1965 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Convertible

The Fleetwood Eldorado epitomized open tourers

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The 1965 Cadillac was the most dramatically new creation in sixteen years. The “Standard of the World” was elegantly new and majestically Cadillac. The impressive Fleetwood Series were all masterpieces. A Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac was special even among Cadillacs. The name Fleetwood was a hallmark of motoring elegance. The magnificent 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible epitomized open tourers from that genre.

Powered by a 340 hp V8 engine combined with its youthful appearance, the Fleetwood Eldorado convertible was the most luxurious convertible in the world fashioned in the traditional Fleetwood manner. The 1965 Cadillacs continued the tradition of quality and integrity which had won for Cadillac the well-earned reputation as the “Standard of the World.” The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible was another exemplary performance in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The 1965 Cadillacs were completely re-designed. They had an all-new longer and lower silhouette. New front end styling included the handsome vertical stacking headlamps and a wide mesh-like grille. The hood and front fender design were unique and individual, the fenders had their own design which traveled past the architecture to make a dramatic statement. The sculpted hood accented the new overall lower design of the body work elegantly. Chrome spanned the entire grille and bumper areas luxuriously. This all-new design was bold and contemporary yet unmistakably Cadillac.

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The rear design was without the signature tail fins for the first time since 1947. The trunk and rear fenders had their own individuality also. Separate long planed-flat fenders swept past the architecture in the Cadillac fashion with just a ‘hint’ of the tail fin left in the bumper design which was all shining chrome end to end. The fenders made the 1965 Cadillacs appear even longer than they were.

The all-new tail lamp assembly formed an integral part of the clean smooth rear design. Tail lamps, stop/directional lamps, and back-up lamps were consolidated into a single chrome housing that blended into the rear grille work. From the striking beauty of its front end design to the rear lamp housings, this magnificent creation embodied the finest in Cadillac styling advancements combined with the formidable Fleetwood distinction.

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The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible wore this new bodyshell very well. With its standard power fully automatic folding fabric roof in the open position, this sleek convertible was one dramatic, low-slung sweep from nose to tail. It was crafted to be the finest expression of open touring. Its individual styling and its dramatic and exclusive appointments made the Fleetwood Eldorado a motorcar of distinction.

And, let any Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac appear on the motoring scene where fine automobiles gather….they were immediately recognized as an achievement unparalleled in motoring excellence. Model # 68-467E Fleetwood Eldorado convertible was base priced at $6,738. The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible was the finest expression of the new era of automotive elegance. It was the “Standard of the World” in styling and craftsmanship.

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The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible came standard with an interior of supple natural grain leather hand stitched by the artisans at Fleetwood. A sandwich type sound barrier was applied between engine and passenger compartment along with sound deadening materials that absorbed noise. Each side of the cowl area inside received a rubber compound sound barrier. The floor boards received two layers of jute topped by deep carpeting, over a rubber compound sound barrier. This was an extra quiet ragtop.

The convertibles for 1965 included a stretchable pleated top boot with a self-adhering edge that eliminated the sliding channel mounting assuring a sleek fit. Standard equipment included power windows, power six-way seat, electric clock, courtesy lighting, anti-glare rearview mirror, red reflectors at the bottoms of each door for safety, front seat belts, heater/defroster, and whitewall tires. Popular options for 1965 were: Comfort Control air conditioning, controlled differential, power door locks, door edge guards, Guide-Matic headlamp control, AM/FM radio, Soft-Ray glass, Tilt & Telescopic steering wheel, Twilight Sentinel, and remote trunk lock release.

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The 1965 Cadillacs rode upon an all new frame. They were built as body on frame construction using Cadillac’s rugged tubular center X-frame with increased torsional rigidity and impact resistance. It used hidden bulkheads for additional resistance to torsional stress. A newly designed pheasant-tail rear engine support crossmember didn’t infringe upon front floor space as a straight crossmember would.

The new frame and its increased width allowed the front suspension strut rods to be moved further outward for better control of the fore/aft movement of the front wheels. This unique frame design with boxed side rails permitted a lower transmission tunnel height inside the car. This new design allowed the frame-to-body structure to be lowered which aided stability and solid-riding luxury. New larger suspension bushings were used to absorb impact and isolate road noise. The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible rode on a long 129.5” wheelbase, had the luxury length of 224”, and was 79.9” in width. This was when a Cadillac was real….

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The front suspension used upper and lower control arms with spherical joints and independent coil springs. There were new motor mounts precisely tuned to frame characteristics for maximum idling smoothness, quietness, and stability. The steering linkage was refined to improve handling response, dependability, and longer life.

The rear suspension minimized deflection of the rear of the car during fast acceleration for a level ride. It used Cadillac’s four-link drive with helical coil springs located on the rear axle housing instead of lower control arms. This allowed the bushings to better isolate road noise and absorb wheel impact. It had new pre-stressed rear axle bearings and races for greater dependability. The rear axle housing had more unified construction for increased torsional rigidity.

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Standard for the Fleetwood Series was Automatic Level Control which kept the vehicle at optimum height under any road condition and automatically adjusted for change in load. The rear suspension used the network for the system. The new Automatic Level Control provided pressure from a compressor and air reservoir to a valve located at the rear crossmember of the frame.

If the rear end load deflected the suspension ½” or greater the valve would open allowing pressurized air to enter air chambers in the rear shock absorbers. When the load decreased the valve would exhaust the air from the shock absorbers to lower the car to level height. The valves were calibrated with a 6-12 second delay so that normal deflection of the rear suspension while encountering uneven pavement would not activate the system.

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The Cadillac V8 engine had a higher horsepower-to-weight ratio of any luxury make. For the 1965 model year there were advances in piston head design, an exclusive new exhaust system that used a new coaxial resonator sonically balanced for maximum quiet, and new engine mounts which isolated engine vibration from the interior of the car. The 1965 Cadillacs were powered by the 7.0 litre 429 CID 16-valve OHV V8. It was equipped with a Rochester or Carter AFB 3903S 4-bbl downdraft carburetor with equalized manifold, mechanical fuel pump, dry-type air filter, and automatic choke.

The engine produced 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 651 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 8.8 seconds, 0-100 mph in 24.9 seconds with a top speed of 127 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 86 mph in 16.4 seconds. The engine was mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-400 3-speed automatic transmission. New engine features included a computer designed 7-blade fan, a new cross-flow radiator for increased cooling efficiency and quiet operation, and an improved electrical system for faster starting.

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Cadillac’s PCV or Positive Crankcase Ventilation system directed un-burned air/fuel mixture from the crankcase back to the intake manifold for re-burning. A vent valve regulated the volume of un-burned air/fuel mixture to assure exact ratios for smooth engine performance at various engine speeds.

For 1965, Cadillac used a one-piece propeller shaft which transmitted power from the transmission to rear wheels with the utmost quiet and resistance to vibration. Constant Velocity Joints at each end of the propeller shaft cancelled energy that would create noise or vibration assuring a smoother, quieter drive line. Precise alignment with propeller shaft and rear axle pinion was achieved through match-mounting the attachments.

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Standard was Cadillac’s triple braking system. The system used a master cylinder with a dual reservoir with separate pistons and hydraulic lines for front and rear systems to allow independent operation. The parking brake had an automatic release and wouldn’t lock with the engine running and in gear. It could also be used as a true auxiliary brake in an emergency.

This sophisticated braking system used long-life pistons in wheel cylinders made of iron alloy and were self-lubricating. The front and rear brake shoes were self-adjusting each time the car was shifted to reverse and the brakes applied. Finned brake drums fitted to both front and rear increased cooling air dissipating heat faster. Brake fade was minimized. The front brakes used a special flange on the backing plates that shielded water from the drums.

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The 1965 Cadillacs had the most dramatic styling since the 1949 Coupe deVille. It was elegantly new and majestically Cadillac. The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible epitomized open tourers of that era. It was an all-new design with an all-new spirit. It was powered by Cadillac’s 340 hp V8 engine teamed with GM’s refined Turbo Hydra-Matic Drive.

The 1965 Fleetwood Eldorado continued the tradition of quality and integrity which earned Cadillac the distinguished reputation of “Standard of the World.” The name Fleetwood was a hallmark of motoring elegance. The spirited Fleetwood Eldorado convertible was the pinnacle of luxury and another command performance….in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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This is a custom design from Casey Art and Colour

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This was another fine example from Bob Adams Classic Cars

One Response to “1965 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Convertible”

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