It was undoubtedly an eye-catching publicity stunt. Two years after Big Tex was unveiled to rave reviews at the 1951 State Fair of Texas, the owner of Porter Chevrolet hired the same artist, Jack Bridges, to build a 80-foot Santa Claus to draw attention to his dealership. It took 12 people two months to complete, and when it was done, Bridges realized no trucks in the area were big enough to move it. Instead, Santa was cut into pieces and reassembled on the roof, complete with a full-sized 1954 Chevy in its lap. Days after it was installed, 46-year-old Park Lane neighbor Roy Davis made plans to have a crane hoist him up to Santa for his Christmas card photo. Tragically, as he was being lowered down, he fell 35 feet onto the concrete below, landing just between Santa’s boots, where he died. (Source: The Dallas Morning News)

A man (not the one pictured) fell to his death from the 80-foot Santa that topped Porter Chevrolet. (The Dallas Morning News article, 1953)

A man (not the one pictured) fell to his death from the 80-foot Santa that topped Porter Chevrolet. (The Dallas Morning News article, 1953)

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