The 1999 Fleetwood Limited was traditional luxury
Superior Coaches handcrafted this exquisite sedan
Coachcrafting and Cadillac used to go hand in hand. Fleetwood-bodied and custom coachcrafted Cadillacs were elegant, opulent, and exclusively handcrafted. The 1999 Cadillac Fleetwood Limited was a coachbuilt custom executive sedan by Superior Coaches of Lima, Ohio. It was a beautiful rendition of the eminent Fleetwood sedans.
It was built for the 1997-1999 DeVille platform. These unique luxury sedans retailed from $51,000 to $57,000 and were purchased, warranted, and serviced by select Cadillac dealers nationwide. The 1999 Fleetwood Limited made its cameo appearance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
Superior Coach Company is among the world’s foremost custom professional car crafters. The Superior Motor Coach Co began in 1925 constructing professional vehicles of the highest quality. The first Superior Coach Cadillacs were built in 1938. Superior made significant advancements in the professional car market segment during their 80+ year tenure in the business.
Superior Coaches is recognized as the leader in traditional styling with their design and construction of funeral coaches and limousines. Within their state-of-the art production facility, Superior creates vehicles of exemplary fit and finish. More Superior Coaches funeral vehicles are in service today than any other brand.
Superior Coaches/Accubuilt Industries make superbly crafted vehicles of distinction. They custom craft hearses, flower cars, stretch limousines, and Cadillac convertibles. Their custom-bodied Cadillacs are the epitome of the automaker’s craft. The custom crafted bodywork by Superior Coaches augmented the already beautiful 1999 DeVille. It gave a contemporary Cadillac the charisma of the traditional Cadillacs from the good old days.
The 1999 Fleetwood Limited had the luxury length of 221.8” and rode an extended 119.8” wheelbase. Trunk space was increased to 23.5 cubic ft. Rear seat legroom was a spacious 49.3 cubic ft. just like back in the days before Cadillacs became elegant puddle-jumpers. Superior Coaches worked magic on the 1999 DeVille transforming it into one of the world’s most elegant luxury sedans…’tis a shame they couldn’t have waved their magic wand over that horrid Northstar powerplant…
The 1999 Cadillac Fleetwood Limited was the largest luxury sedan built in North America. It went beyond expectations in comfort and spacious, accommodating luxury. It was built to satisfy the most discerning owner.
The Fleetwood Limited was twelve inches longer than the DeVille providing a full six inches of extra rear seat legroom. Standard features included Climate Control, Nuance leather upholstery, and a leather trimmed tilt steering wheel. The full complement of standard DeVille features and accessories were also included on the Fleetwood Limited.
Optional equipment exclusive to the Fleetwood Limited featured exterior rear wheel fender skirts, chrome grille cap, simulated convertible top, cloth padded top, fold-away television with VCR, flip-down solid wood rear seat writing tables with or without lighting, and hands-free cellular communications. Most DeVille options were also available for the Fleetwood Limited through Cadillac dealers nationwide. The Fleetwood Limited was warranted and serviced through Cadillac dealers.
When Cadillac began downsizing premiere coachbuilders went to work adding back what GM haphazardly stripped away. Some conversions were not so nice. One particularly horrid coachcrafted Cadillac was the Maloney “EM” Series built for the 1985-1986 front-wheel drive Cadillac DeVille/Fleetwood platform. Their slogan read: “Maloney makes the difference.”
Did they? The “EM” Series by Maloney was HORRID. Every splice and weld they added to alter the bodywork was clearly evident as the vehicle aged a few years. Rust and corrosion set into each and every joint they added. These were $35,000 luxury sedans that went from the showroom to the scrapyard in one svelte swoop.
The 1999 model year was the 50th Anniversary of the Cadillac DeVille. The 1949 Coupe deVille set a styling precedent that took the automotive world by storm. The sleek pillarless hardtop coupe sported Cadillac’s first OHV V8 engine. The 1949 Coupe deVille won the very first “Car of the Year” award from Motor Trend magazine. And…the 1,000,000th Cadillac, a Coupe deVille, rolled off the assembly line on November 25, 1949.
1949 Cadillac Coupe deVille
The Coupe deVille was the world’s first hardtop coupe
The pillarless hardtop coupe mocked a convertible
The 1999 Cadillac DeVille was available as three distinctive models, the base DeVille, The DeVille Concours, and the DeVille d’Elegance. The DeVille Concours was the touring sedan. It came equipped with a Nuance leather upholstered interior featuring the warmth of rich Zebrano wood trim, eight-way adjustable driver’s seat with memory, and a specially tuned suspension.
The DeVille d’Elegance was essentially the confluence of luxury. Spacious room for six adults was augmented by Zebrano wood trim, luxurious Nuance leather upholstery, rear seat lighted vanity mirrors, Rainsense windshield wipers, and an 11-speaker sound system with cassette & CD player. Even the base model DeVille was car complete.
It came standard with Electronic Dual-Zone Climate Control, automatic programmable central locking system with Pass-Key II security system, power windows, and Illuminated Entry system. Those were just a few of the many standard features and accessories for the DeVille, America’s favorite luxury car.
Unfortunately, the 1999 Cadillacs were powered by that awful Northstar 32-valve OHV V8 engine. The “Brass-Blockhead” award should have gone to the designer of Cadillac powerplants during this time period, remember the HT4100 with its cast iron heads on an aluminum block?. Carbon acted as a sledge-hammer pushing the iron head bolts out of torque, thus, blowing one’s headgasket. And, lest we forget…Dexcool antifreeze, the coolant that not only went to 150,000 miles… but also had a banquet feast on the engine gaskets it came in contact with…coolant mixing with the crankcase oil is not pretty…nor cheap.
The suspension should have been beefed up to accept all of that power (when it was running), and the brakes were dinky. The 1999 Cadillac DeVille was a stunning luxury sedan and deserved better. If you find one running today, it is a survivor as pictured here. But if you decide to restore a 1997-1999 Cadillac, swap out the engine with a later model rebuild, upgrade the shocks/springs/struts, and swap out the brakes with a Brembo set-up and you will have an excellent 1997-1999 DeVille.
That GM engineer that Ok’d production of that Northstar powerplant evidently needed his GPS just to find his office everyday…and y’all wondered why they discontinued the Northstar moneypit…I bought a 1999 DeVille in 1999…t’was a nightmare…an expensive nightmare that I shall never forget…
1999 DeVille d’Elegance
Superior Coaches was Cadillac’s oldest and longest Master Coachbuilder. They were the largest supplier of custom-bodied Cadillacs in the world. Superior stood behind their work with a warranty running concurrent with the manufacturer’s warranty covering all of their body components and workmanship. The Fleetwood Limited was a custom-bodied luxury sedan with the size, features, and the quality one expects of a Cadillac.
The Fleetwood Limited boasted a contemporary profile while it maintained the lines of a traditional luxury sedan. It was everything one wanted in a full-size luxury sedan (except that horrid Northstar engine). Its bold and distinctive style made it stand out from the rest of the crowd.
The 1999 Fleetwood Limited was a car to express one’s individuality. It was a luxury sedan for those who had accomplished much and accomplished it on their own terms. Those terms were unconditional, where fervent individuality was a lifestyle. The 1999 Fleetwood Limited made its cameo appearance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.
1949 Fleetwood Series sixty-Special
The first Cadillac Overhead Valve V8 engine for 1949
The iconic 1959 Cadillac Tail Fin
1969 DeVille convertible
1969 Hardtop Sedan deVille
Just more superlative-superlatives………in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”