27th Aug 2004, 02:58
Really enjoyed your story, I own a 1971 fleetwood series 75 limo and just love this automobile.
7th Mar 2009, 21:43
Just found this site, really cool stuff.
I lived in England for 40 years, and amongst numerous American cars I've owned, I've had 4 Cadillacs, a mint condition 1963 Eldorado Biarritz convertible, a really battle damaged 1963 De Ville convertible, a beautiful 1983 Fleetwood Brougham D'elegance, and a rather unique 1971 Sedan De Ville.
The 63 Eldo was perfect, a real show stopper, and it was metallic gold, which seemed quite appropriate considering Eldorado is Spanish for "The Golden One".
The 63 De Ville was a real beast, perfect for going out and making a nuisance of yourself. She had a 429 fitted and went like a demon.
The 83 Fleetwood was quite simply a Rolls Royce killer. To me, that generation of Caddy's were the most elegant looking cars ever designed. It had 2 faults, it rode like a dream and you could throw it about, but it had very bad (for a Caddy) body roll, and, it had that poxy 4.1 litre alloy V8 with digital injection.
The engine was in perfect shape, all the injection system checked out fine, all the smog gear worked properly, yet it had a 0 to 60 time of 3 weeks, seriously, it was embarrassing, and absolutely flat out on a perfect level motorway she just about made 89 mph (checked with a Main Dealer precision digital calibrated speedo), mind you, she did over 30 mpg on a run.
I know this thread is for Fleetwoods, but if I could ever get back any of the Caddy's I've owned, without hesitation it would be the 71 Sedan De Ville. Seriously, this car was unbelievable. It was originally owned by a Flight Sergeant stationed at West Drayton airbase, just outside London. He bought it new in the US and when he was transferred to West Drayton, he brought the car over with him. By the time he returned to the US, the oil crisis was in full swing so he just left the car behind and it apparently stayed on the base in one of the hangers for 8 years, being occasionally used as a spare car if someone was stuck for a ride.
Anyway, the base commander eventually decided to get rid of it and passed it on to a car auction company in 1982. A friend of mine who worked in the company told me that there was an big Caddy up for auction, so off I went. I saw what appeared to be a triple black S De V, filthy dirty, but solid and no sign of rust anywhere, so I bid on it and got it for 400 pounds sterling. Went to drive it home and found the battery was so bad, the engine cut out when you put the lights on, so I left it till the morning, went back with a new battery, drove straight to a car wash and I discovered it was actually metalic bronze with a cream top, there was so much soot on the car from the aircraft engines!
Got the car wash guys to see what they could do to the interior, and 2 hours later I had a gleaming cream leather interior that was in excellent condition. Drove her home 160 miles without a hitch, gave it a real good service and going over that week end. I got it at 87,000 miles and when I eventually parted with it, 6 years later, she had 548,000 miles covered without anything major going wrong at all, all I had to replace on it were the usual service items, brake linings, etc. To date she is is still the most reliable, dependable, trustworthy, most drivable car I have ever come across.
It had a couple of rather unusual things about it. It handled, seriously, this baby could out maneuver a Jaguar or an "S" class Merc with ease, yet it rode beautifully and was extremely stable under any driving conditions. She had a 472 in her with a very odd engine number on the block. There was no smog gear at all on the engine, it hadn't been ripped out, this looked like it came from the factory smog free. There was no blanking plugs or cut off hoses where the smog gear should have been.
There was other differences compared with a standard 472 as well. The biggest, and best surprise was the performance, the acceleration was simply mind blowing. That car was incredibly fast. I did a few 0 to 60 runs and she could do it in 6.5 seconds every time. As for top speed, I never worked it out as she went off the clock no problem, I guessed she was capable of 140mph, till I got caught for speeding one night coming back from Suffolk to London, I've still got the speeding ticket! I couldn't believe it, nor could the cops who stopped me, I'll never forget what he said, "We were doing over 150 mph and we just couldn't believe it, you were pulling away from us like we were going backwards, what the f@@k have you got under the bonnet of that thing?" Anyway, to cut a long story short, I did some checking out and eventually found out it was a Donovan engineered Street strip conversion chucking out 725 bhp, that was one really wild car, used to scare the hell out of my passengers, great fun, boy I wish I still had that car.
27th May 2009, 00:40
Thanks for the nice history of your Cadillacs in England.
I am very fond of 1971's as well... I was in High School in 1971, & my best friend's parents bought two (2) new 1971 Coupe de Villes: One was black with red leather interior, the other was nautical blue with red leather. I'm telling you, they were simply gorgeous cars!
My friend was 16 & just getting his driving license that year, & he'd drive me around on my newspaper route each afternoon in these glamorous cars! Our other neighbors owned what was one of the largest Cadillac agencies in Los Angeles, (Thomas Cadillac). My teenage eyes would simply POP every year when they brought home their new his & hers Cadillacs. And when they had company parties at their home, the employees from the Cadillac agency would park along their very lengthy driveway with dozens of sparkling Cadillacs of every model. I would feel as if I'd gone to heaven just walking around the gleaming Eldorados, Fleetwoods, & de Villes.
I remember, at age 14, sending a Christmas Card to the Thomases telling them how much I wanted to buy a new Cadillac from their agency one fine day, & they made a point of sending me a new Cadillac catalog each year.
Fast forward to 2009, & Alas, Thomas Cadillac is no more in existence, & Mr. Thomas passed on about 2 years ago. But I did buy a stunning 1972 Coupe de Ville many years back, & truly loved the heck out of it... All the best to you Cadillac enthusiasts!
1st Oct 2010, 16:11
I have owned a 1971 Fleetwood for over 20 years, and have zero problems with it other than normal maintenance. Since the mid '70's, have had at least a half a dozen others. No major problems with them as well.
16th Sep 2019, 01:39
How do you get these cars not to drift at highway speeds? Rack and pinion solves the problem these days, but old worm gear steering boxes?
21st Jun 2004, 12:42
I still have my '94 FLEETWOOD BROUGHAM Cadillac sedan. Mileage? I get in the neighborhood of 2O to 21 MPH at road speeds up to 8O, not bad for a 2 ton plus automobile. Unfortunately, quality control went downhill as division knew they were going to discontinue after the 96's came out. The interior is plush, the car rides quietly and driving all day creates no strain whatsoever. The styling is classic, taut 'boat' curves in contrast to the bent, faceted nightmares that current Cadillacs exhibit. (The CTS in particular looks like a cheap Japanese manga cartoon.) I will keep this car, in spite of mechanical and cosmetic shortcomings because it is the last of the grand American sedans! The car currently has 68,OOO miles on the odometer. I recently bought a cheaper car to 'everyday' in order to limit mileage on the 'VLV.' (VeryLargeVehicle)