While the concept hybrid cars of recent years have caused heads to turn for their sheer absurdity, the auto industry has always been prone to the excess and whims of its designers. Looking back at a few of the most hilarious hybrids of the 2000s got me thinking about another time of auto indulgence, the rise of the tailfin in the 1950s and 1960s.
These Jet Age accents were meant to look futuristic in their heyday, combining the sleek designs used by the aerospace industry into a car everyone could own. And even though I agree with one blogger who called the designs "outdated and obsolete," regardless of any criticism, many car collectors consider purchasing these models for their certain vintage charm.
Here are my three favorite fin-tastic designs:
3. 1959-60 Chevrolet Bel Airs – Completely redesigned from the third-generation Bel Airs, these sedans were meant to compete with the new visual designs of the time by going above and beyond what was on the market. With cat's eye-shaped tail fins and low-as-could-be tail lights, the Bel Air helped prepare Americans for the decade that would bring space travel.
2. 1958-60 Ford Thunderbirds – As it was one of the first sport cars with rear seats, much of the public's attention was on the Thunderbird for its other design accents. But, one look at elongated body of this classic is sure to catch the eyes of car fans. And, even better, they're often available for aspiring collectors today.
1. 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville – While other cars had tail fins, the Coupe de Ville nearly had wings. It was a staple of luxury at the time, but today the de Ville looks more comfortable alongside the car creations from Tim Burton's "Batman" movies than on a highway. Still, this version of the Coupe de Ville pushed the limits of fins to the breaking point, and like the super-size fry, this version of the Coup de Ville finally helped mark the end of an era.
What do you think of Pete's list? Did your favorite fins make it? Does the list need an addition? Let us know your thoughts below:
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