1961 Cadillac Eldorado styling clayFins, fins and more fins

Here’s the next random clay. This is another that falls under the “I’m not sure where it came from but it needs to be shared” category.

The file was titled “1961 Cadillac Eldorado styling clay” and I have every reason to believe that’s exactly what it depicts.



Two fins or four?
1959 Cadillac Eldorado convertibleOkay, so Cadillac got a little carried away with their 1959 Eldorado’s tail fins. I happen to love them. Possibly one of my favorite automotive design features. Nevertheless, they were over the top.

By 1960, Eldorado had received a refresh that focused mostly on the back end of the car thereby taming the rear-facing projectiles into clean blades. The car below is a 1960 model.

1960 Cadillac Eldorado

But, that didn’t mean that Cadillac was through with fins. They were just going to go about it in a slightly more restrained fashion. Even though the 1960 model had been tidied, the 1961 model was going to be all new. So, that gave Cadillac designers some added freedom to explore what could, or maybe what should not, be done.

Below is the full picture of the 1961 Eldorado styling clay.

1961 Cadillac Eldorado styling clay

I’m not sure I’d want to be standing near that thing while it is backing up. Those fins look mighty painful if one was to snag a leg or arm. Maybe for safety’s sake, it was best that this design did not accurately predict the 1961 production Eldorado, shown below.

1961 Cadillac Eldorado

However, some of the clay’s traits did find their way to the 1961 design.

Take for instance the shape of the front end. And, even though they don’t protrude immediately behind the rear wheels, close approximations of the dual upper/lower fins did make it to production at the ends of the rear fenders.

Well, I hope some people find this clay and other randoms like it as interesting as I do. I’ve provided larger versions of these pictures in the gallery.


[Thanks to General Motors Company for the photos of the 1959, 1960 and 1961 Cadillac Eldorados, and permission to display those photos in this post.]


Continue below to the photo gallery.

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