Sunday, December 04, 2011

Sights at a Gas Station

1962 Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine

I was out today with my wife running a few simple errands. One of them was the stop by a local Hess station to fill the van. I never leave the house without a camera, and on this trip I had the E-3 with the ZD 12-60mm mounted.

I caught sight if this bright aqua colored 1962 Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine as soon as I pulled up to the pump. My wife went in to get a couple of sodas while I stood and pumped gas. I went in to pay for the sodas, then returned to the van. As she got into the shotgun side I reached in back and grabbed the camera. "You didn't think I was going to leave without taking a few photos, did you?" I told her. She just grinned back.

I thought I recognized it when I saw it. I remember this as President Kennedy's presidential limousine. The President's was black, not this garish metal-flake aqua color.

1962 Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine Rear Fin Detail

GM's Harley Earl introduced tailfins with the 1948 Cadillac. It is said he was inspired by the WWII Lockheed P-38 Lightening twin-engine, twin-tailed fighter aircraft.

Tailfins grew larger and more elaborate until the largest was introduced on the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado. From 1960 forward the tailfin grew smaller until they pretty much disappeared on the Cadillac by the mid-1960s.

Seeing this Cady also reminded me of President Kennedy and that period in history, personal and worldly. While Kennedy supposedly used a black version of this car, he was riding in a specially built 1962 Lincoln Continental that day in Dallas. While the Cady might have been more fun to look at and drive around, the Lincoln looked more, well, Presidential. Which is probably one of the goals they were after.

Most of the time a car is just a car. But sometimes it's a powerful trigger to other memories of other times and places.

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