Fins aren’t just at Sea World this summer as the San Diego Auto Museum in Balboa Park has an exhibit highlighting tailfins, the biggest automotive fad in history before the era of the mega SUV.

As part of the museum’s salute to the centennial of the park’s 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the museum has had a series of exhibits with cars representing different eras over the last century.

The 16 cars on display through Sept. 25 include: 1948 Cadillac Series 62, 1949 Cadillac Series 62 Sedanette, 1957 Ford Country Sedan, 1957 Chevrolet, 1958 Chevrolet Brookwood, 1959 Chrysler Saratoga, 1959 Cadillac Coupe, 1959 Dodge Coronet, 1959 DeSoto Sportsman, 1959 Chevrolet Impala, 1960 Buick Le Sabre, 1960 Plymouth Fury, 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1961 Cadillac Fleetwood, 1962 Ford Thunderbird (Bullet), and 1970 Plymouth Road Runner.

The exhibit also features exhibits about the major designers of the time, drive-in restaurant and movie culture, prosperous life and times of the 1950’s and 1960’s, and famous roadside attractions. A visit to Balboa Park and the museum is a great San Diego day trip.

The museum has extended summer hours, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through until Aug. 27, with the last admission at 6:30 p.m. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for seniors (65 and over), $5 students (with ID), $4 children ages 6-15. Children under age 6 are free.

The museum is free to all San Diego County residents and military with
ID on the fourth Tuesday of each month. There is a $2 charge for residents to see special exhibits on Free Tuesdays. The museum is located at 2080 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, (619) 231-2886, www.sdautomuseum.org. The San Diego Automotive Museum receives funding from the City of San Diego through the Commission for Arts and Culture.

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