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Celebrating the fun 'fins' of the Mopars; Chryslers 1955 to 1961 featured at Fallbrook Vintage Car Show May 25


Last updated 5/15/2014 at Noon

Ingenious and hip, when designers with Chrysler Corporation introduced ‘fins’ on models made from 1955 through 1961, little did they realize the saucy additions would later become iconic symbols of flair in the industry. And it is that unique segment of Mopar design history that will be featured at the 49th annual Fallbrook Vintage Car Show, slated for Sunday, May 25 at Potter Jr. High School.

These particular vehicles were selected to be featured because “the Chrysler products of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, known as the Mopars, are back in vogue for vintage car collectors,” said Chuck Tillotson, member of the sponsoring organization, the Fallbrook Vintage Car Club.

“The Fallbrook Vintage Car Club has focused on the ‘finned’ Mopars manufactured during those years because they represent the expansion in the creative design of automobiles that occurred after World War II, when the country began to settle back into a more extravagant mode,” said Tillotson. “The finned cars were founded under a design theme initiated by famed car designer, Virgil Exner who joined Chrysler in the early 1950s. After gaining control over the design process, he developed a new design era called the “Forward Look,” which began with the 1955 models. Up until that time the vehicles had been designed by engineers and were considered ‘unstylish’ by the prevailing Chrysler management.”

Tillotson said, “Exner began utilizing the wind tunnel and aerodynamic effects to influence his designs and the benefits of these tools enabled him to create autos with lower roof lines, sleeker, smoother and more aggressive looking vehicles.”

“The “Forward Look” design soon spread throughout the entire Chrysler stable with Plymouths, Dodges, DeSotos and Chryslers eventually all having “fins,” said Tillotson. “The last year these models used ‘fins’ was 1961, after which auto design themes reverted back to a more ‘affordable’ look.”

It won’t be just Chryslers, however, at the town’s biggest automobile event of the year. Spectators will be able to view close to 300 classic and vintage vehicles (25 years of age and older) of a multitude of makes and models.

The event is free to spectators and runs from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on the Potter Jr. High School athletic field, 1743 Reche Road, Fallbrook. Parking is also free.

Food and beverage will be on site. A large swap meet is also held at the show and the Fallbrook Vintage Car Club offers merchandise for sale as well as many raffle opportunities.

The annual show is produced as a fundraiser and funds from the event are distributed throughout the year by the car club to numerous worthy causes and projects.

To check if there are any remaining spots to enter a car in the show, or for more show information, visit


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