It took and entire year of sanding, fiberglassing, sanding, bondo-ing, sanding, more sanding, priming, wet sanding and sanding some more to finally finish the fins. Don’t ask me how I got them straight or to look the same, but they came out pretty good.
This all started when I was talking to my Dad about wanting a ’50s car with fins. “Why don’t you put fins on the Chevy?” he suggested, and that’s how this came to be. First we experimented with cardboard cut-outs. We tried ’63 Caddy style fins, but they didn’t look right with the rounded corners. ’58 Caddy fins would have looked good, but I couldn’t find any parts cars locally, and getting someone to chop the fins off a ’58 Caddy anywhere in the country was going to cost more than the car would ever be worth. Eventually I settled on the Shark Fin idea. The rounded lines mesh with the lines of the car, and combined with the ’59 Caddy tail lights and continental kit, I think it really comes together.
It wasn’t until I used Adobe Illustrator to draw the car that I was able to create a fin look that I liked. Illustrator made it easy to try different ideas. Having years of graphic design experience was very helpful too.
To find out how I built the tail fins, visit the “How I Did It” page.