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Who likes Cadillacs with Tailfins?


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11 hours ago, Frank DuVal said:

I can tell you the 59 was VERY popular in Virginia during that period.

 

Cadillacs from the late fifties regained their popularity with the big 1950's nostalgia craze that happened in the 1970's. They have largely maintained their appeal since then, though I sense a bit less interest in that era of cars in general nowadays.

 

I can remember a time, however, when not only Cadillacs, but most big American tail-finned cars of the late fifties were seen as gauche and terribly out of vogue. This would've been in the mid to late 1960's when the clean and angular Mustang was the trend setter in styling and sports cars like the XKE and Corvettes of the era were rightfully seen as modern classics. At that time, chrome was something you DIDN'T want excessive amounts of on your car.  It didn't help that many of those big Caddies and Lincolns from the fifties were becoming rusted out hulks by the late 1960's.

 

Of course, this is just my opinion/perception, but it seems there were only two tail-finned American cars of the late 1950's that were still considered good looking during the mid to late 1960's: The '57 Chevy and the '57 Thunderbird. There may have been others, but I wasn't aware of them as a car crazy 10 year old in 1968.

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And now those cars are highly sought after.

Some times styling is a little ahead of its time or is underappreciated when it is first debuted.

 

The motorcycle I own is a prime example.  That bike came out at a time when all bikes were covered with farings, but this bike was naked, no farings at all.  It didn't sell well and Honda only sold it for 3 years.

About 2 years after Honda stopped selling the NT650, Ducati came out with a naked bike that sold like hotcakes. By that time the craze for bikes with farings had died down so a light bike with good performance sold well.

The Honda NT650 is now a very popular cult bike with a devoted following.

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Back then one look at the taillights and we usually knew make and year.

P-38 had its turbochargers in the tail fuselages in front of the gear and radiators, exhaust was out the top. No side exhaust stubs. (other, other,hobby)

One reason I bought this house was because a 1967 (very good year for GM) Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special Brogham would fit in the garage.

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On 11/18/2020 at 5:07 PM, Stude Light said:

Very nice.  What are those front bumper protrusions officially referred to as?  I always wondered if that was ever commented on in their marketing or advertising. I have to think that Cadillac had a male dominated design staff at the time.


Dagmar’s.

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Harley Earl (and many GM execs) used to winter in Palm Beach, remember one year (think 65) he had a GTO 'vert. Didn't care for the two speed automagic (was my Jag period).

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

Harley Earl (and many GM execs) used to winter in Palm Beach, remember one year (think 65) he had a GTO 'vert. Didn't care for the two speed automagic (was my Jag period).


Harley Earl’s home is directly across the street from Mar-a-Lago, it’s modest to most of the homes in the neighborhood, and right on the water......too close. Alfred Sloan’s place just sold to Steve Wynn, and we had a chance to get a look at it during remodeling.........nice place. It’s at a location on the road now known as Sloan’s curve. Harley Earl’s grandson still lives in town, and I had lunch with him in February. He came by to see some of his grandfather’s work...........including an original rendering of a V-16. Interesting guy, who is writing a book on GM history.

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Tastes seem to eb and flow. Excesses, when new, seem to be touted as good design, only to be shunned in a few years. Then they are magically rediscovered by both some of those who saw them as good design, and a new generation of collectors who covet the styling excesses of yore. I'm not trying to make a judgement on the styling of any car, but I find it interesting that sixty years after this car came out, we are still responding to it's uniqueness

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4 hours ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

Tastes seem to eb and flow. Excesses, when new, seem to be touted as good design, only to be shunned in a few years. Then they are magically rediscovered by both some of those who saw them as good design, and a new generation of collectors who covet the styling excesses of yore. I'm not trying to make a judgement on the styling of any car, but I find it interesting that sixty years after this car came out, we are still responding to it's uniqueness

 

 

I don't think there is a doubt that the tail fin era is interesting, but got way out of hand. It was embraced for one reason.......which David Holls of GM Styling told me..........it was easy for people to tell how old your car was every year.....pushing sales to keep up with the consumption game. It sure made for an interesting 15 years of styling..........

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Have always liked the '58 Caddy the best besides the "3/4 size replica" (57 Brougham). Back of the tailfin has a reverse slope. Hope I never come across a 58 flower car.

 

Sloan's curve was there when I was a kid. Was way down south of the B&T, think the speed limit on the other side of the curve went to 55 or 65. Middle of nowhere but then we used 441 for speed runs because nothing was out there either.

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

 David Holls of GM Styling told me..........it was easy for people to tell how old your car was every year.....pushing sales to keep up with the consumption game. It sure made for an interesting 15 years of styling..........

I have always wondered if Cadillac's "Nineteen Fifty Six" dashboard proclamation and Buick's 56 and 57 year designations in their grilles was part of a planned obsolescence scheme. And Ford did it in their 1953 horn buttons. Doesn't affect people like us of course, but back then it told the world you had a year-old car while the Joneses had a new one.

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2 hours ago, rocketraider said:

I have always wondered if Cadillac's "Nineteen Fifty Six" dashboard proclamation and Buick's 56 and 57 year designations in their grilles was part of a planned obsolescence scheme. And Ford did it in their 1953 horn buttons. Doesn't affect people like us of course, but back then it told the world you had a year-old car while the Joneses had a new one.

VW ad - Keeping Up With the Kremplers - YouTube

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4 hours ago, edinmass said:

 

 

I don't think there is a doubt that the tail fin era is interesting, but got way out of hand. It was embraced for one reason.......which David Holls of GM Styling told me..........it was easy for people to tell how old your car was every year.....pushing sales to keep up with the consumption game. It sure made for an interesting 15 years of styling..........

 

Sounds like GM had so much cash on hand they could afford to retool every year for all new body panels.

 

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In 1961 I went by a VW dealership in Ottawa, Canada.  Diagonally across the showroom floor was a Beetle pulling an open trailer with a fishing boat and a big (for those days) outboard motor.  The sign said something like:  "For the price of a big car you can buy the Volkswagen, the trailer, the boat and the motor."  I owned a Beetle at the time, so I really appreciated the display.

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12 hours ago, padgett said:

 Buick ventiports are from the P-40 exhaust ports.

P-38 had its turbochargers in the tail fuselages in front of the gear and radiators, exhaust was out the top. No side exhaust stubs.

 

 

Where do you get that Buicks ventiports come from a P-38? There is no Port on a P-38, the exhaust come straight out of the turbo ( 2 per P-38 ) a single exhaust short stack and not venting anything. Heck on the ground you could only see them if you were on a B-4 stand.

Exhaust painting, how do you do it? - The Flying Fortress Group Build - ARC  Discussion Forums

 

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
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Wish people would stop finding fault with things I did not say. My post way back on page 1 said "Buick ventiports are from the P-40 exhaust ports. " Not a P-38. Different airplanes. P-40 was a single engined Curtis used by the Flying Tigers. Most had teeth.

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46 minutes ago, padgett said:

Wish people would stop finding fault with things I did not say. My post way back on page 1 said "Buick ventiports are from the P-40 exhaust ports. " Not a P-38. Different airplanes. P-40 was a single engined Curtis used by the Flying Tigers. Most had teeth.

 

Sorry for the confusion my mistake, at least I own up to them not like some ( like Sedanet for a Club Coupe on a cadillac),  but you can't call exhaust stacks ventiports. Ventiports were designed to get heat out of the engine compartment and not exhaust.

P-40 Warhawk/Stuka Exhaust Manifolds (Cast Resin) - Scale Items

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
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Sorry if mistook. Was told ventiport was Buick's official name for the portholes. Also told back in the depths of history that they were taken from the P-40 exhaust ports. Suppose could have been a P39 Aerocobra but those ports were behind the door.

 

Also a quick google search for the Caddy 2-door fastback produced "Sedanette" in several places. I always called them torpedo backs. I'll own up to a misteak but am not responsible for misinterpretations.

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

Sorry if mistook. Was told ventiport was Buick's official name for the portholes. Also told back in the depths of history that they were taken from the P-40 exhaust ports. Suppose could have been a P39 Aerocobra but those ports were behind the door.

 

Also a quick google search for the Caddy 2-door fastback produced "Sedanette" in several places. I always called them torpedo backs. I'll own up to a misteak but am not responsible for misinterpretations.

 

Correct, Bell P-39 Airacobra and Bell P-63 Kingcobra have engines behind the pilot. They also use the same Allison 1710 V-12 engine and use the same type of exhaust manifold ( not ventiport )

 

 As far as the Club Coupe fastback Cadillac and the Buick Sedanet goes I thought I cleared that up by showing Brochures from the manufacturers which prove my point.

 

  Every G.M. product of that time had their own term for the fastback model. The only year ALL the G.M. products used the Flow Through styling was 1949. Flow through styling started in 1948 in All Cadillac's and Olds 98 only. Buick for 49 only.  Pontiac and Chevrolet from 49-52 and modified versions 53&54.

 

The Torpedo term was invented by Pontiac ( in 1940 and to the end of the war Pontiac was building  Torpedoes among other weapons ). The first Torpedo term referred ONLY to the 1940 "C" body Pontiac 4 dr. sedan and "C" body coupe. The "C" body is the small Cadillac Body. In 1941 and through 1948 ALL Pontiac's were referred to by Pontiac as Torpedoes, along with Silver streak, and Chieftain.   

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Interesting, BTW I have several GM brochures, mostly from the 70's, that are contradictory. Have to know the month of issue. Mostly I go by what we called things when a GM employee, 1970-75.

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51 minutes ago, padgett said:

Interesting, BTW I have several GM brochures, mostly from the 70's, that are contradictory. Have to know the month of issue. Mostly I go by what we called things when a GM employee, 1970-75.

 

I have a few fact Pontiac brochures from the mid 70's that I swear the kids that put it together knew nothing about Pontiac history or products. How it got past the brass I'll never know, so many inaccuracies.

The brochures pictures of the Cadillac and the Buick ( that seem to vanish on this site sometimes ) are what went out to the dealers in real time for the sales force. I trust that and the pictures with the verbiage to be more correct that to a brochure made up by kids that weren't even born.

 

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Yes, fins were actually (but minimally) there even earlier, at least in my opinion:

 

Look at the chrome housing just above the tail light of my 1941 Caddy and you'll note it has a raised ridge along the center, including the left one which raises to reveal the fuel fill. 

 

Is this the start of the Cadillac TailFin?

 

Of course, the 1954 was much more prominent, displaying both DAGMARS and TailFins, shown below as I was leading a "Parade of the Elvises" for a photoshoot

1941 Caddy at Sacred Heart - Wedding 015.jpg

1941 Caddy at Saced Heart 11-10-2011 015.jpg

1954 Cadillac - Memphis beat TV Show Trailer 007.jpg

1954 Cadillac - Memphis beat TV Show Trailer 005.jpg

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)
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38 minutes ago, padgett said:

Looks like one you push the reflector to fill the tank.

 

 

 

Yes, that is how the assembly is released on our '54, and also our former '52.

The '41 just lifts the chromed fin to reach the gas fill.

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I bought a 1959 Cadillac when I was 17. That was 1972 and it was less than $400. It was a monster to drive and didn't like to stop quickly.

License plates then were based on weight of the vehicle, a dollar per 100 pounds. The Cadi was $53 a year. My next car a 1956 Ford Victoria was $34.

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4 hours ago, Brass is Best said:

Here is an open fuel filler.

55cad23.jpg

 

 

And... it was carried over to the '55 model as you can see on my freind's car.

IMG_8083.thumb.JPG.b229d24488db7f8d301e99cf9599bcac.JPG

 

 

Speaking of fins, just saw this Cadillac on the road yesterday.

 

IMG_8101.thumb.JPG.861ed97abdc368109a008f6eb13ac498.JPG

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