The Fascinating History Of Cadillac’s Tailfins

Hershey noticed how the dual tail of the P-38 could be used to a vehicle and how the shape resembled the fins of marine life. Knoedelseder wrote : “That day, Hershey thought of the fins on sea creatures as he studied the twin tail rudders of the plane. It struck him that fins were wondrous creations of nature—beautiful, sleek, and shiny, streamlined and symmetrical, the embodiment of power, speed, maneuverability, and stability—everything that a modern automobile should be.”

The remainder of Earl’s design group shared this sentiment. In their letter, Michael Lamm and Dave Holls “They returned to their offices and began drawing ideas of vehicles with tailfins, according to A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design. Plexiglas canopies, different air intakes, grille spinners, and bumper bullets are among additional aircraft themes that the P-38 inspired.”

Before Hershey was released from the US Navy and returned to General Motors in 1944, and the war ended the following year, not much progress was achieved on the two men’s tailfin goals. Hershey, who was now in charge of Cadillac’s design division under Earl’s direction and had the chance to add some flair to post-war cars, topped the sweeping rear fenders of the 1946 Cadillac Interceptor concept with upward flicks that included taillamps, giving rise to the tailfin. However, there was still work to be done to turn the tailfin from a concept car into a production vehicle.


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