The Cadillac Fleetwood was a full-sized luxury sedan sold from 1946 until 1996. At the end of the Fleetwood's lifespan, it represented the largest vehicle sold under the Cadillac marque. The last generation of the Fleetwood was arguably one of its best, with a powerful engine derived from the Chevrolet Corvette and a number of performance and luxury options that made it coveted to this day. Customers searching for a traditional rear-wheel drive luxury sedan were pleased with the Fleetwood's ride, performance and overall size presence. The last of the Fleetwoods were manufactured in Arlington, Texas.
The last generation Fleetwood appeared in 1993 after a drastic move from the front-wheel drive C-body platform to the rear-wheel drive D-body platform that the Cadillac Brougham once occupied. It could be said that the Brougham was this Fleetwood's true predecessor, considering the Fleetwood name was moved to the C-body platform in 1986. The 1993 Fleetwood used a 5.7-liter 8-cylinder engine that provided 185 horsepower and 304 pound-feet of torque. In 1994, the Corvette-derived 5.7-liter LT1 engine arrived with the optional RPO V4P towing package. This engine provided a healthy 260 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. Both engines used a 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.
The Fleetwood is a storied name in Cadillac history, spanning a 49-year period. The Fleetwood name was first used in 1946 on the Sixty Special Fleetwood, a flagship sedan based on the Series 62. Since then, the Fleetwood served as the flagship model in most Cadillac lineups, often being the largest and at most times, the most expensive model offered by the luxury marque. The Fleetwood name appeared on both front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive platforms. With a length of 225 inches and a wheelbase of 121.5 inches, the Fleetwood provided ample headroom, legroom and shoulder room, making it the ideal vehicle for long drives with up to 6 passengers.
The Fleetwood came loaded with many luxury features as standard, including power windows and seats, anti-lock brakes, traction control and front driver and passenger air bags. The Brougham package offered additional cosmetic treatments such as padded seats, lighted vanity mirrors and other minor trim differences. The RPO V4P package was made available from 1994 to 1996 for those who wanted to tow trailers with their Fleetwood. This package included heavy duty cooling for the radiator and engine, substantial transmission upgrades, a high capacity alternator, upgraded suspension and the 5.7-liter LT1 engine. This package is still desired among collectors. Fuel economy overall was 17 miles per gallon in city driving and 26 miles per gallon on the highway, a great feat for a vehicle of this size.
The MSRP for the Cadillac Fleetwood started at $37,695, while the Fleetwood Brougham started at $40,000. The Fleetwood's price was less than most foreign full-size luxury sedans, yet it was competitive with the similarly sized Lincoln Town Car. Customers seeking traditional American luxury found themselves a lot of car for their money
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