The iconic Cadillac tail fin will soar once again in a special “Jet-Age” display at the 2019 Concours d’Elegance of America. This unique class, called “The Rise and Fall of the Cadillac Tail Fin,” will feature world-class examples of the marque from the 1948 through 1965 model years. Show date is Sunday, July 28 on the grounds of The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan.
Perhaps no automobile was as revered in its own time as the tail-finned Cadillac. With its powerful performance, elegant craftsmanship and breathtaking appearance, the Cadillac of the 1950s and 1960s truly was “The Standard of the World.”
Originally inspired by the Lockheed P-38 Lightning Fighter plane, Cadillac’s first 1948 tail fin was a Harley Earl creation. The sculptured fender line was soon copied by other manufacturers. But Cadillac was first, and the fin was instantly associated with the brash jet-age style of America’s number-one luxury car.
By the mid-1950s the Cadillac glittered with jewel-like style and the tail fins kept growing. Names like Coupe de Ville, Fleetwood and Eldorado Biarritz were embedded in American culture, music and movies. The Caddy’s tail fin reached its absolute zenith in 1959 and gradually receded as times and tastes changed over the next few years.