….The formidable Fleetwood legend continues
…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns”
A Cadillac Fleetwood was an automobile of noble bearing. They possessed an aristocratic flair that set them apart from all other fine motorcars. The 1963 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special makes a cameo appearance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
I would like to dedicate this Editorial to my friend “The Fin Man” Bruce Kunz at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He has a “fin-fetish” that I thought I’d quench for him…
There was nothing finer than the Formidable Fleetwood-bodied Cadillacs. They were crafted mostly by hand on a dedicated assembly line. The eminent Fleetwood Series was a selection of the most distinguished automobiles on American roads. It was the illustrious Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special that made the brand the “Standard of the World.”
The Fleetwood was the very essence of Cadillac. The Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special held the reputation of being the most luxurious owner-driven Cadillac sedan. A Fleetwood maintained that poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac. The 1963 edition of the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special made each journey memorable. The 1963 Cadillacs are deemed to be the most glamorous Cadillacs of the 1960s.
It was a brilliant new interpretation of a traditionally elegant Fleetwood body style. The 1963 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special set new standards for dramatic yet understated styling. The iconic Cadillac tail fins were refined to suit the look of the day. The last use of the fin was for the 1964 model year. They vanished all together for the 1965 model year.
The styling was all-new for the 1963 Cadillacs. They featured a longer silhouette with a wider hood. The front end ensemble was bolder with more massive grille work. The fenders were chiseled flowing back into a tapered new rear deck lid. The tail fins were trimmed into a sculpted look.
The Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special received new chrome rocker sill moldings for added distinction. The Series Sixty-Special had a magnificent stature and unique prestige that only a Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac could convey. The Fleetwood Body Division was separate from Fisher Body…the Fleetwood was the “the exalted one” at the factory.
The Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special had a prestige and distinction of its own, the exclusive design of its roof line with wider rear sail panels and a limousine-style rear window treatment afforded rear seat privacy.
The longer body work and distinctive roof enhanced the regal formality of this opulent sedan. The 1963 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was one of the world’s most admired automobiles, and the world’s most elegant town car.
The Cadillac 390 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine had higher horsepower-to-engine-weight ratio. This refined new design used highly advanced engine sealing methods for an even tighter-sealed, cleaner performing engine than any previously used in the brand’s history.
New lighter weight components were used that included: a new integral die-cast aluminum front cover and water pump housing, new lightweight crankshaft assembly, lighter, shorter stroke pistons, positive crankcase ventilation for emissions control, new larger main bearings with a new rear main bearing seal, and a new lower intake manifold. The engine was designed for simplified servicing with engine accessories moved forward.
Cadillac Motor Division’s objective was to build the finest best-balanced engines in the luxury car segment. The 1963 390 CID V8 had greater responsiveness, was smoother in overall operation with utmost durability and dependability. The engine was equipped with a Rochester 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet carburetor with equalized manifold, mechanical fuel pump, intake silencer, and improved automatic choke.
The Cadillac V8 produced 325 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 583 Nm of peak torque @ 3,100 rpm. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 10.4 seconds, 0-100 mph in 28.8 seconds with a top speed of 124 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 84 mph in 17.6 seconds.
The engine was mated to GM’s Hydra-Matic (Jetaway/Flashaway) 4-speed automatic transmission. It was the fully automatic “step-gear” type with controlled fluid coupling of forward gear sets for smoother shifting. It provided two drive ranges, low range, and reverse.
For the 1963 model year a new high-output 42 amp generator and a 52 amp unit for air-conditioned cars was introduced, it was designed to charge the battery even at idle speeds. It was accompanied by an improved water-proof ignition system.
It had longer boots on the ignition coil and ignition wire covering strengthened by molded-in glass braid. The spark plug boots and ignition wire covering were made of neoprene rubber. The distributor was designed to shed moisture effectively. It was thoughtful engineering such as this that helped Cadillac to retain “Standard of the World” distinction and exclusivity.
The 1963 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was built as body on frame construction. It used Cadillac’s rugged tubular X-frame. This type of construction provided a lower front floor that contributed to comfortable seat height and more headroom. It rode upon a long 129.5” wheelbase, had the luxury length of 223” and a wide 79.7” stance.
The front suspension used upper and lower control arms with forked upper arms and single arms with lower tension strut rods. It used spherical joints with tapered roller bearings inner/outer, independent helical coil springs, rubber bushings to absorb road impact and isolate road noise, and hydraulic direct-acting shock absorbers.
The rear suspension utilized Cadillac’s four-link drive, helical coil springs, rubber bushings to improve ride quality, and hydraulic direct-acting shock absorbers mounted as an inverted “V.” The rear axle was the hypoid type with offset differential cover to facilitate straight-line drive.
The unique new “true-center drive line” had advanced design and precision assembly. This sophisticated unit isolated and cancelled negative energy and driving impulses, this results in an incredibly smooth flow of power from engine to drive wheels with optimum control under all driving situations.
A Cadillac Fleetwood was in a class all by itself in its luxury and magnificence. It was for the owner/driver that could be satisfied with nothing but the best. The interior of the eminent Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was trimmed with the warmth of genuine hand-rubbed Narra wood.
New trim styles and fabrics were continued with the Fleetwood tradition of impeccable crafting. For the 1963 model year the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special received a new instrument panel with logical grouping of instrumentation for convenience. Deep-seated luxury was due in no small part to the higher seat backs. Wide center folding armrests were standard front and rear.
The Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special has always been the most aristocratic and dignified of all Cadillac models. It had its own distinctive roof that added prestige and distinction. The wider rear sail panels and limousine-style rear window treatment afforded additional privacy. The roof line enhanced the regal formality of this most distinguished sedan.
Exterior Fleetwood signature features included the laurel wreath and Cadillac crest denoting that this is a very special Cadillac. Special stainless-steel accent moldings discreetly finished its luxurious attributes. However grand the occasion, there was no more gracious manner in which to arrive than in a Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special.
The regal Fleetwoods were crafted at a restricted pace to retain the model’s exclusivity and supremacy. For a more formal appearance, an optional fully padded vinyl roof was available. It not only augmented the Fleetwood’s styling but it also help to insulate the car from the natural elements and sound.
The inspired elegance and regal stature of the 1963 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special enhanced its position of being the world’s most desired automobile. The tasteful refinement and flawless quality was an important hallmark of the eminent Fleetwood Series.
The unmatched dignity and distinction of the magnificent Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special reflected the stature of its owner. It was immediately identified in any gathering of fine automobiles.
The 1963 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special was a most aristocratic motorcar. It was Cadillac’s most luxurious owner-driven sedan. The styling was dramatic yet unmistakably Cadillac. Its 325 hp V8 engine moved this luxury sedan as a performance sedan. The 1963 model year featured all-new styling. The 1963 Cadillacs were among the world’s most glamorous cars of the 1960s.
With unparalleled elegance, eloquent amenities, and formidable Fleetwood hand-crafting, the 1963 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special sedan was recognized as a motorcar of custom design and coachwork that was second to none. It was the distinguished Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special that made Cadillac “The Standard of the World.”
Cadillac designers achieved new luxury, spaciousness, and good taste combined with the supreme expression of the automaker’s craft with the luxurious 1963 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special sedan. This ends another fabulous Fleetwood encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
The 1963 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special
Bruce Kunz…this one’s for you…kid
“As the Standard of the World Turns”
The most glamorous Cadillac of the 1960s