A look back at the Cadillac Fleetwood

The Cadillac Fleetwood, produced by the Cadillac division of General Motors, is a luxury car produced between 1976 and 1996. Fleetwood used to be a name used as a prefix on various Cadillac cars from 1935 onwards. and DeVille models had shorter wheelbases than the Fleetwood.

From 1984 onwards, Cadillac Fleetwood cars used rear-wheel drive and also from 1985 to 1992, new front-wheel drive versions called Fleetwood were closely associated with the then DeVille. The older RWD Fleetwood was also produced until 1992; it was first marketed as the Fleetwood Brougham until 1987, and then simply Brougham.

In the year 1987 the car model used an extended wheelbase for the front wheel drive, and it was merged with the Fleetwood 60 Special, a name used as trim level on the 1970 Fleetwood. A redesigned Fleetwood with rear wheel drive was introduced in 1993 and produced until 1996.

All Cadillac models could be ordered with bodies built before 1934 by GM’s Fleetwood Bodybuilding Department in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. Between 1935 and 1941, cars with the Fleetwood name were built there.

Related: 1957 Cadillac Fleetwood Rescued From A Barn Affectionately Called ‘Possum’

The background of the Cadillac Fleetwood

The Eldorado and Sixty Special, as well as the Seventy-Five, were part of the Fleetwood line in 1965. As an expensive Sixty Special, a new Fleetwood Brougham line was also created. To distinguish it from the normal Sixty Distinctive, the Brougham had footrests, writing desks (until 1967), special rear reading lights and a vinyl top. A glass barrier was also installed to divide the front and rear passengers.


The largest generation of Cadillac Fleetwood motor vehicles is the third generation. The car’s wheelbase has been increased for the DeVille and Fleetwood only, and it’s a wheelbase that extends to 130 inches. However, two different engines have been chosen, and they are; 472 cu in (7.7 L) and the second is 500 cu in (8.2 L) respectively.

The performance of these engines was reduced with EPA restrictions on exhaust emissions and gram-per-mile emissions regulations, forcing gear ratios to progressively higher ratios, down to just 2.41:1. Fleetwood was downsized along with other full-size GM models, and this happened in 1977. The C-body platform for the Fleetwood Brougham sedan was 121.5 inches. The Cadillac 425 in L33 V8 was also new for 1979, with an Oldsmobile diesel 350 V-8 as an option.


The Fleetwood 75 Limousine was built on a 144.5 inch long wheelbase D-body chassis. The Limousine was only offered with the carbureted 425 from 1977 to 1979 and the 368 from 1980 to 1984. In 1984 the RWD Fleetwood 75 Limousine was discontinued.

Related: A Detailed Look at Cadillac’s Evolution

Cadillac Fleetwood’s engineering masterpiece

The Fleetwood had a naturally aspirated V 8-cylinder engine with a top speed of 106 mph and a curb weight of 3,616 pounds. At 4000 rpm, the engine produces maximum torque of 239 lb-ft and maximum power of 155 horsepower. Front-wheel drive (FWD) with a four-speed automatic gearbox transfers the power to the road.


In 1985, a new front-wheel drive C-body platform was released. The DeVille, Buick Electra and Oldsmobile ’98 all shared the same 110.8-inch wheelbase as the Fleetwood. The RWD platform (which was renamed “D-body” in 1985) was used by Fleetwood Brougham until 1986.

The only difference between the Fleetwood and the DeVille, as it had been since the 1977 model year, was the trim. The Fleetwood was a DeVille trim option rather than a separate model for 1985. The d’Elegance package added tufted button seats to the FWD Fleetwood sedan, among other things. After being discontinued after the 1986 model year, the Fleetwood coupe was reintroduced in 1989.


The 1987 and 1988 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special models used an extended 115.8-inch version of the new C-body chassis, while the Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75 from 1985 to 1987 used an extended 134.4-inch version of the same platform. used. In 1988 the 4.1 L HT-4100 V8 was replaced by the 4.5 L HT-4500. For 1991 the engine capacity was increased to 4.9 L HT-4900.

For the 1989 model year, the Fleetwood line was revamped. The Fleetwood and Sixty Special models with the upper rungs had fenders over the rear wheels to visually differentiate themselves from the DeVilles, which were also modified, while the DeVille had full rear wheel openings.

In 1993 the Fleetwood brand was dropped from the front-drive line-up (as Fleetwood was transferred to the new rear-drive replacement for 1992 Brougham). For 1993, the front-wheel drive variant received the Sixty Special badge. A total of 5,292 Sixty Specials were produced in 1993, including 688 with the optional “Ultra” package, including Giorgio Giugiaro’s 22-way adjustable front seats.

Celebrity Looks: The Cadillac Fleetwood

In the 1974 movie “Gone in 60 seconds,” five Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Fives, which are part of the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham model, and a Cadillac Fleetwood Station Wagon were stolen.

Also in the 1971 film ‘Get Carter’, which starred Michael Caine, Eric can be seen driving wealthy gamblers to Kinnear’s house in a chestnut second-generation Fleetwood, which stands out against the British countryside. This was where the Cadillac Fleetwood made another appearance in the movie, but it was at the end of the movie when Eric parks by the coal mines.

Source: TopCarNews, AmazingClassicCars, AutoTalkz.

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