Cadillac Tail Fins 1948-1959

Cadillac Tail Fins – The one cylinder Cadillac of 1902 was a far cry from the tall tail fins and luxury cars that would make the name famous. Cadillac founder Henry Leland was very well known for his obession with interchangeable parts. Amoung Cadillac first were electric starter, V-8 engines, safety glass and tail fins on the 1948 models.


1948 Cadillac Tail Fins
1948 Cadillac Tail Fins

Cadillac’s 1948 redesign included its trademark tail fin. The first of what would make Cadillac the King of the tail fins from 1948 to 1976.


1949 Cadillac Tail Fins
1949 Cadillac Tail Fins

The body style and tail fins were about the same on the 1949 Cadillac. However the big news for Cadillac was its new 331 cubic inch overhead valve V-8 that developed 160 horsepower. The new engine made Cadillac one of the fastest cars in America.


1950 Cadillac Tail Fins
1950 Cadillac Tail Fins

Cadillacs had new styling for 1950 and all coupes were hardtops. But these large four door sedans with tail fins and lots of chrome were very popular with customers.


1951 Cadillac Tail Fins
1951 Cadillac Tail Fins

Cadillacs tail fins changed little in appearance for 1951. In 1951 Cadillac’s Hydra-Matic was automatic transmission was standard. Coupe de Ville hardtops sold for $3843 and a convertible was $3987.


1952 Cadillac Tail Fins
1952 Cadillac Tail Fins

Cadillac celebrated its 50th anniversary with a minor facelift and small trim variations. New for ’51 was a Autronic Eye which automatically dimmed the high beams when it detected the headlights of oncoming traffic.


1953 Cadillac Tail Fins
1953 Cadillac Tail Fins

Once again minor styling changes marked the regular 1953 Cadillac. In fact there was very little change in the 1948 to 1953 Cadillac and it was beginning to effect sales.


1954 Cadillac Tail Fins
1954 Cadillac Tail Fins

Most General Motors automobiles got squared up bodies for 1954 along with new front grille treatments. Cadillac got new larger and taller tail fins. The most popular Cadillac was the $3933 Series 62 sedan.


1955 Cadillac Eldorado Tail Fins
1955 Cadillac Eldorado Tail Fins

While everyday Cadillacs continued into 1955 with very few changes to the tail fins, the exotic 1955 Cadillac Eldorado received a unique tail treatment.


1956 Cadillac Tail Fins
1956 Cadillac Tail Fins

Cadillacs didn’t look much different for 1956 once again. A smaller mesh grille was the biggest change to the ’56 Caddy. But behind the grille sat a much larger 305 horsepower engine.


1957 Cadillac Tail Fins
1957 Cadillac Tail Fins

The 1957 Cadillac received a long overdue redesign that was longer, lower and wider. If the tail fins look familiar, it should. For they were on the high end Eldorados starting in 1955.


1958 Cadillac Tail Fins
1958 Cadillac Tail Fins

The 1958 Cadillac would take a back seat to nobody in a contest of chrome. The ’58 Cadillac had the same unique tail fins it wore in ’57.


1959 Cadillac Tail Fins
1959 Cadillac Tail Fins

Towering tail fins with twin bullet chrome tail lights marked the 1959 Cadillacs and were even more pronounced on the 1959 Eldorado. These tall tail fins made Cadillac famous as the “King of Tail Fins.