June 7, 2015

Big-fin nostalgia.

P1140173

On State Street, yesterday.

29 comments:

Michael K said...

I remember them well. I never liked the over chromed cars of the 50s but the fins were great. The original Cadillac fins were modeled on the P 38 fighter plane.

Unknown said...

What make/model? I can't tell from the picture.

Big Mike said...

@Unknown, I think that's a 1959 Plymouth Fury. Pictures at Wikipedia.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Yesterday's rerun of Star Trek TOS was Plato's Stepchildren. That's the one where the Enterprise answers a distress call from a mysterious planet but it's a trap. The Platonians have telekinetic power and a society based on Ancient Greece, although Ancient Rome would seem more like it. Anyway, the point is, the powerful in control enjoy free rein to inflict their sadism upon the innocent and they call it entertainment.

The allusion to the phenomenon of schoolyard bullying is unmistakable. The actor Michael Dunn plays the epitome of the bullied victim with a kind of frustrated grace that gives pathos a good name. In the end the landing party figures out (SCIENCE!!!) how to give him super-duper telekinetic power, so he can even the score with his tormentors, but he turns it down because he doesn't want to become a monster like them. His basic human decency is as admirable as it was flattering to all the bullied nerds out there in TV land. We may be beaten upon, but we are morally superior to them, is the takeaway.

There were some problems with the script. A compulsory Flamenco dance by Spock, and then he teams up with Kirk to do a Tweedle Dee/Tweedle Dumb routine. All a bit too anachronistic, was my impression.

Perhaps I should mention that the compulsory semi-kiss between Kirk and Uhura didn't seem like all that big a deal, racially, as seems to be the current claim. Perhaps things were different back in the old days. I wouldn't know.

tim in vermont said...

I only remember these in real life as being beat up old cars that working class (everybody in my neighborhood) people drove. I remember my neighbor Frank had a DeSoto, and he didn't own it ironically either, it was his transportation.

If I can treat this as a cafe I would like to register my umbrage with George Lucas. I see by the web that I am late to the game here, but I bought the Amazon digital version of Star Wars to watch with my kids. My daughter yells out 'What is that CGI doing in this movie?" At first it was pretty subtle, but then a digital Jabba the Hut, who was never in the movie, slithers across the screen like a wet fart in church.

I see that the only known copy of the original print is moldering on file with the Library of Congress as a 35 mm print on film. Are those conserved? Will the public ever have a right to view that print?

Supposedly Mark Twain's editor said that while writing Huckleberry Finn, Twain would submit chapters that completely ruined the flow and sweep of the story, chapters of Jim and Huck chasing a circus elephant around or whatever. Lucas needs an editor. But, like so many others who achieve great success in the entertainment business, there is nobody more powerful to tell him to put his creative efforts into new work.

Why is he constantly changing who shot first, for example? Greedo or Han Solo. It made perfect sense for Solo to shirt first, character development wise. But then Greedo shoots fist, and in the latest version, they shoot at the same time.

Could you imagine if the Kingsmen managed to get hold of every copy of Louie, Louie, claimed that production standard did not meet their vision, and destroyed them all and limited us to a violin sweetened, backup singer enhanced, version where all of the words were clearly pronounced and all controversy was extinguished? It would be cultural robbery.

Sorry anybody who read this rant, but I am just so pissed.

tim in vermont said...

Ha eric, your post was not there when I started composing my own Sci Fi rant! Lol. We all know that Sci Fi is the final redoubt of racists. We learned that in yesterday's post. Oh Well.

it is hostile to collective efforts to challenge sexism: anti-discrimination laws, affirmative action, paid leave, and the broader net of social services that are particularly necessary to those who have historically been tasked with care-giving jobs within the family.

Notice how the writer sneaks "necessary" into that sentence as if it were unassailably true? I bet the writer doesn't even know he did it, they have that little self-awareness.

Michael K said...

"I think that's a 1959 Plymouth Fury. "

My buddy in basic training, and college, had a Fury and I don't think that is what it is. The fins look OK but the trim is different.

Fabi said...

I'm having fin envy.

Coupe said...

...Perhaps things were different back in the old days. I wouldn't know.

Depends. I'm from Oregon, where negro's and Japanese were never officially segregated, but lived in different areas until the late 60's. Even though we lived apart, we shared the same schools. So the kids didn't think about racism as much as our parents.

Not so in the Confederate states of the 50's and 60's.

Lem said...

So, what is the definitive spelling of the winning horse yesterday?

Does anybody know? There appears to be some confusion a Twitter.

Althouse?

Coupe said...

1960 Plymouth Fury, based on the "stabilizers" and chrome trim (Chrysler did not call them fins).
The stabilizers allowed the tank to not be as effected much by a crosswind.

Coupe said...

Hmm, "effected" or "affected" - I lose...

Big Mike said...

@Coupe, I think you're right. That round medallion is shown on nearly every picture I could find of the '60 but I only found one picture of a '59 that had it -- and that picture shows a very different tail light configuration from the one in Althouse's picture. You have a good eye, sir.

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dick Stanley said...

A Plymouth. Ugh. Only the choke on the dashboard could save you. Now and then.

William said...

All those sculptural details in a fins and bumpers are pretty to look at, but they made traffic accidents less survivable. If you get struck with a fast moving sculptural object, it's better to get hit with a Brancusi rather than a Giacometti.

Robt C said...

When I was 18 I ran my motorcycle into the back of a '56 Ford. Crushed my chest on the fin. I'm glad it wasn't that Plymouth in the picture -- I doubt I'd be here to post this comment.

madAsHell said...

Let's not forget the money, and the failed marriages that have kept those cars in pristine condition.

Michael K said...

You're right about the 1960 Fury. My buddy had a 1958 Fury but not a convertible.

Different trim.

Quaestor said...

Michael K. wrote: The original Cadillac fins were modeled on the P 38 fighter plane.

This is news to me.

Here's a view of the 1948 Cadillac, the first with fins. They were known as "fishtails" back then according to Hemmings.

Here's a view of the Lockheed Lightening from approximately the same angle. Personally I don't see a resemblance in the fins. If anything the most Lightning-like thing about the Caddy is the roofline.

Quaestor said...

Well, live and learn. You're right about the fins. According to this Cadillac promotional art the whole car took design inspiration from the P-38.

JCC said...

The 1960 Plymouth was a beast, or more properly, a dog. It was the first modern Chrysler Corp to have unibody construction, mainly because for years, Playmouths were know mainly as being rust buckets from poor construction and over-used dies at the factory. Although there was no rust-o-matic, there was a SonoRamic, the first year in Plymouth for the famous 383 engine with a weird dual intake. It also had an oblong steering wheel, a strange ribbon speedometer, and those hideous fins, as someone noted, called "stabilizers" by Plymouth, which were supposed to make the car handle better in a cross wind. Looking at them, thats seems pretty counter-intuitive.
And no one has drawn a parallel between the rather excessive automotive styling and the look of men's neckties from the same time frame? I was equally unhappy with both.

rhhardin said...

Epstein lays into Rand Paul Law Talk 72 .mp3 file

(Link on the site isn't quite kosher but this should work, try save link as)

Quaestor said...

So, what is the definitive spelling of the winning horse yesterday?

American Pharoah is the official registered name of the colt. The name was submitted to The Jockey Club with the misspelling, evidently by accident. I discussed the registration process at length yesterday.

Quaestor said...

1960 Pymouth Fury Coupé

Gerry Anderson's Supercar

Which inspired which?

rhhardin said...

Epstein and Ilya Somin on Kelo and public use takings aftermath. It's law principles podcast Christmas.

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

If you paid extra, you could get a Highway Hi-Fi in a Chrysler product:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_Hi-Fi

Just Mike said...

You can barely see the rudders