Not so fearsome fins


Export-model 1957 Dodge makes a dramatic parting statement.
   FINS – THE KIND that are attached to sharks – have been sighted in nervous-making numbers this year in places like California, Australia and South Africa.
   Fins – the kind that are attached to cars – are always seen in quantity in Cuba, where they induce a much more positive reaction, at least among visitors (the locals just yawn).
   The impressive examples shown here were observed on a 1957 sedan of the exportus plodgis strain, meaning it's a Plymouth-Dodge amalgam built by Chrysler for non-U.S. markets.
   Inspired by the Jet Age, the automotive tailfin craze peaked with the enormous rear protrusions of the 1959 Cadillac (non loquuntur dorsum). But if General Motors won the battle in height, Chrysler led in variety, with designs like the emphatic pillars above, the delicate "floating taillights" of the 1955 Imperial (luxuria rex) and any number of intricate offerings in between.
   Look long enough in Cuba, and you should come across every style of tailfin. And yes, that includes the alarming, attached-to-a-shark type (caramba maximus). Generally, those ones are well offshore, but still reason enough for some of us to restrict our fin-spotting to the streets.

For sale, impressive tailfins included.




See also:

The Tailfin: American Automobile Design At Its Finest





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