Dodge once again brings the awesome tailfins

This 1961 Dodge matador on ebay has some fairly simple fins, but some of the weirdest fin placement ever.  They appear to have been installed at least a foot further forward of where you’d expect them to be.

I wonder what was going on in the design room the day this was approved. They must have gotten desperate for new fin ideas. Car makers had already tried double fins, sideways fins, & fins on the top & bottom. I guess fins partway down the car was one of the few options left.


I can only imagine the designers pitching these to management. “They’ve got all the blind spots with half the pedestrian skewering! It’ll be a safety feature.”

Of windshields and vandals.

The windshield of the wagon has been leaking since I got the car, I’d attempted to seal it temporarily with some caulking, however that made no measurable difference. I decided to finally replace the seal so that I could start repairs on the floor without the water getting in and ruining them again. Once again came to my rescue with a reproduction window seal.

First order of business was to get the old seal out. Since it was a wreck and I was replacing it I just removed the inside trim and rear view mirror. Then cut the lip of the seal where it overlapped on the inside.


With the seal cut it was pretty simple to push on the windshield to pop it out of the opening.  My big fear at this stage was cracking the windshield getting it loose, but it came loose without any struggle. In this car the trim around the windshield sits in another groove on the seal and comes in and out with the glass.


Once the glass was out, I pried off the old seal, pulled loose the trim and tossed the old rubber. Then it was a simple bit of work to scrape off the bits of caulking from my failed attempts and the windshield was ready for its new seal. The opening however needed a bit more work.


There was minor rust spots in a few places on the seat of the seal, and the inside has surface rust due to the roof leaks. All the rust was ground down, then painted with a few coats of Masterseries.



The inside was given a coat of Masterseries a ways back, both to stop the rust and to just make the area look better.




Once the metal was dealt with it was time to re-install the glass. The new seal was wrapped around the glass, then the trim was installed. It has an L-shaped bracket that fits into a groove in the seal and once the glass is installed it is locked in place. Next a cord was pressed into the groove that sits on the metal lip of the body.


Then the glass was laid in the window opening, and while applying pressure to the glass the cord was pulled out. The cord pulls the lip of the seal over the metal lip of the body and that locks the glass into place. It went surprisingly easily, I only had to take two tries because I accidentally put the start of the cords at the top instead of the bottom(starting at the bottom allows you to use the weight of the glass to help hold the seal in place while you are starting out).

It thought this was going to be the end of this post, but someone decided it wasn’t. About a month later we’d bought the house and I’d moved the wagon over there to make more room in the driveway at our apartment building. Well one day I came over to the house to work on it and found this.

Less the tape obviously

Some vandal(s) decided to welcome us to the neighborhood by throwing bricks through the Wagon’s windshield and four windows of the house. They threw them hard enough to punch through and cover the dashboard in glass. I was able to find a replacement windshield for $50 and re-use the seal so it didn’t cost me much, but it pissed me right the hell off.

This may be the last straw. I’ve been bothered by how the wagon isn’t really usable, and I had been wanting something I could drive and enjoy. So I’m seriously considering sell it and getting something else. Possibly an old truck which would also be useful around the house.