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[SIZE=medium]With all due respect, I’d rename the exhibit: Fins: Form Not Entirely Without Function. As Allpar points out here—[/SIZE]
[SIZE=medium]www.allpar.com/history/memories/fins/[/SIZE][SIZE=medium] “…with the high upswept fins of” [Virgil Exner’s 1957 Chrysler Corporation cars] “tests showed that road-holding stability was improved, reducing steering correction by as much as 20 percent in strong cross winds at normal highway driving speeds.” The rear fins helped to balance wind forces around the center of gravity, given the commonly front-heavy (motor and trans up front) car designs.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]As I understand it, Chrysler’s only “in-person” representative in this particular exhibit (if you don’t count the Chryco-based Rat-Pack- favorite 1958 Dual-Ghia pictured above) is an absolutely beautiful black 1957 Chrysler 300![/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]Fins… is on view in the Petersen’s largest gallery, the Grand Salon, through February 2, 2014. www.petersen.org [/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]Amateur member Jeepophile hereby offers this multiple post for the edification of Allpar and its community.[/SIZE]
 

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Someone should ask Richard Petty about how those Plymouths handled between the the 1960 and 1961 model years when the fins were removed. His dad's 1961 Fury had was in a historic crash at Daytona.
 

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patfromigh said:
Someone should ask Richard Petty about how those Plymouths handled between the the 1960 and 1961 model years when the fins were removed. His dad's 1961 Fury had was in a historic crash at Daytona.
If memory serves, Richard's went over the wall that year too, on the opposite end of the track from Lee. Not sure if we can lay the blame on the lack of fins, though. But, whereas the Daytona/Superbird wing got all the attention, I believe the wide vertical stabilizers were a boon to those cars, as well.
 

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Yes, indeed, and

[SIZE=medium]….“Two stories explain the rear spoiler. The common idea is that it's three feet tall so the trunk can open. An interview with the engineers at Chrysler, long ago, included a comment to the effect that as the numbers kept getting better as they raised the spoiler, until it was three feet off the car, that's where they left it. (Some people are vehement that it was indeed placed to let the trunk open.)”[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt](Excerpted from: [/SIZE]
[SIZE=medium]www.allpar.com/model/superbird.html[/SIZE][SIZE=medium] )[/SIZE]

 

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Fins did and do improve crosswind stability, Exner was no fool, look at the current Formula One race cars, they ALL have fins for stability. Once again it was the, mostly irresponsible, press that put the hate on fins.
 

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Are there any rules regarding safety that prohibit fins on todays cars? The cost of stamping such a sharp crease I assume would be higher. The current 300 already looks like it could sprout some small fins from it's flanks.
 

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GasAxe said:
Are there any rules regarding safety that prohibit fins on todays cars? The cost of stamping such a sharp crease I assume would be higher. The current 300 already looks like it could sprout some small fins from it's flanks.
Likely there is, however even if there isn't, as soon as fins appeared, there would be a group of hand wringing nannies springing up to protest.
We have become vanilla and low grade vanilla at that...
 
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Tailfins?!?! Think of the children!!!
 
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GasAxe said:
Are there any rules regarding safety that prohibit fins on todays cars? The cost of stamping such a sharp crease I assume would be higher. The current 300 already looks like it could sprout some small fins from it's flanks.
I don't think that there are any rules, per se. Some of the new Cadillac models have small vestiges of their famous tailfins, if you look real close. The safety issues were more with the GM protruding sidefins than the Chrysler style. A popular NY DJ once made a joke on his morning talk show about slicing somebody in half by cutting a corner too close with his '59 Chebbie. :lol:

The vertical tailfins (Chtrysler, Cadillac, etc) were considered very futuristic because they resembled the fighter planes of the day. If you have seen the new generation of fighter planes (or spacecraft like the Shuttle) they probably won't transfer well to car designs.
 
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