The tailfin era of automobile styling encompassed the 1950s and 1960s, peaking between 1955 and 1961. It was a style that spread worldwide, as car designers picked up styling trends from the US automobile industry, where it was regarded as the "golden age" of American auto design. General Motors design chief Harley Earl is credited for the automobile tailfin, introducing small fins on the 1948 Cadillac, but according to many sources the actual inventor/designer of the tailfin for the 1948 Cadillac was Franklin Quick Hershey, who at the time the 1948 Cadillac was being designed was chief of the GM Special Car Design Studio, it was Hershey who after seeing an early production model of a P-38 at Selfridge air base thought the twin rudders of the airplane would make a sleek design addition to the rear of future modern automobiles. Tailfins captured the automotive buying public’s imagination as a result of Chrysler designer Virgil Exner’s Forward Look, which subsequently resulted in manufacturers scrambling to install larger and larger tailfins onto new models.
As jet-powered aircraft and space flight entered into public recognition, the automotive tailfin assemblies were designed to resemble more and more the tailfin and engine sections of contemporary jet fighters and space rockets. Plymouth claimed that the tailfins were not fins, but "stabilizers" to place the "center of pressure" as far to the rear as possible and thus "reduce by 20% the needs for steering correction in a cross wind", while Mercedes-Benz called its own tailfins “Peilstege” or “sight lines,” which ostensibly aided in backing up. Automobile engineer Paul Jaray added a center fin to his prototype designs in the 1920s for aerodynamic stability. Influenced by his patents some car producers made streamlined prototypes with one center positioned tailfin. For example, the Audi F5 Stromliner prototype, Kdf-Wagen prototype, Tatra T77 production car or Fiat Padovan prototype; some sub-models of the 1937 Cadillac Fleetwood, which predates the P-38 contained hints of tailfins via projecting tail-light "paddles", although it is unclear if this influenced fin designs.
The 1941 Cadillac Series 63 4-Door Sedan had a form of jutting tail-lights, although milder than the 1937 Fleetwood. Though the 1948 model was the first conscious effort at fins, the earlier partial occurrences may have made the concept more acceptable to consumers and designers; the Cadillac 1948 fin styling proved popular, its use spread to other models in the General Motors family of brands. Soon it was adopted by other manufacturers, with top Chrysler stylist Virgil Exner in particular taking the tailfin look on board; as confidence grew in the styling trend, the fins grew bolder. The most extreme tailfins appeared in the late 1950s, such as on the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado and the 1959 Chevrolet Impala; the 1959 Cadillac fins looked like jet airplane vertical stabilizers with sharp points and twin bullet-shaped taillights. Many of automotive press and much of the public were getting weary of the exaggerated tailfins, the manufacturers were ready to phase them out because they added cost and complexity to design and manufacturing.
Tailfins descended throughout the early 1960s adopting a downward slope on the 1965 Cadillacs. They disappeared, although in instances a sharp-edged quarter panel meeting a downward sloping trunk created the look if not illusion of fins. Vestigial tailfins, remained on American cars into the 1990s, at least as far as the 1999 Cadillac Deville. Mercedes-Benz introduced a modest tailfin on its 1959 W111 series of sedans, which gained the nickname "Fintails". In company terminology they were Peilstege for aid in backing up. In 1997, Lancia introduced the Lancia Kappa Coupé with similar rear "sight line" augmentation. Tailfins have been criticized as a safety concern as a parked vehicle. In Kahn v. Chrysler, a seven-year-old child on a bicycle collided with a fin and sustained a head injury. A case of the same era, Hatch v. Ford, is prominent in the study of personal injury from parked vehicles. In both of these cases, children were injured by sharp protrusions on parked cars. Examples of tailfin styling: Buick LeSabre, 1959–1963 Buick Roadmaster, 1955–1958 Buick Electra, 1959-1960 Cadillac Deville, 1959-1964 Cadillac Eldorado, 1948–1964 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1955–1960 Chevrolet Impala, 1958–1960 Chrysler New Yorker, 1957–1964 Chrysler Valiant, 1962 Chrysler Windsor, 1956–1960 Cisitalia 1947 DeSoto Adventurer, 1957–1960 DeSoto Fireflite, 1956–1960 Dodge Dart, 1960–1961 Dodge Lancer, 1955–1959 Edsel, 1958–1960 Fiat 2100, 1959–1961 Ford Anglia, 1959-1968 Ford Consul, 1951–1962 Ford Fairlane, 1957–1963 Ford Galaxie, 1959–1961 Ford Thunderbird, 1957–1963 Ford Zephyr, 1951–1966 Holden FB & EK, 1960-1962 Imperial, 1955–1961 Lincoln Capri, 1955–1957 Lincoln Continental, 1957–1960 Mercedes-Benz Fintail Mercury Comet, 1960–1964 Mercury Meteor, 1961–1963 Mercury Monterey, 1957–1964 Mercury Park Lane, 1959–1960 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser,1957–1958 Morris Major 1959–1964 Morris Oxford Farina Moskvitch 402 – Moskvitch 407, 1956–1965 Moskvitch 408 – Moskvitch 412, 1964–1976 Oldsmobile 98 – Oldsmobile 88, 1957–1959 Peugeot 404, 1960–1975 Plymouth Fury, 1956–1960 Plymouth Valiant, 1960–1962 Pontiac Star Chief, 1959–1960 Pontiac Catalina,1959–1960 Škoda Octavia, 1959-1971 Studebaker-Packard Hawk series, 1957–1961 Studebaker President, 1957–1958 Studebaker Commander, 1958 Sunbeam Alpine, 1959-1968 Vauxhall Cresta PA, 1957–1962 ZIL-111, 1959–1962 In 1999 Cadillac launched the Cadillac Evo
See Mercedes-Benz S-Class for a complete overview of all S-Class models. The Mercedes-Benz W112, marketed as the Mercedes-Benz 300SE, is an automobile produced by Mercedes-Benz from 1962 to 1967, it was available as a convertible and sedan. The cars were based on the Mercedes-Benz W111 Fintail chassis and coachwork, but fitted with the 3.0 litre fuel-injected M189 big-block six-cylinder engine, standard luxury features such as air suspension, power steering, automatic transmission, a higher level of wood and leather trim. The stretched wheelbase 300SEL appeared in 1963; the previous generation of Mercedes models featured three types of chassis: those mass produced on a unibody Ponton chassis, which included the entry-level 4-cylinder 180/190 series, mid-range 220 series of sedan and convertible, 190SL sports coupe and roadster. In the late 1950s, Daimler-Benz AG began plans to unify its entire model range on one platform in order to take advantage of economies of scale. Assembly of all 2-door 300S W187s ended in 1955, in 1958, the fuel-injected W128 220SE "Ponton" was introduced.
The new generation of 220/220S/200SE W111 "Fintail" sedans was introduced in 1959. These were joined in 1961 by the 220SE W111 coupe and convertible, as well as the four-cylinder W110 190 and 190D. Since a replacement for the big 300d Adenauer limousine was still being developed, its fuel-injected 3-litre six-cylinder engine was installed in the W111 and supplemented with luxury features and detailing to create the W112. Externally the W112 displayed more chrome and had bigger 14" wheels. Luxury features such as power steering, air suspension, automatic transmission were standard; the car cost twice the price of the top range W111 220SE. The 300SE's performance was the top of the Mercedes line, with the M189 six-cylinder engine producing 160 hp and giving a top speed of 180 km/h. In march of 1963, the 300SE long-wheelbase sedan made its debut, but without an L added for "Lang"; the L in the models designation -and so in its trunk emblem- appeared with the subsequent W108 and W109 models. An equal neither of the grand 300 "Adenauer" that preceded it, or the standard-setting 600 limousine that appeared in 1963, it became the most expensive and exclusive Mercedes 300-series of its day.
The W112 turned out to be a short-lived venture. With the company's top niche filled by the 600, demand for the W112 plummeted and production volume fell drastically: in 1962 a total of 2,769 were built, but the next year this fell to 1,382, in 1965 with the coming of the W108/109 series, the sedan W112 was dropped, with a total of 6,748 300SEs in standard and long wheelbase built. In 1962, for every W112 sedan 24 W111s rolled off the production line, while by 1964, this ratio was 1:40; the 2-door coupe and cabriolet W112s, which arrived in 1962, only a year after the première of the 2-door W111s, fared better. The latter was offered as a single 220SE model, sold in a 5:1 ratio to the 2-door 300SE. Two-door W111/W112 production continued after 1965 with the coming of the new generation W108/W109 sedans. However, in Nov 1967, the now-ancient M189 engine was replaced by a 2.8 litre straight-6 and used in the 280SE. At least one 300SE Convertible, with M189 engine, was produced for the Frankfurt Auto show with updated equipment and styling for the 1968 standards but the line was discontinued before the new year for all 2 door W112 autos.
The 300SE sedan was entered in international and European Touring Car Challenge and won several rallies. The W112 models have no relation to the 1991 Mercedes-Benz C112 experimental mid-engined sportscar. 1961–1965 300 SE Sedan 1962–1967 300 SE Coupé 1962–1967 300 SE Cabriolet 1963–1965 300 SE long long-wheelbase Sedan Mercedes-Benz S-Class "Mercedes-Benz U. S Models". Hiwaay.net. Archived from the original on November 25, 2005. Retrieved December 1, 2005. Http://www.heckflosse.nl/
See Mercedes-Benz S-Class for a complete overview of all S-Class models. The Mercedes-Benz W111 was a chassis code given to a range of Mercedes-Benz vehicles produced between 1959 and 1971, including four-door sedans and two-door coupés and cabriolets. Introduced as inline 6-cylinder cars with 2.2-litre engines, the W111 spawned two lines of variants: entry-level vehicles sharing its chassis and bodies but with four-cylinder engines were designated the W110. A luxury version built on the W111 chassis with its body and the fuel-injected 3-litre M186 six-cylinder engine was designated the W112. Mercedes-Benz emerged from World War II as an automaker in the early 1950s with the expensive 300 Adenauers and exclusive 300 S grand tourers that gained it fame, but it was the simple unibody Pontons comprised the bulk of the company's revenues. Work on replacing the Pontons began in 1956 with a design focused on passenger safety; the basic Ponton cabin was widened and squared off, with a large glass greenhouse improving driver visibility.
A milestone in car design were rear crumple zones for absorbing kinetic energy on impact. The automaker patented retractable seatbelts; the body was modern and featured characteristic American-style tailfins that gave the models their Heckflosse nickname — German for "fintail". Series production of the 4-door sedan began in August 1959, which made its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in autumn; the series consisted of the 220b, 220Sb, 220SEb. These replaced the 220S and the 220SE Ponton sedans respectively; the 220b was an entry-level version with little chrome trim, simple hubcaps, basic interior trim that lacked pockets on doors. Prices were DM16,750, 18,500 and 20,500, with a rough sales ratio of 1:2:1. All modes shared the 2195 cc M127 straight-six engine carried over from the previous generation, producing 95 hp at 4800 rpm and capable of accelerating the heavy car to 160 km/h; the 220Sb featured twin carburettors and produced 110 hp at 5000 rpm, raising top speed to 165 km/h and improving 0–100 km/h acceleration to 15 seconds.
The top range 220SEb featured Bosch fuel injection producing 120 hp at 4800 rpm, with a top speed of 172 km/h and a 0–100 km/h time of 14 seconds. In 1961, the W111 chassis and body were shared with the more basic 4-cylinder W110 and a luxury W112 version built on the W111 chassis with its body and the Type 300 series' 3-litre M189 big block 6-cylinder engine, many standard power features, a high level of interior and exterior trim; the body of the W110 featured a shorter hood, compared to the W111. A 2-door coupe/cabriolet version of the W111/W112 was produced. In May 1965, the 220Sb and 220SEb were replaced by the new 230S, it was visually identical to the 220S, with a modernised 2306 cm3 M180 engine with twin Zenith carburettors producing 120 hp at 5400 rpm. Top speed is 176 km/h, acceleration from 0-100 km/h is 13 seconds; as a successor to the 220b, Mercedes-Benz introduced the 230, with the 2306 cm3 engine fitted into the W110 series car. A total of 41,107 230S models were built through January 1968, when the last of 4-door fintails left the production line.
During its ten-year run between 1959 and 1968 a total of 337,803 W111s were built. Design of a replacement for the two-door Pontons began in 1957. Since most of the chassis and drivetrain were to be unified with the sedan, the scope was focused on the exterior styling; some of the mockups and prototypes show that Mercedes-Benz attempted to give the two-door car a front styling identical to what would be realised in the Pagoda roadster, but favoured the work of engineer Paul Bracq. The rear featured small tailfins, subtle compared to the fintails' and evocative of the squarish styling of the W108/W109. Production began in late 1960, with the coupe making its debut at the 75th anniversary of the opening of Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart in February of the next year; the convertible followed at the Frankfurt Auto Show a few months later. Identical to the coupe, its soft-top roof folded into a recess behind the rear seat and was covered by a fitting leather "boot" in the same color as the seats.
Unlike the previous generation of two-door ponton series, the 220SE designation was used for both the coupe and convertible. Prices in 1962 were 36,000 NLG for the cabriolet. Options included a sliding sunroof for the coupe, automatic transmission, power steering, individual rear seats. In March 1962, Mercedes-Benz released the exclusive two-door M189-powered 300SE. Like the 300 sedan, it was based on the W111 chasis but shared both Daimler's top-range 2996 cm3 fuel-injected engine and the unique W112 chassis designation, efforts on Mercedes' part to distance it from the maker's modest W110 and W111 lineups and link it to the prestigious W188 300S two-door luxury sports tourer, it was distinguished by a chrome strip, featured air suspension and a higher level of interior trim and finish. Prices were 48,500 for the hard and soft roofs respectively. In summer of 1965 Mercedes-Benz launched replacements for both W111 and W112 sedans, the W108 and W109 respectively. With the tailfin fashion well eroded by the mid 1960s, the new design was based on the restrained W111 coupe and squared off.
Work on a future new chassis that would replace the Ponton-derived W111/W112 and W108/W109 was well under way. With a concept car of the first S-Class was shown in 1967
The W110 was Mercedes-Benz's entry level line of midsize automobiles in the mid-1960s. One of Mercedes' "Fintail" series, the W110 was available with either a 1.9 L M121 gasoline or 2.0 L OM621 diesel inline-four. It was introduced with the 190c and 190Dc sedans in April 1961, replacing the W120 180c/180Dc and W121 190b/190Db; the W110 line was refreshed in July 1965 to become the 200 and Diesel 200D. Production lasted just three more years, with the W115 220 and 220D introduced in 1968; the W110 and the 6-cylinder W111 were the first series of Mercedes cars to be extensively crash tested for occupant safety. The 190c and 190Dc replaced the W120 180c/180Dc and W121 190b/190Db as Mercedes-Benz's line of less-expensive four-cylinder sedans; the "D" denoted a Diesel engine, a technology pioneered by Mercedes-Benz and championed despite widespread derision in the motoring press. The body was derived with a 145 mm shorter nose and round headlights; the rear end was identical to the W111 220b. The interior layout and dimensions were identical to the W111 220b, but with fewer options such as fixed-back seats and bakelite trim on the dashboard.
Because the 190c and 190Dc models were a W111 220b with a shorter front, they offered the same interior and luggage space as the W111 series but with smaller and more fuel efficient engines. This made them popular with taxi drivers. Production of the 190Dc exceeded that of the petrol-engined 190c by nearly 100,000 units; the second series of 4-cylinder cars lasted just a few years. Production of the new 200, 200D and 230 models commenced in 1965, at the Sindelfingen plant; the 200 and 200D replaced the 190Dc models respectively. The engine in the 200 had the bore increased from 85 to 87 mm, giving a 1988 cc displacement, was fitted with twin carburetors; the OM621 diesel engine in the 200D was identical to that of the 190Dc but was improved by using a five main bearing crankshaft instead of the original three. Visually, the second series models had the front indicators relocated from the top of the front fenders to below the headlights. At the rear, the tail lights were squared off and the chrome trim was revised to feature two horizontal trim strips instead of chrome-trimmed tail fins.
All models now featured air outlets with chrome trim on the C-pillars. Inside, there were few changes except all models now featured reclining front seats, an option on the 190c and 190Dc; the 230 had a central armrest in the back seat as standard. Further changes occurred with the beginning of the 1968 model year. 1968 models were equipped with collapsible steering columns to meet American safety regulations. Mirrors, interior door handles, dashboard switchgear were changed, matching those on the W108/114/115 series cars. All three of the W110 second series cars ended production in January 1968 with the introduction of the W115 220 and 220D. An estate car version of the 230S four-cylinder-engined car was introduced in 1965 and achieved modest success in certain markets including Germany and the UK; the car was the result of a conversion carried out by the Mechelen based company Société Anonyme pour l'Importation de Moteurs et d'Automobiles, assembling saloon version of the cars from CKD kits and, the Belgian Mercedes-Benz importer.
With the reduction in tariffs that followed the development of the EEC, small-scale assembly of this kind within the EEC but outside Germany no longer made sense, assembly of the Mercedes-Benz cars at Malines stopped in 1973, by which time the plant had assembled 78,568 four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz cars based on the W111 and its successor model. "Mercedes-Benz U. S Models". Hiwaay.net. Archived from the original on November 25, 2005. Retrieved December 1, 2005. Http://www.heckflosse.nl/ 24 Hours Of LeMons People's Choice-Winning 1965 Mercedes-Benz 190
A sedan — saloon — is a passenger car in a three-box configuration with separate compartments for engine and cargo. Sedan's first recorded use as a name for a car body was in 1912; the name comes from a 17th century development of a litter, the sedan chair, a one-person enclosed box with windows and carried by porters. Variations of the sedan style of body include: close-coupled sedan, club sedan, convertible sedan, fastback sedan, hardtop sedan, notchback sedan and sedanet/sedanette; the current definition of a sedan is a car with a closed body with the engine and cargo in separate compartments. This broad definition does not differentiate sedans from various other car body styles, but in practice the typical characteristics of sedans are: a B-pillar that supports the roof two rows of seats a three-box design with the engine at the front and the cargo area at the rear a less steeply sloping roofline than a coupé, which results in increased headroom for rear passenger and a less sporting appearance.
A rear interior volume of at least 33 cu ft It is sometimes suggested that sedans must have four doors. However, several sources state that a sedan can have four doors. In addition, terms such as sedan and coupé have been more loosely interpreted by car manufacturers since 2010; when a manufacturer produces two-door sedan and four-door sedan versions of the same model, the shape and position of the greenhouse on both versions may be identical, with only the B-pillar positioned further back to accommodate the longer doors on the two-door versions. A sedan chair, a sophisticated litter, was an enclosed box with windows used to transport one seated person. Porters at the front and rear carried the chair with horizontal poles. Litters date back to long before ancient Egypt and China. Sedan chairs were developed in the 1630s. Reputable etymologists suggest the name of the chair probably came through Italian dialects from the Latin sedere meaning to sit; the same experts report that the first recorded use of sedan for an automobile body occurred in 1912 when a new Studebaker model was described by its manufacturers as a sedan.
The same American dictionary provides this description: "Sedan an enclosed automobile for four or more people, having two or four doors". There were enclosed automobile bodies before 1912. Long before that time the same enclosed but horse-drawn carriages were known as broughams in the United Kingdom, they were berlinas in France and Italy. Both names are still used there for sedans. There is an unsubstantiated claim that the body of a particular 1899 Renault Voiturette Type B was the first motor vehicle, a sedan, it was a two-door two-seater vehicle with an extra external seat for a footman/mechanic. Georgano claims the earliest usage matching a modern definition of a sedan was a 1911 Speedwell sedan manufactured in the United States. In American English and Latin American Spanish, the term sedan is used. In British English, a car of this configuration is called a saloon. Hatchback sedans are known as hatchbacks. Super saloon is used to describe a high performance saloon car where sports saloon would have been used in the past.
Saloon has been used by British car manufacturers in the United States, for example, the Rolls-Royce Park Ward. In Australia and New Zealand sedan is now predominantly used, they were simply cars. In the 21st century saloon is still found in the long-established names of particular motor races. In other languages, sedans are known as berlina though they may include hatchbacks; these names, like sedan, all come from forms of passenger transport used before the advent of automobiles. In German sedans are berlines or limousines and limousines are stretch-limousines. In the United States notchback sedan distinguishes models with a horizontal trunklid; the term is only referred to in the marketing when it is necessary to distinguish between two sedan body styles of the same model range. Several sedans have a fastback profile, but instead of a trunk lid, the entire back of the vehicle lifts up. Examples include the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, Audi A5 Sportback and Tesla Model S; the names "hatchback" and "sedan" are used to differentiate between body styles of the same model.
Therefore the term "hatchback sedan" is not used, to avoid confusion. There have been many sedans with a fastback style. Hardtop sedans were a popular body style in the United States from the 1950s to the 1970s. Hardtops are manufactured without a B-pillar leaving uninterrupted open space or, when closed, glass along the side of the car; the top was intended to look like a convertible's top but it was fixed and made of hard material that did not fold. All manufacturers in the United States from the early 1950s into the 1970s provided at least a 2-door hardtop model in their range and, if their engineers could manage it, a 4-door hardtop as well; the lack of side-bracing demanded a strong and heavy chassis frame to combat unavoidable flexing. The fashion may have delayed the introduction of unibody construction. In 1973 the US government passed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 216 creating a standard roof strength test to measure the integrity of roof structure in motor vehicles to come into effect some years later.
The Ponton was Daimler-Benz's first new Mercedes-Benz series of passenger vehicles produced after World War II. In July 1953, the cars replaced the pre-war-designed Type 170 series and were the bulk of the automaker's production until 1959, though some models lasted until 1962; the nickname comes from the German word for "pontoon" and refers to one definition of pontoon wings — and a postwar styling trend, subsequently called ponton styling. The Ponton models were replaced by the "Heckflosse" or "Fintail" models Daimler-Benz emerged from World War II as a carmaker best known in the early 1950s for its expensive Mercedes-Benz 300 Adenauers and exclusive Mercedes-Benz 300 S sports tourers. Both were handbuilt body on frame vehicles, its low end was anchored by the dated pre-war designed Type 170. Seeking to expand its production boldly, Mercedes turned toward the unibody concept to design a line of mass produced autos that would be rugged and both simple and inexpensive to build. Work began in earnest on the pontons bodied cars in 1951, with a design focused on passenger comfort and safety.
Head of the design team was Dr. Fritz Nallinger. Styling was headed by Karl Wilfert. Part of the design team was Béla Barényi. Barényi integrated into the "three-box design" the concepts of crumple zones and the non-deformable passenger cell; the crumple zones patent 854157, granted in 1952, describes the decisive feature of passive safety. Barény questioned the opinion prevailing until that a safe car had to be rigid, he divided the car body into three sections: the rigid non-deforming passenger compartment and the crumple zones during collision. This design concept was proven by ADAC crash test facility in June, 2010 when a Mercedes Ponton was crash tested in their Technical Centre in Landsberg am Lech, confirming the existence of the design incorporated into the vehicle; this made for a milestone in car design with front and rear crumple zones for absorbing kinetic energy on impact. There were four types of Ponton cars. Note the "D" designates a diesel engine, the suffix "b" and/or "c" are body variants introduced after the middle of 1959.
Four-cylinder sedans 1953–1962 W120 — 180, 180a, 180b, 180c, 180D, 180Db, 180Dc 1956–1961 W121 — 190, 190b, 190d, 190Db Four-cylinder roadsters / coupés 1955–1962 W121 — 190SL Six-Cylinder roadster 1957 W127 — 220SL Six-cylinder sedans 1956–1959 W105 — 219 1954–1959 W180 — 220a, 220S 1958–1960 W128 — 220SE Six-cylinder coupés 1956–1959 W180 — 220S 1958–1960 W128 — 220SE Six-cylinder cabriolets 1956–1959 W180 — 220S 1958–1960 W128 — 220SE Alexander Franc Storz: Mercedes-Benz Ponton – vom 180 Diesel bis zum 220 SE Cabriolet 1953 – 1962. 1. Auflage, Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 2011, ISBN 978-3-613-03343-6 "Mercedes-Benz Pontons". Mbzponton.org. Retrieved November 30, 2005. Pontons picture Ponton Photo Gallery