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1974 Fleetwood Talisman

….and the Fleetwood legend continues

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1974

 

1974 II

A Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty-Special was the “Cadillac of Cadillacs” and was the very essence of the brand. A Fleetwood was the absolute epitome of luxury; it was the most luxurious owner-driven Cadillac. Riding on a commanding 133” wheelbase, 3” longer than the DeVille and Calais series, it was just a touch away from being a limousine. It was truly one of the world’s great sedans. This was Cadillac in the grand manner.

The eminent Fleetwood Sixty-Special maintained a poised dignity that was the TRUE hallmark of every Cadillac. The NOTORIOUS Fleetwood Brougham was identified immediately in any gathering of fine automobiles. Style code #6B B69/P Fleetwood Brougham was base priced at $8,083 with a mid-year increase of $9,537 due to the addition of a mandated starter interlock system and other emission control devices. The 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty-Special Brougham was the latest chapter in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The Fleetwood Sixty-Special Brougham was executive-style luxury, understated, yet unmistakably Cadillac in spirit. In grace and stature the 1974 Fleetwood Brougham sedan more than ever was America’s number ONE luxury car. For the 1974 model year Cadillac offered special limited edition trim options for the Fleetwood Sixty-Special, the Fleetwood Brougham d’Elegance and the superlatively formidable Fleetwood Talisman.

The Fleetwood Talisman was the ultimate in individual luxury and comfort. A Talisman produces magical or miraculous effects….so did this motorcar. The option code #V4U Fleetwood Talisman was priced at $1,800 for an interior upholstered in Medici crushed velour and $2,450 for supple leather upholstery introduced later in the model year. The leather was the rarest so should you run across this in your travels BUY IT IMMEDIATELY and take it home to your garage. I see those appreciating phenomenally in the next few years.

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Medici crushed velour graced the cabin luxuriously

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opulence abounds, one could opt for the pillow and lap robe

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The Fleetwood Talisman offered four of the most enviable seats in all of motordom. Each individual lounge seat featured a European inspired shirred sew-style. Elegant Medici crushed velour was available in four colors and the leather was available in two colors. The Fleetwood Talisman option featured locking front and rear Medici trimmed center consoles with the front concealing an illuminated writing pad with pen & pencil with a large storage compartment.

The rear console contained a holder for a vanity mirror and a storage bin. Signature exterior features included an Elk-grain fully padded vinyl roof with French seams and ‘Fleetwood Talisman’ affixed to each rear sail panel, a jewel-like stand-up laurel wreath and crest on its majestic hood and Turbine-vane wheel discs. The Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman was a very special sedan. Only 1,898 were built making them extremely rare and highly collectible today.

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The 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman was powered by the Cadillac 7.7 litre 472 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine equipped with a Rochester 4-bbl down-draft Quadrajet carburetor with equalized manifold. The engine produced 205 hp @ 3,600 rpm with 495 Nm of peak torque @ 2,000 rpm. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 11.7 seconds, 0-100 mph in 38.5 seconds, with a top speed of 116 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 77 mph in 18.5 seconds. The engine was mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM 400 3-speed automatic transmission.

The 1974 Fleetwood Talisman rode upon a perimeter frame with heavy gauge boxed side rails. 1974 Cadillacs were built as body on frame construction. The Fleetwood Sixty-Special had an individually longer wheelbase of 133” and had the luxury length of 233.7” with a 79.8” width. The 1974 Cadillacs unfortunately had the worst performance of the decade due to the fact that it lacked a catalyst and the fact that the 472 wasn’t cooperative with all of the EPA mandated emissions controls and mph standards. The 8.2 litre 500 CID was better suited for both the catalyst and the other GM smog deterrents added.

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Medici crushed velour in black

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The Fleetwood Talisman used a front suspension with traditional upper and lower control arms with integral steering knuckle for added dependability and longer life, helical coil springs, and rubber mounted strut rods with rubber bushings to absorb impact and isolate road noise. Shock absorbers with Teflon rings were fitted front and rear. The rear suspension used a four-link drive, helical coil springs, and large rubber bushings to improve ride quality.

Automatic Level Control was standard for the Fleetwood series which automatically compensated for changes in load and driving conditions. Also standard were power brakes with self-adjusting feature. The braking system used finned composite rear drums and front discs, and a dual hydraulic master cylinder provided independent operation of both front and rear systems. The braking system was fitted with a large two-piston power booster and larger front wheel brake cylinders for increased braking capacity. 

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Standard for the 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty-Special included signature Brougham features such as carpeted rear seat footrests, adjustable rear seat reading lamps, and Dual Comfort front seating power assisted of course, power windows, automatic parking brake release, and variable ratio power steering. One of the pleasures of Cadillac ownership included the many attractive features that came as standard equipment.

Cadillac offered an array of optional luxury features, equipment, and accessories to individualize the 1974 Cadillacs. No other luxury car could have been made more personally yours. The Fleetwood series had a special eloquence setting it apart from the ordinary. A Cadillac Fleetwood had to be seen to be believed, driven to be fully appreciated and owned for complete and total satisfaction that precluded the restless quest for something satisfying to replace it with.

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Hello  to my friend Rik Gruwez at Liberty Oldtimers in Brugge, Belgium

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How special it was to have both body and interior crafted by the artisans at Fleetwood coachcrafters. Its preeminence in the luxury car class was unequaled. The Cadillac Fleetwood was the purveyor of opulent elegance second to none, often duplicated but NEVER replicated. All Fleetwoods maintained that poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac.

The Fleetwood Sixty-Special Brougham was the most luxurious owner-driven Cadillac. When combined with the Talisman option it became the epitome of unrivaled sophistication and elegance. A Cadillac Fleetwood was the very essence of Cadillac in grace and dignity. This was just another brilliant superlative in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Sumptuous contour pillow-style seating in the 1976 Brougham d’Elegance

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Just more superlative-superlatives…. in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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13 thoughts on “1974 Fleetwood Talisman Leave a comment

  1. I have a 1974 Tailsman white with blue velour interior. Interior is in great shape, Was a one owner when I got it. Hardly driven in years. Has approximately 70,000 miles. Some surface rust but has been stored inside always. Wanting to know what it is worth.

  2. I’m looking for offers on my ’76 Talisman. Can be viewed on Craigslist Minneapolis. Needs work or parted out. It ran prior to being stored in 2000. It has been outside 6 years and inside for 12 years prior to that. White exterior, crushed blue velour interior.

  3. Hello Bill! Finding one today is the proverbial needle in the haystack. Rust ATE these cars relentlessly; therefore, surviving examples are being held tenaciously by owners around the world. This is the 4-individual seat -original- option so be careful when and IF you do find one. Make sure ALL serial numbers match (engine block too) and the “Talisman” code is in the VIN. I have run across several ‘faux’ editions which I have promptly called attention to. Just as enthusiasts ‘clone’ Buick GSX, Camaro RS/SS, and the likes – modern technology can re-create trim components…people are ‘manufacturing’ collectibles! (Gone in 60 seconds…remember?)

    But this is the fun of collecting automobiles. Each survivor has an illustrious history attached. Researching them can be fun. But ‘research’ is the operative word here. Look before you leap! Make SURE to examine the underside THOROUGHLY before even contemplating its purchase. ZIEBART left a nasty taste in collector’s mouths…water/calcium chloride hid trapped underneath all that sticky worthless goop used in the kitschy-faux rust-proofing pyramid scheme. Then…like magic, one day your ‘priceless’ collectible is now rendered a worthless driveway ornament because of structural corrosion which makes it a death-trap to operate! Notice that such companies don’t even exist today?

    Rust-proofing (and I use this term in its generic most superlative) had crafty ways of ‘voiding’ warranties. How can you prove a stone chip didn’t start the rust that ate thru the car you thought you had protected? This is the premise they used…and got away with each and every time! I intentionally left one of my 1979 Lincoln Continentals in its original condition (with Ziebart imaginary rust-proofing) just to show what this type of useless crap does to a beautiful car. To look at it from a distance…tis awesome – but, open the doors and peek into the door jambs and you will see all around the brightly colored plastic plugs Ziebart used to conceal the holes they drilled into the car’s architecture just to pump that goop into seams – is now hopelessly corroded from the inside out!!!!!! That just stir-fried my ass to no end! All of that money for the car, all that money for Ziebart – and the car is rusting from the inside out….as it sits in a garage too! My point – make certain to inspect any car you are looking for that was built in the spirited seventies! Most cars made back then were built using improperly refined sheet metal so the rust was just waiting to re-surface! 1974 Cadillacs are also viewed as rolling scrap heaps, both mechanically and cosmetically. By now, the survivors have been updated but the possibilities do exist.
    Greg!

  4. I have two 1974 Cadillac Fleetwoods. One is cherry black and the other just black. I bought the cherry black in Denver in 1989, drove it to New York and had it shipped to the UK. I won many shows in the UK and then when I moved to the US, I had it shipped over to Charleston SC. The black one I purchased in 1999 was in Austin Texas.

    I will be selling the black cherry soon, unfortunately, as I used it less and less often when I bought the black one with only 16,000 from new. I have it stored in my warehouse I also have a complete Talisman black interior which I bought about seven years ago and intended to fit it in the black cherry, but may sell the Talisman interior at the right price.

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