I thought the 'whaletail' was just an interesting design element,
until I saw this. . . . . .
Right you are! One would naturally expect to see "whale tails" come only from the LA California factory next to the ocean, nothing fishy about that. The Dutchmans Cap, an alternate name, is a bit more subtle. Seems there was a splinter (actually a metalic "sliver") group of West Coast Dutch settlers who in 1954
swore off ox tail soup in favor of whale tail soup. On the high holidays, they would don their stylish dark blue berets with an extended cap on the front. Drinking mightly from the ceremonial 9 panel riveted aluminum chalice on a split rim base, they would occasionally overindulge. When so spirited, they would pull down the extended caps over each others heads. This is how the reverse tapered center panel on mid 1950's west coast trailers became to be known as the Dutchman's Cap as well as the whale tail. If you believe that, I have another riveting story for you. Goodnight Gracie!
(Original post by):
WBCCI #1510, TCT
VAC Archive Historian