On The Wing Wednesday

My 2¢…since in the context of the damn virus all that should matter is getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, anyone who wants a vaccine should be able to get one if the supply exists. “Herd immunity” doesn’t care who gets vaccinated, just that the proportion reaches x percent of the population.

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Some who read this blog will wonder why I have never mentioned that this day, February 3rd, is the anniversary of the Baltimore Ravens win in Super Bowl 47. (Sorry, I think the Roman Numeral thing is stupid.) This is the fourth February 3rd that Disaffected Musings has existed.

After the first time the Ravens won the Super Bowl, which is now 20 years ago, I made so much noise that our next-door neighbors thought I was abusing my wonderful wife; we lived in a single-family house that shared no common walls with any other house. After the Ravens won the Super Bowl on this day 8 years ago, I simply let out a sigh of relief.

My metamorphosis from sports fanaticism to sports apathy did not happen overnight. Losing my baseball business more than 10 years ago was the largest reason for the change, obviously, but not the only reason. Oh, it’s still less than 50-50 that I will watch the Super Bowl this Sunday.

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Of course, on this day in 1959 musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson died, along with pilot Roger Peterson, in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. This day has been called “The Day The Music Died” after singer-songwriter Don McLean referred to it as such in his 1971 song “American Pie.” Today’s post title is NOT intended to be disrespectful of the events of that day; “On The Wing” is a synonym for wandering.

I can’t say that I am a fan of the music of Buddy Holly, but I understand and appreciate his influence. I don’t write about this too often, but to me the phrase “current American music” is an oxymoron.

I don’t know much about the plane crash or the events that led to it. In the Wikipedia article about it, the organization (GAC) that made the tour arrangements (known as The Winter Dance Party tour) is criticized for not properly considering the distances between venues when the performances were scheduled. The long hours in a cold bus on two-lane roads led to the decision to charter the ill-fated plane to get to the next performance. Buddy Holly historian Bill Griggs is quoted as saying, “They [GAC] didn’t care. It was like they threw darts at a map…The tour from hell – that’s what they named it – and it’s not a bad name.”

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The year of the day the music died is considered to be the zenith of the fins and chrome era. Of course, most car aficionados are familiar with the car that exemplified 1959 styling, the Cadillac:

 

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This picture of a 1959 Coupe De Ville is from Barrett-Jackson. Speaking of which…hey there, Barrett-Jackson. I live right in your backyard now. I am sure that someone with my aptitude and experience, my combination of analytical and communication skills and my love of cars would be an asset to your company. Sorry, had to write that even though no one from the company will ever read it.

Cadillac, with Packard now defunct and the 1957-58 recession in the rear-view mirror (see what I did there), had a good year with over 142,000 cars produced in 1959, which was a market share of more than 2.5 percent. Cadillac would love to have that kind of share today. By the way, Lincoln/Continental produced about 27,000 cars in ’59 while Imperial, a separate make from Chrysler, produced 17,000. As recently as 1949 (recent compared to 1959), Packard had outsold Cadillac by 26 percent and in 1951 Packard sales were only 9 percent behind Cadillac.

Cadillac’s V-8, the displacement of which was increased to 390 cubic inches in 1959, produced 325 HP/430 LB-FT of torque in all models except the Eldorado, whose engine was tuned for more power. Hey, the least expensive Eldo was $7,400 and the most expensive De Ville was $5,500. Cadillac had to create some reasons for the higher Eldo price.

In all honesty, the styling of these cars is excessive to me, but DSFDF.

 

#OnTheWingWednesday

#HerdImmunityDoesn’tCare

#TheDayTheMusicDied

#FinsAndChromeEra

#1959Cadillac

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Throwback Thursday: Fins!

Sixty car model years ago (1959 for those of you who are mathematically challenged) the trend of fins on American cars reached its zenith. (Speaking of Zenith does anyone remember the radios and TVs manufactured by the company with that name? “The quality goes in before the name goes on.” They were the first company to develop High-Definition TV in North America.)

 

 

No car epitomized tail fins more than the Cadillac. These pictures are from the 2004 edition of History of the American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®. It is not my intent to blatantly and wantonly violate copyright laws. It’s just that this page is perfect for this post. (To the book publisher: When/if I get paid for this blog let me know how much I need to compensate you. Seriously, a company that would hound me for showing part of one page from an almost 700-page book is out of its mind.) How about this photo of a car that is not a Cadillac:

 

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From pinterest a picture of a 1959 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer. By the way, I have been informed—and am always grateful when I learn something new—that the “Custom” is just part of the name of this car.

The beginning of the “fin era” as it is now known began with the 1948 Cadillac. Whether it was Harley Earl or Frank Hershey who actually had “the light bulb” is not important, in my opinion, but little doubt exists that the fins were inspired by the twin rudders of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning aircraft.

 

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A Barrett-Jackson photo of a 1948 Cadillac Fleetwood Convertible with the tail fins visible. Obviously they are quite modest compared to what fins would look like a decade later. Chrysler chief designer Virgil Exner played a large role in fins becoming more popular with his “Forward Look” design.

 

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A Wikimedia picture of a 1959 Chrysler Windsor. Note the body line rising from front to back, which was a key element in the Forward Look design.

After 1959 fins were phased out rapidly and were “extinct” by 1963 except at Cadillac, which retained the element in its designs into the mid-1960s although in a much less obvious way. From classiccardb.com a rear view of a 1965 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special Brougham:

 

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In my opinion the ’59 Cadillac tail fins are garish (almost no paradigm of excess is successful), but I like the design of many cars from that era with fins. Here is an example of such a car:

 

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From myclassicgarage.com a picture of a 1957 Oldsmobile 98. I don’t usually like four-door cars, but this one speaks to me in part because of the look of the rear including the fins.

Would any of you like to share pictures/experiences relating to “fin cars?” (No relation to fin tech…)

 

#TailFins

#ThrowbackThursday

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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