Missing Cadillac fins

For years I’ve noticed that a lot of older Cadillacs have big pieces missing from the tail “fins” at the back. It’s a gap of about 3 inches between the chrome part holding the tail lights and the body of the car – very noticeable and odd looking. Obviously some part has fallen out. It’s usually missing on both fins on the car.
I noticed it today on an old Fleetwood, but maybe it’s other Cadillacs as well. So what’s the story? Was it an extender piece to make the car longer, but they all fell out from some design defect?
– Greg, Atlanta

It’s not actually a defect, really. Dumb design. There’s a piece that goes there, and the dumb thing will fall out with wear and tear. It’s a piece of plastic/fiberglass, and you can buy a replacement via your local auto body parts store.

I don’t know the name of the part, but it is often missing because the plastic used to make it was subject to breakdown from exposure to UV light. I jad a friend who restored a couple of Caddies and he eventually got custom made fiberglass replacements.

and if you really still want the ‘fin look’ you can get itty bitty pink plastic fins from Archie McPhee and put 'em on your hat.

but you probably already knew that. :smiley: