While driving down US Highway 7 between Brandon and Leicester, you’re bound to come across King Kong. Okay, technically the giant gorilla statue holding a VW bug is called “Queen Connie,” but I know Kong when I see him!
Whatever you want to call it, the statue was created by one T.J. Neil in 1987 as an advertisement for Pioneer Auto Sales. The concrete statue stands 16 feet tall (19 feet if you factor in the length of the arm holding the car aloft) and weighs a whopping 16 tons! With the closure of Dinosaur World and its 40 foot tall King Kong statue no longer available for public viewing, “Queen Connie” is now seemingly unopposed as the biggest Kong statue in the United States. If you stop by to have your picture taken there, please feel free to share your photographs with us here at Gravedigger’s Local 16. If we get enough, I might even post a photo gallery.
For those of you not satisfied with the picture illustrating this article, you can find a full body color image of the statue here. Oddly enough, RKO Radio Pictures (the company that made the original King Kong) used to have its West Coast archives located on Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. Life’s just full of funny little coincidences.
Special thanks to James Walsh for making the above image available under a Creative Commons License!