Tag: fins

By on January 27, 2012

While waiting for my wife to stagger out of the dentist’s chair after a root canal, I grew bored with the October, 1994 issue of Highlights and other similar waiting-room reading material and noticed this painting on the wall. It turned out to be the illustration made by the Denver architectural firm that built the dentist’s office building, back in 1949. (Read More…)

By on November 9, 2010

Calling a car from this period a monster is not exactly uncommon or uncalled for. But what if its own daddy called it that? Virgil Exner, the father of the definitive automotive fins created a sensation in 1957 when they appeared on the all-new “Suddenly it’s 1960” models. With a straight face, Exner then claimed they were rooted in aerodynamics and highly functional. But with the ’57s he painted himself into a corner; there was no where further to go with them except ever greater absurdity, quickly turning them into caricatures of themselves. Even Exner admitted as much: “by 1959, it was obvious that I’d given birth to a Frankenstein”. I credit him for his honesty, if not good taste. (Read More…)

By on January 13, 2010

my what protruberances you've sprouted!

Contrasts and extremes; it’s what keeps things (and this gig) from getting dull.  Today I give you the ultimate contrast to yesterday’s Porsche 356A. Both were built at the same time, and were the pride and joy of their respective countries. A reasonably affluent buyer could afford either of these, although even the 60 hp “Normal” 356 cost somewhat more than the 315 hp Super 88 in 1959. Either way, their respective owners would have enjoyed the prestige and envy of their neighbors when they drove them home new. But look at these two cars forty years later, and what do we see? Contrasts; and lots of them. They’re about as different as two cars can get. But thanks to a bi-continental childhood and a little help from my friends, I can still find love for both of them.  (Read More…)

By on January 1, 2010

fins in SF

I could spend three life-times finding Curbside Classics on the streets of San Francisco. Last time here, before I started this series, I found a running Fiat 600 Multipla parked on the street. Does that give you a fair idea of the potential? On the other hand, I get annoyed by the city’s traffic and parking, so I don’t spend anymore time then necessary there. But on New Year’s Eve morning, we bopped into an almost dead town for some time at Fort Mason and the waterfront. I wasn’t really looking to shoot anything, but then there it was, sitting in front of a purple building. For a moment, I thought I might have found a very elusive ’57 model, but until that appears somewhere, this ’58 will do, quite well. (Read More…)

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