In the 1930's car manufactures finally started to pay attention to how their automobiles move through the air, instead of just making boxes on wheels. It became stylish to drive a car that had no flat surfaces whatsoever. Heacock offers an extensive history if you're interested.

But I shall offer the opportunity to oggle fastback without all that annoying reading and learning bullshit. Photos and snarkiness is all I offer today. Let's stay on the Dubonnet Xenia Coupé for a moment, because I know what you are thinking you practical Jalop, you, you want to know how one is supposed to put any luggage in the back of of a car whose trunk opening is a tiny triangle. With custom luggage, of course!

As I promised no learning and minimal reading, I'm just going to assume that's one of history's first examples of form-fitting luggage for a car. A car that happened to have the interior of a futuristic fighter plane.

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I'm going to move on from the Xenia, but just understand, you aren't ready for its jelly, not even close.

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GM did it first, though

Fastbacks were just the classiest way to end a car nascent car designers could think of at the time. It was a gesture to the air the car was disrupting, the fastback gently flowed the air off the back of the car like a little child placing a paper boat adrift on the water. It was the gentlemanly way to disrupt the air. Break it up with a V16 up front and gently release it behind you as if you were never there with GM's first swing at "aero coupes" from Cadillac and Pierce-Arrow

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Dem asses tho!

Also, how were Cadillac's interiors so much better 80 years ago than they are now?

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Parallel inspiration in Europe

What's interesting about the fastback is that it didn't necessarily spread to Europe due to imitation. Both GM and Mercedes-Benz both release similar cars within about a year of each other, unlikely to have seen each other's work. This was Mercedes's first try:

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Actual production units looked more like:

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The Frenches weigh in

But then came the French. They came on the scene perhaps aware in some way that oddly-shaped automobiles were and would always be their thing, and dropped Brigitte Bardot-like bombshells:

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Mmmmmmm Delage

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And no showcase of fastbackery would be complete without Talbot-Lago's effort. Not much room for people in a car so jampacked with style.

Streamlining needs to make a comeback, what's your favorite fastback in history?