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1993 Cadillac Fleetwood

1993 Cadillac Fleetwood (Cars)

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The Fleetwood Metal Body Company began business in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania on Apr. 1, 1909 (109 years ago) and continued as an independent automobile body builder until acquired in 1925 (93 years ago) by the Fisher Body Company, a division of General Motors. The company continued in Fleetwood until 1931 (87 years ago) at which time General Motors moved the entire operation to Detroit.

Long before acquisition by Fisher Body Company, the Fleetwood Metal Body Company had established its reputation as a builder of fine wood and aluminum auto bodies. Its built-to-order product was sought after by many notable people in the U.S. and abroad, some of whom were royalty from India and Japan, presidents of Poland and the United States, and well-known American movie idols. One specimen, built for silent screen star Rudolph Valentino, was recently on sale for $1,600,000.00.

"Unique" was the magic word that attracted the wealthy. One could purchase a chassis with wheels and motor from the best builders abroad, Isotta Fraschini, Bentley, Mercedes, Rolls-Royce or Fiat. American makers were Duesenberg, Packard, Cadillac, Pierce-Arrow or Stutz. There were also Reading makers of the S.G.V., the Chadwick and Daniels. The purchased chassis with engine and wheels was shipped to Fleetwood while the purchaser met with one of the company’s designers, usually in New York, to put onto a drawing the customer’s ideas of what the finished design should be. Once accepted, the plans were sent to Fleetwood where the body would be created, mounted on the chassis and finished in the colors, upholstery, and appointments chosen by the new owner. The car was “unique” to the likes of the proud possessor.

Eventually, under Fisher’s directives, the company also made production models with the celebrated Fleetwood name. General Motors' most notable Cadillac model was the “Fleetwood” until it was discontinued.

The Fleetwood name was used on the top of the Cadillac line since 1927 (91 years ago). In 1946 (72 years ago), Cadillac created a special version of the Series 60 Special called the "Series 60 Special Fleetwood". The Fleetwood name was then used to designate the top of the line trim of the Series 70 and Sixty Special models through 1976 (42 years ago).

In 1972 (46 years ago), Cadillac refocused the Fleetwood name. The Fleetwood Limousine carried on from the Fleetwood Seventy-Five, while the Fleetwood Brougham took over where the Sixty Special was positioned.

History 1989-1992, 1993 (25 years ago) (Sixty Special)

For 1989 (29 years ago), the Fleetwood line was aligned more-closely with the Deville, essentially becoming trim variations on the same vehicle. The coupe versions of both shared the old 110.8 in (2814 mm) wheelbase, while the sedans (including the "Sixty Special") were unified at 113.8 in (2891 mm). Exterior dimensions were also identical between the model lines, with a length of 202.3 in (5138 mm) and 205.3 in (5215 mm) for the coupe and sedan, respectively.

The US$30,000 sticker price was a bargain compared to the large German luxury cars of the time, but Car and Driver felt that there was no comparison. They felt that the ride was "harsh", surprising when combined with a "feeble".67 g of cornering grip. And the 155 hp (116 kW) V8 could only manage 10.9 s to 60 mph (96 km/h) for the 3615 lb (1640 kg) car.

Power jumped to 180 hp (134 kW) from the same 4.5 L engine for 1990 (28 years ago) through the use of a dual-stage intake manifold and other changes. It was replaced by the 200 hp (149 kW) 4.9 L HT-4900 for 1991 (27 years ago).

The Fleetwood departed the front-drive line-up for 1993 (25 years ago) (as the Fleetwood name went on the new rear-drive replacement for the 1992 (26 years ago) Brougham). Sixty Special continued in its front-wheel drive form, as it had since it was re-introduced in 1987 (31 years ago), but this would be the last year. To visually differentiate the 1989 (29 years ago) - 1993 (25 years ago) De Ville from the upper-rung Fleetwood and Sixty-Special models, the front-drive Fleetwoods and Sixty Specials use fender-mounted "spats" or skirts over the rear wheels, while De Ville had full rear-wheel openings. For its final-year, there were 5,292 Sixty Specials built in 1993 (25 years ago), including 688 with the optional "Ultra" Package that featured 22-way adjustable front seats, designed in Italy by Giorgio Grugiaro. This distinctive seating package had been standard on the Sixty Special since 1989 (29 years ago), but in 1993 (25 years ago), it became a $3,550.00 option.

Both the Fleetwood and Deville were coded as C-bodies in the fourth digit of the VIN. The fifth digit coded the Deville as "D" (with the later Touring Sedan becoming "T"), the Fleetwood as "B", and the Fleetwood Sixty Special as "S". The Sixty Special became the "G" code for 1991 (27 years ago), and switched back to "B" for its 1993 (25 years ago) run.

History 1993-1996

For 1993 (25 years ago), the Fleetwood name was switched from the Deville's front wheel drive C-body to the newly revised rear wheel drive D-body, being one of the first American front-wheel drive vehicles to switch to rear-wheel drive. This new body was based on that of the Chevrolet Caprice. The Fleetwood was the largest production car made in the United States until production ceased in 1996 (22 years ago)..

1994 brought the Corvette-derived LT-1 350 in³ (5.7 L) engine to make 260 hp (193.9 kW) along with the new 4L60E automatic transmission. Between 1993 (25 years ago) and 1996 (22 years ago), the Fleetwood Commercial chassis was used in lieu of the DeVille for funeral coaches and limousines. The DeVille was used again in 1997 (21 years ago).

The 7,000 lb (3,200 kg) trailer towing package returned to the Gen 5 Fleetwood in 1993 (25 years ago), something not seen in a production sedan since the 1971-1976 Gen 3 Fleetwood. The RPO V4P package included heavy duty cooling (RPO V08, which consisted of a 7 blade mechanical fan and an extra capacity radiator), RPO FE2 Suspension System Ride Handling, HD 4L60 transmission, RPO KC4 Cooling System Engine Oil, RPO KD1 Cooling System Transmission Oil, RPO KG9 140 amp alternator, and RPO GT4 3.73 gears with an 8.5" ring gear. In 1994-1996, the V4P package was revised with RPO GU6 3.42 gears with the new more powerful RPO LT1 260 hp V8, and HD 4L60E transmission with unique accumulators to shift smoother with the shorter rear axle gearing.

The Fleetwood was upgraded with a 9.5" Semi Floating axle (sourced from Chevrolet/GMC C/K 3/4 ton trucks fitted with wide drums and 1/2" studs) with 3.42 ratio, along with 1" wide brake rotors (from Chevrolet/GMC G-series vans) on coach builder, limousine, and armor plating models.


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