Daily Features

SEPTEMBER 10, VIRGIL EXNER – A LOOK AT THE STORY BEHIND THE PATRON SAINT OF FIN CAR GUYS

By on September 10, 2014
ex-bimgp7331

ex-bimgp7331

 

Regular MSCC readers have probably noticed the September 2014 car stories section is heavily weighted (3) with Mopar fin cars.

 

This was actually due to circumstances thanks to a backlog of stories from 2013, but it’s also a reflection of my automotive past because I literally grew up in fin cars.

 

The timing on the September fin car stories was great because I just finished reading a biography on the legendary Virgil Exner so it may have been a form of car guy Karma…or Carma.

 

Virgil Exner was the mastermind behind the Forward Look era at Chrysler Corporation so he is a lifetime hero to me because I truly believe fins were the coolest styling cues ever put on a car.

 

ex-scan12

 

Part of the reason goes back to my first sentient memories of my Dad’s 1956 Plymouth Belvedere. This car made such a large impression I can remember it from when I was three-years-old—including the car sick episodes.

 

I realize that a three-year-old’s mental capacity is on a par with your average poodle but that ’56 Plymouth was a life-affirming moment for me and my brother Jim.

 

ex-scan0038

 

The fin tradition continued with his next car. This time it was a 1959 Plymouth Belvedere—arguably the coolest car and possibly fastest car he ever owned.

 

ex-imgp2405

 

Surprisingly, I have many vivid memories of this car – from the dust kicking up behind it on dirt roads thanks to an aerodynamic vortex from the fins to the inevitable bouts of car sickness on vacation road trips.

 

His last fin car was a beast too. It was a 1960 Dodge Seneca and it had a 361 4-barrel engine. He didn’t own it for very long but he did have it long enough for me to face a recurring theme – car sickness on a road trip to the mountains.

 

ex-imgp8179

 

That fin car could haul – I remember one Sunday we were headed to a function at an out of town school next to a two-lane highway and he punched it, got my Mom really mad and blew the turnoff to the school because he was doing well over 100 mph and the brakes faded.

 

The next car was finless (a ’63 Plymouth) so life moved on – except for the car sickness, but I never lost the passion for the fin.

 

ex-imgp6774

 

That’s why the Exner book was a big disappointment for me because the guy who wrote it was clearly not a fin car guy.

 

ex-imgp9962

 

Unfortunately, he described some of the excitement when the ‘57 and up models were introduced but he focused on the negatives like quality issues and design flaws like the fake continental kits on some of these finned Mopars.

 

ex-my star imgp0522

 

Obviously, I understand Exner wasn’t totally onside with the speeded-up introduction of the ‘57 models but can you really throw rocks at an era that gave us the 300C and D Chrysler letter cars?

 

ex-imgp7090

 

Worse yet, the fin car era was a small part of the Exner biography. The author dedicated far more pages to Exner’s boat designs and his forays into modern interpretations of the Stutz Bearcat.

 

ex-bimgp5947

 

Surprisingly, he skipped over any lengthy discussion about classic designs like the ’57-8 DeSotos or the ‘59 Custom Royals and that was a huge omission.

 

ex-imgp7104

 

This is like taking the Mona Lisa out of a story about Leonardo Da Vinci.

 

ex-my star imgp1831

 

There’s little doubt the biography was written to explore the big picture about Virgil Exner’s career and he may have succeeded but most Exner fans want to see more ’58 Fury and less ’68 Stutz Bearcat.

 

We’re called fin car guys for a reason.

 

Jerry Sutherland

CLICK HERE to Like us on Facebook

CLICK HERE to Follow us on Twitter

CLICK HERE to Follow us on Pinterest

print

23187 Total Views 3 Views Today

About admin

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Facebook

Featured Ads

Rear View Mirror

sept12-hornaimgp1930-001

SEPTEMBER 11, 2012: HONK IF YOU LOVE THE CLASSIC SOUND OF A REAL CAR HORN FROM THE PAST

  Horns have always been a very important part of a car.   They were invented to warn drivers of other drivers on the road.   They were invented...

September 11, 2012 View more...
aug1156jim-pixjuly1156ford 008-1

AUGUST 3, 2011: 1956 FORD F-100 RESTO-MOD HAS AN OLD SCHOOL BLUE OVAL MAKEOVER

  The first thing you notice about Phil Sicotte’s purple and white 1956 Ford F-100 is the big crowd around the vehicle.   Phil’s truck is an amazing blend...

August 3, 2011 View more...

JULY 6, 2010 1951 DODGE LIMO-GOOD ENOUGH FOR MARILYN MONROE AND ROBERT MITCHUM

  Sixty years ago a film called “River of No Return” was filmed in Jasper National Park Alberta Canada.   The two stars of the movie were Marilyn Monroe...

July 6, 2010 View more...

DECEMBER 14, 2017: FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CAR AUCTIONS

  Car auctions have become a TV hit thanks to extensive coverage over the last twenty years so auctions have been turned into show business.   They are run...

December 14, 2009 View more...

Most Viewed

My Star Showcase

MSCC Products and Services Showcase

These are all great businesses and they support MyStarCollector Car through their advertising  so we can continue to bring you our  insight into the old car hobby 365 days...

January 13, 2019 View more...

CLASSIC VEHICLES FOR SALE

EG AUCTIONS 12th ANNUAL CALGARY PREMIERE AUCTION–JUNE 21-23   Call to consign 888 296 0528 toll free Or email consign@egauctions.com Also we have 100 pieces of no reserve automobilia...

January 12, 2019 View more...

MSCC MARKET REPORT 2019

  MSCC MARKET REPORT 2019   Welcome to the MyStarCollectorCar Market Report.   This will be a regional look at prices for collector vehicles based on actual sales so...

August 3, 2017 View more...

JUNE 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS

  JUNE 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS     MAY 31-JUNE 2: THREE HILLS, AB Cruise Weekend   JUNE TBD: WINFIELD, AB Wheels in Winfield Show & Shine  ...

September 20, 2015 View more...

More At My Star

YOUTUBE CAR SHOWS—THE REAL CAR GUYS ARE ONLINE

  We all know the players in mainstream car guy TV.   They come and go depending on how many years they’ve been on their shows, but most car guy TV stars are instantly recognizable to automotive-related viewers.   MyStarCollectorCar has looked at and assessed many conventional car guy TV shows over the years so See More

FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND WAS A CAR SHOW TRIPLE-HEADER HERE AT MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR

  There is nothing better than a car show here at MyStarCollectorCar-except for three car shows in two days.   The automotive trifecta began on Friday night in Red Deer, Alberta at the Michener Extendicare, then included Saturday shows at Cam Clark Ford in Airdrie, Alberta with the Alberta Mustang Association show, and concluded with See More

Top 3 S197 Panhard Bars from AmericanMuscle Best-of Options for your 2005-2014 Mustang

  PAOLI, Pa. (June 12, 2019) – For all of the Mustang purists out there piloting their ‘Stang through a traditional live-axle rear end, AmericanMuscle’s (AM) Justin Dugan produced this ‘Best of’ video featuring three popular Panhard Bars for 2005-2014 S197 Mustangs. For those not in the know, an adjustable Panhard Bar is a vital See More

MSCC JUNE 14 FEATURE FIVE FOR FRIDAY: FIVE GOOD REASONS WHY SCHOOL IS NEVER OUT AT MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR

  It is not exactly a secret that MyStarCollectorCar has spent the past 10 years learning the ropes as Canada’s go-to online source for the car hobby.   Summer may be upon us-but school is always in session for MyStar because every day of every year is part of the learning curve when it comes See More

Editor’s Picks

HISTORY ROAD 2019: COLD WAR MOTORS, A DORIS DAY CONNECTION— WE LOVE THIS CAR SHOW

  One of MyStarCollectorCar’s favorite events is History Road held in June every year at the famous Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.   The museum runs with the big...

June 8, 2019 View more...

FLEX-A-LITE’S COLE QUINNELL EXPLAINS HOW YOUR RIDE CAN BEAT THE HEAT THIS SUMMER

  One of the biggest challenges faced by car guys is summer heat and its effect upon their beloved vehicles. In fact, the summer car show season can turn...

April 24, 2019 View more...

NOVEMBER 23, 2018 FEATURE FIVE FOR FRIDAY: FIVE QUESTIONS WITH EG AUCTION’S TODD SCHWINDT

  EG Auctions has been a player in the western Canadian car hobby for years and they’ve grown to the point where they have expanded into the U.S. market....

November 22, 2018 View more...

EG AUCTIONS 2019 Calgary Collector Car Auction June 22, 2019

  EG Auctions Is Proud To Present: Our 12th Annual Calgary Premier Collector Car Auction at the Grey Eagle Casino! SATURDAY MAIN EVENT June 22ND – 2019 INDOORS!!!! CONVENTION...

May 31, 2018 View more...

Car Shows and Events

FIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ST ALBERT’S ROCK’N AUGUST

  St. Albert Rock’n August is one of the premiere events of the summer car show in Canada.   This is a massive event and it takes place over...

March 12, 2019
JULY 27, 2019 20th ANNUAL MICHENER ALLEN CLASSIC AND COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION

MICHENER-ALLEN AUCTIONS FEATURE: 1968 FIREBIRD 400 AT THE 20th ANNUAL COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION JULY 27, 2019     The best way to celebrate the 51st birthday of a classic...

June 19, 2017
JUNE 22, 2019 EG AUCTIONS PRESENTS THE 12th ANNUAL PREMIERE COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION AT THE GREY EAGLE CASINO

  COLLECTOR CAR AUCTIONS – CLASSIC CAR AUCTIONS EG Auctions Is Proud To Present: Our 12th Annual Calgary Premier Collector Car Auction at the Grey Eagle Casino! SATURDAY MAIN...

April 21, 2017
JUNE 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS

  JUNE 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS     MAY 31-JUNE 2: THREE HILLS, AB Cruise Weekend   JUNE TBD: WINFIELD, AB Wheels in Winfield Show & Shine  ...

September 20, 2015

Ads

Ads responsive