGM Studios (now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios) opened in Orlando in 1989 there was a Roger Rabbit-themed portion of the park.  I’m thinking the car was used for a number of years as a prop at Disney perhaps?  It certainly seems plausible the seller bought the car from Disney (as he claims) since the park underwent renovations and much of the Roger Rabbit features were removed.  As for the seller’s claim the Cadillac debuted at the 1939 World’s Fair I can’t find any history on that and at this point, I’m done playing private investigator!  Someone might have framed Roger Rabbit but I think Barnfinds reader Roger framed me!  But thanks for the tip, Roger!

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Comments

  1. tom

    Nice car but you’d really have to be a particularly dim bulb to put a car on craigslist with 21 pictures and not one shot of the entire car. DUH!

    Like 7
    • James Martin

      What I was going to say. Let your wife take the pictures cause you suck at it.

      Like 3
  2. Jeff

    Seems like a awesome deal even without any additional pictures.

    Like 1
  3. Jim in FL

    I used to help out teaching diving lessons in Disney’s pool at the studios (it was called the thunder in paradise pool back then). There was a back lot that was part of the tram tour that had a bunch of mothballed exhibits. It’s possible this was one of them, the couple times I poked around, most of the static displays had the running gear removed, no engine or trans. I don’t think they made any claims to the provenance – it was stuff that sort of “fit”. Like random WWII vehicles parked in the Indiana Jones lot.

    I’m in Cocoa Beach, which is ten minutes away. If anyone has any real interest, reach out to me and I’ll swing by and check it out.

    Like 11
  4. Albert

    If anything I would put money on the car being a prop from the Disney (MGM) Studios park. Yes, they did have a backlot tour that featured old props from films but also props that were used around the studio as decoration as part of the park included an area that looks like old Hollywood. I would guess that it was used for that and maybe themed around Dick Tracy more so than Who Framed Roger Rabbit as that movie featured more non stock brightly colored cars and would have been from the late 1980s/Early 1990s when the park opened. Cool piece.

    Like 2
  5. brake dust

    Is that a Cadillac beside the 1941 Buick near bottom of page? Bumper looks similar.

    http://bestmoviecars.com/all-cars-in-who-framed-roger-rabbit-1988/

    Like 3
  6. luke arnott Member

    The 60S was introduced in 1938.Some had sidemounts,but not all.I had a RHD one 40 years ago.

    Like 1
  7. canadainmarkseh Member

    It doesn’t really matter if it was a prop car a movie car or even a worlds fair car, right now it’s just an old 4 door caddy that nobody really wants. It’s certainly not the most desirable car Cadillac produced and at this point best case scenario it will end up a restomod or a rat rod. Sbc 700r trans and a fresh paint job in navy blue or black. Down side it’s big and will take a big building to store it. I think $3500.00 is more like it maybe even less. No matter what I’ll bet it sits for quite awhile before it sells.

    Like 1
  8. dean

    it is a truly unfortunate occurance that this is 10 minutes away from me but the roof rust and lack of engine and transmission is off-putting to me.

  9. Shawn

    This car was actually used in the Walt Disney World , World of Motion ride at Epcot , you can watch old ride through videos and see this actual car there. It used to look beautiful, but after they closed the ride to make way for test track this was left outside in the weather for many years .

    • Albert

      Shawn is absolutely right. That’s the car. That would explain the flood light inside the car to light up the animatronic figures that once sat in front. Which would lead me to believe that the floor has some holes to power the figures as well. I wonder what happened to this car now?

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