1961 was the year of the Batmobile

Judging from the 1960 Mechanix Illustrated preview of the 1961 Detroit auto lineup, 61 was the year of the Batmobile. It's all bubble roofs, tailfins, huge anthropomorphic grilles, and go-faster curves.

So far as the standard lines are concerned, the biggest change for 1960 will be the virtual abandonment of fins by the finniest company–Chrysler. Sweeping fender lines will be seen on the 1961 Plymouth rather than the upraised extensions of the past; there will be a complete re- vamping of that line's body shell in the wake of its not-fully-successful 1960 selling season.

The smoothing and new treatment of the Plymouth will be echoed in variations on the other Chrysler Corp. cars; the fin treatments on those other cars will be reduced to a bare minimum. And the daddy of big fins, Cadillac, is going to de-fin if reports are true.

What some stylists call "blades" will tend to replace fins all through the industry, blade treatment being what you saw this past year on Ford and Chevrolet.

The Chrysler wedge shape will continue but less exaggeratedly. GM bodies will provide more headroom. Ford's bodies will be more square at the corners than heretofore; their blades will slant upward a little more than was the case in 1960. Ford will introduce a kind of grille treatment at the rear, embellished with bull's-eye taillights like those of past years.

PREVIEW OF THE 1961 CARS (Jul, 1960)