24th May 2014, 15:41
I had a 1995 Roadmaster and the water pump let go, so I replaced the water pump and optispark. After that, the car would run for a few months, start sputtering and eventually die. Pulled it apart and found that the opti had filled with oil. I replaced it again and the same thing would happen all over. Doubting my mechanical skills, I sent it to a reputable mechanic and he pulled the timing cover and replaced all the seals. The opti filled with oil again after that. I sold the car.
I also had a 1995 Fleetwood Brougham. This was the best car I had ever owned. I never had a problem with that car, and it was unstoppable in the snow. I wish I had kept that one. It was mint.
After the Roadmaster however, I'll never buy another LT1. They are money pits after the opti fails. Even though they are powerful and economical, they are unreliable after 100k. They are too much of a gamble...
25th May 2014, 16:19
It is a shame GM stopped making large traditional sedans. I think if marketed correctly at the right price point, there is still a market for them.
28th May 2014, 16:27
A V8 wouldn't even be a must. I have a Buick Enclave with a 3.6 liter V6. The performance is not going to shatter any land speed records, but it is adequate and that vehicle weighs near 5,000 lbs. The transmission gearing can get a little hairy at times (especially when downshifting) since it is tuned for optimum fuel economy. The biggest large cars of the last 30 years tipped about 4,500 lbs. I had Park Avenues with the 3.8, and again, performance was very adequate with highway mileage of 30 MPG in a nice sized sedan. Of course they were a little under 4,000 lbs though.
28th May 2014, 20:12
Your comment regarding the LT1 being money pits and being troublesome is false, in my experience.
I currently own a 94 Cadillac Fleetwood Bro, and it has been the most reliable car I have ever owned in the last 6 years.
Sure I replaced the leaky water pump, rear axle bearing, plastic window rollers, but other than a few things, this car has been great to me. Everything still works inside, and the car runs and rides flawlessly at 176,000 miles.
I still can't believe GM discontinued the D-B bodies, as they were awesome in performance and durability. But I understand the business side, as sales were dropping each year.
The 4.6 Panthers were underpowered and had weird electrical problems, and it didn't matter what year it was, it's like something was bound to fail sooner than later. Maybe a power seat motor, power window switch or motor, blend door actuator, or even the brake light switch.
I have owned a 90's Town Car before, and it had all kinds of electrical issues. Compared to the Fleetwood, the Cadillac is a much better car to drive and has more interior space to boot. It feels much more substantial as it's bigger and heavier than the Town Car/Marquis. Basically what I am trying to say is it all depends on how the car was maintained in the past, but also it comes down to engineering and parts quality.
Overall, the LT1 kicks the 4.6 mod motor's butt in the performance department; sure the Panthers were more advanced, and used newer tech for the dash display and were a little more sophisticated than a D body in the computer powertrain department, but for straight comfort, size and cool factor, and reliability, the GM full size platform was the best. At least the Fleetwoods were.
29th May 2014, 18:58
Thing was, back in the 1990s, GM was charging up the wazoo for the Fleetwood, limiting its market. The Town Car was priced just a little above the DeVille, widening its buyer base. The Brougham suffered from the same malady, but that car was also woefully outdated too, which didn't help.
For the average buyer of the day, the Fleetwood offered more of everything (except trunk space), but only a little more so. Not enough to justify its significantly higher price tag. The only solid lead the Fleetwood really had was the LT1 engine, but it seemed that buyers wanted the newer tech of Ford's SOHC Modular engine instead.
It didn't help that the Fleetwood also looked too much like the new DeVilles that debuted that year as well, which probably had an effect on sales. GM should've kept them stylistically apart like they did much better with the Roadmaster.
After a thorough comparison of specs, at the time, the Town Car was just the better car for the money. 20 years later, who would've thought that the Fleetwood would come to age better though? But buyers at the time didn't care, they just wanted the most advanced car for their money.