Since I did not have room in the first post and it seems popular, I went through my pictures to find examples of the other fins mentioned below.
Because the 1960 Cadillac’s fins had shrunk many see that year as the beginning decline of the tail fin. The tail fin was not done yet, it was just finding new areas to explore, like young plants trying to find new, fresh habitat in a dense forest.
Chevy’s 1959 & 1960 models and Ford & Edel’s 1960 model turned the fins on their sides to create wings.
1959 & 1960 Buick, 1960 & 1961 Chrysler and Desoto ran with and expanded the canted, diagonal fin seen on earlier Thunderbirds and Lincolns.
Tubes in circular or oval shapes also sat on the top edges of rear fenders as seen on 1959 Fords, Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles. Pontiac even capped off each of the tubes with a pair of fins.
Dodge strayed from the traditional vertical fin in 1960 and 1961 also. The 1960 Dodge Matador and Polara clipped the fins off ¾ of the way down the rear fender. In 1961 the fin would peak behind the rear window and gradually fade down as it reached the end of the trunk.
Mercury and Rambler did not have large fins in 1960 but both had a cute little curve in the tip of the fins.
Oldsmobile and Cadillac, in 1961, both figured that the pinnacle of the upward vertical fin had been achieved and sprouted diagonal downward fins, often referred to as skegs.
Studebaker, Plymouth almost all the rest had an interpretation of the fender capping tail fin. Even function before form stalwarts, Mercedes and Volvo, produced cars with tail fins.
After WWII auto manufacturers were scrambling to fill the demand for new cars, since auto production had stopped early in 1942. Early in the 1950’s a price war between Chevrolet and Ford started to squeeze out the independent car companies. Nash & Hudson merged to form American Motors Corporation and Studebaker & Packard merged into one company.
The sellers market had dried up by the mid-fifties and an economic downturn in 1958, that became known as the Eisenhower Recession, hit the automotive market hard. The recently expanding middle price car territory took the biggest hit, effecting Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Dodge, Chrysler, Mercury. It was a fatal blow for DeSoto and Ford’s new entry into the field the Edsel.
The period did produce some of the most extravagant and glitzy cars ever produced. If you want to see more cars from 1958, click the link below:
Helen Van Winkle is 87 years old. On some days, she likes to wear floral dresses and drop earrings. On others, she’ll wear a sweatshirt plastered with a hyperrealistic print of Justin Bieber over green-rose-patterned leggings and a clutch of gold chains and tattoo chokers.