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Classic Cadillac

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1954 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

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The eminent Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special is a motorcar of absolute distinction. Fleetwood coach crafters hand-built the entire car. There was no more magnificent manner to drive or be driven in the formidable “Standard of the World.” It is luxury with a dignified presence. The epochal 1954 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special takes a bow…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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For the 1954 model year, Cadillac was completely re-designed with new splendor. They are longer, lower, and wider. The panoramic windscreen introduced on the limited-edition 1953 Series Sixty-Two Eldorado is now standard on all models. The all-new design refines the Series Sixty-Special with an individually longer 133” wheelbase – stretched an additional 4” longer than the Series Sixty-Two platform – for added cabin roominess.

Only 16,200 Series Sixty-Specials were crafted by Fleetwood for 1954 making it highly collectible. Fleetwood had its own dedicated assembly line because of the extensive hand-finishing required. The elegant 1954 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special has the luxury length of 227.4” and a 79.8” width. Fleetwood hand crafted all Cadillac interiors. Fleetwood models were crafted in their entirety by Fleetwood which makes them even more exclusive.

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The 1954 Cadillacs are powered by the 5.4 litre 331 CID 16-valve V8 engine. It produces 230 hp @ 4,400 rpm with 450 Nm of peak torque @ 2,800 rpm. The naturally aspirated V8 is equipped with a Carter WCFB 2143S or Rochester 4GC 4-bbl carburetor. 

Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 13.6 seconds with a top speed in the 106-mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 75-mph in 19.6 seconds. The engine is mated to the GM 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission.

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This 1954 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special is equipped with air conditioning w/rear seat ventilation, signal-seeking AM radio, heater, power front seat, power windows, steering, and brakes. Sixty-Specials were so luxurious they were used as personal limousines along with the Series Seventy-Five nine-passenger sedan and formal limousine.

This one is of elite provenance. It was used to chauffeur celebrities. It was purchased by the Yellow Cab and Limousine Company in Twin Falls Idaho in 1955. One of the more famous occupants includes Marilyn Monroe. It was used as her personal transportation during filming of the movie Bus Stop” in 1955. The odometer reads 63,822 original miles.

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Marilyn Monroe was the blonde-bombshell femme fatale of the 1950s

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Photos courtesy Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars

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Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special sedans were top of the line flagship models that eminently served as personal limousines. It made the special world of the Cadillac even more exclusive. They’re handcrafted in their entirety by Fleetwood. For 1954, Cadillac redesigned their entire line making each longer, lower, and wider. This 1954 Fleetwood has a one-of-a-kind provenance achieved as being a limousine to the stars. Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars out of St. Louis, Missouri is a dedicated caretaker for all of your classic and special interest automobile needs from service through full restoration.

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The 1954 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special takes center stage precluding another chapter…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The “Standard of the World” will be proudly displayed in this section. ONLY classic Cadillac motorcars deserving the title will be featured for your enjoyment.

24 thoughts on “Classic Cadillac Leave a comment

  1. Hi Greg (or any other responders):
    I’ve owned a handful of Caddies, but never my ultimate wish of a ’93-’96 Big Body Fleetwood Brougham. I’m now at a stage in my life to make it happen. Trying to learn what year of these is best? I know this is largely a subjective question. Each succeeding year seemed to add slight improvements from my analysis. This leads me to believe the ’96 to be the most logical choice in this regard? Also guessing from a parts perspective that the later year models’ are more easier obtained? Are most parts interchangeable for all 4 model years? Ex: Can you look for & swap ’93 parts for ’96 ones? Trying to compare and contrast the 4 model years to determine the most sound choice in the used market. Thanks for any replies or opinions.

    • Hello Darrin! The 1993-1996 Cadillac Fleetwood was basically the same car. The V8 engine is from the Corvette (no not a typo). The Chevy Caprice, Buick Roadmaster, and the Cadillac Fleetwood were merely a hodge-podge of GM parts all pretty much interchangeable except for cosmetics. They’re beautiful cars that are still in high demand all over the world. All three cars were built on the same platform and parts are plentiful. These cars will outlast the newer cars if properly maintained. General Motors was taking a stab at revamping the full-size sedans when these three cars made their debut in 1993. Unfortunately, clientele could see the Fleetwood was really a Caprice or a Roadmaster and popularity didn’t go the way GM execs wanted. Cars this big were a dying breed at the time because of gasoline prices. These cars are more popular today than they were back in their production days. If you can find one they are an excellent value, they will appreciate favorably the more rare they become. Happy Hunting!

  2. Good Morning,

    A link on the net showing a black 1966 Cadillac convertible, directed me to your site.

    I am looking for a very nice black 66 Cadillac 62 or Eldorado Convertible.

    Please let me know if you have one, or happen across one for sale.

    Thank You.

    • Hello Daniel! Both 1966 DeVille and Eldorado convertibles are extremely rare. If I run across anything in my travels I’ll notify you. These are hot items, when they do come up for sale they sell almost immediately because of their pedigree. Classic Cadillac convertibles are appreciating rapidly as with all classic Cadillacs because they are the last of the breed. Happy hunting!


  4. Hello Maria! These are very rare automobiles. If you should run across one make sure the coachbuilder is an accredited entity. It is a tedious not to mention time consuming task creating a convertible from a hardtop. The roof of a car is the major structure holding the car together. When the roof is snipped off certain things must be done to lower the center of gravity to keep it on the ground. Since its structural integrity has been compromised it has to be reinforced in the event of it being ‘T-boned’ to keep it in one piece. Hess & Eisenhardt made a very nice conversion from 1980-1985 model years. ASC or American Sunroof Corporation built GM factory authorized conversions for the 1984-1985 model years. Armbruster/Stageway built a conversion for model years 1980-1983.

    Make sure to find out who carried out the transition before you buy, this way you won’t be in for a nasty shock. Always have convertible as well as stretch limousine conversions put up on a frame rack to lift it to see if the car sags with the wheels off of the ground. It is imperative to have a professional examine the conversion. AND…as with all Cadillacs from the 1980s, check in key areas for corrosion!! There’s a lot to look at when contemplating a converted vehicle. There are examples out there that are ‘dangerous’ because everyone isn’t trained for a procedure like this – there’s a lot more involved than merely snipping off the top to make a convertible! Good luck in your search.

  5. I have a ’74 Eldorado convertible with degraded rear bumper fillers. I prefer the design of the ’73’s rear end and am wondering if I could switch to ’73 tail lights & bumper; it looks as if the tail lights will fit the fenders, but that I may have to modify the bumper brackets. Any idea if this would work?

    • Cemorsephoto – the 1973 and 1974 Eldorados use different rear bumper/filler styling. The 1973 would have to have the taillamp extensions removed and replaced with the 1974 filler and bumper end caps. Leave it as the 1973, the filler lasts longer this way.

      • You have my query backwards: I wish to convert my ‘74 rear end to a ‘73 & get rid of the fillers; will the ‘73 tail lights match up with the 74 rear fenders. I may have to get a ‘73 trunk to match up with the ‘73 bumper, which also may require modification to attach

      • There will be fitment issues for sure. The 1974 has a different design for attaching the filler and bumper. Why do you want to mess with it? You will definitely depreciate the car if you make this type of change.

        The rear fenders appear to be the same until it’s time to reattach a 1973 to a 1974 rear end swap. If you look closely at both model years you’ll see the difference. I wouldn’t mess with it.

        You will make the car look as though it’s been wrecked and repaired in a tacky fashion. I think there are fibreglass extensions available for the 1974 Eldorado. Be careful with replacement filler for the ’74 Eldorado. The cheap versions do not fit flush and stick out like a sore thumb.

        You do realize the 1973 Eldorado rear bumper was required only 2.5-mph impact status when the 1974 Eldorado has a 5-mph impact bumper, right? What you seek isn’t impossible – just expensive to modify. Then, after you go to all the expense swapping backwards – your car will look extremely tacky with a 1974 front nose clip and finished with a 1973 style for the rear. No, it will be most conspicuous to do what you seek.

      • I am in agreement; was just a thought. The bumper conversion would be pretty expensive and originality would indeed be lost. I just really dislike those damned fender extenders & especially the cheesy plastichome trim the ‘73 tail lights were a much cleaner look; if it were a matter of bolt- on without serious modification I would switch

        Thanks for your input

  6. I have a 1977 cadillac deville , what’s the easy and the most affordable way to Change the rear drums to disk brakes, at what costs im looking at . And where can I find them. Thanks

    • Cadillacs from that genre seems to chew up pad and rotor assemblies. I had a 1979 Brougham with 4-wheel disc brakes. I’d stick to the old fashioned drum type…they’re cheaper and require less attention than disc brakes.

  7. Hello Devin! If I were you, I’d leave the 1977 drum-style as it is! When you get into swapping things out that aren’t factory – as the car ages you may have strange results. Cadillacs chew up disk brake pads quicker than the drum type. The drums are cheaper and last longer. Why do you want to mess with it?

  8. I always like looking at pictures of classic Cadillacs. For a number of years, my parents had a 1968 Cadillac Sedan DeVille 4 door hardtop. It was quite the car in its day. Is was big and comfortable. One time they cruised on a stretch of Interstate 81 in West Virginia where they topped the car out at around 100 M.P.H. For a few years in the early 1970s, they took the car up to Provincetown, MA for one week in August. It used a lot of gasoline. However I learned that sometimes they could top out at 18 M.P.G. or a little more in the highway which was pretty good for such a large engine. Even as a small child, the engine in the 1968 model sounded different from the 1967. In August 1970, I was at a day camp when a Cadillac pulled up that looked like my parents car. My parents were at Cape Cod at the time. When I got closer to the car, that color was a little different. It also looked a bit different. Lastly the engine sounded a little different. It turned out to be a 1967 Cadillac, not my parents 1968 Cadillac. I was 7 years old at the time.

  9. i dont know who is designing the new caddys,are they trying to go bankrupt? 99% of the caddys today are 4 doors like a grandmother car. they cant build a fullsize coupe anymore ? get your head out of the sand, and start listening to old school people, go to a mecum auction or any large carshow nobody wants a 4 door car the ones that sell are fullsize 2door coupes wake up junior.

  10. I am looking for a 1971 Fleetwood 60 special only in color code 99 Primrose F; Must be low mileage and preferably 1 owner, will consider all-Peter Warren

    • Hello Peter! If it were only that simple! It would have to be researched to find out if that particular model was finished in that color. The next would be finding the proverbial needle in a hay stack! After all of these years those cars died a long time ago. The few that remain are in the grasp of avid collectors. My advice would be to go thru the GM archives for statistics. But that won’t tell you if and where you could find a Cadillac this old. AND, if you did find one – be prepared to shell out an outrageous fortune to purchase it. Cadillacs from the 1970s were eaten relentlessly by rust. The survivors should be approached with caution.

      If you find one that’s been refinished make sure to have it inspected to see if body filler putty is present. The door seams, the lower quarter panels where the stainless-steel moldings are attached with those awful weld studs and plastic clips should be scrutinized. Some merely use jeweler screws to reattach the lower moldings avoiding those clips. The damage; however, may have already been done and ‘painted-over’ to camouflage. The 1971-1979 Cadillacs were made using improperly refined sheet metal that rusted out really fast. I remember junk yards full of Cadillacs that looked good from a distance but once you got closer you’d see the strange rust repair or just the rust itself devouring the sheet metal. The 1970s thru the 1980s vanished quickly to the big scrap yard in the sky! The 1971-1976 Cadillacs got the brunt of this rusting revolution. Those cars will be worth more because of this fact.

      There are Southern survivors or Cadillacs that lived in California their entire lives out there but be prepared to pay a premium for them. Another area to inspect is the roof – which can be difficult if a new padded vinyl roof was installed. Those tops had thick padding that absorbed and held onto water like a sponge. Cadillacs in the rust-belt are the most suspect. Sometimes, those vinyl roofs are removed and the top is literally toast. Some grind this down and add filler painting it and re-installing a new vinyl top covering. The results will eventually make itself known when you see bubbles forming in your new vinyl roof covering!

      The back window is the worst offender. GM engineers (DUH) didn’t even think to make those rear windows drainable until the 1980s. The stainless-steel molding, weld studs and plastic clips rendered many Cadillacs from this genre worthless. The roof is the major strength of the car if you didn’t know. The corrosion got into key areas and went into the lower quarter panels in surrounding areas, making the car dangerous to operate. I saw a 1976 Sedan deVille broken in half because of rust. It was T-boned by a semi. Rust is a lot like poison ivy. It branches out and chains together where you cannot see it. This is why you don’t see many 1971-1976 Cadillacs anymore. They’ve been long gone.

      Good luck in your search. Be prepared to settle for any color available should you find a 1971 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham, because remember…the Fleetwood Series was built at a highly restricted pace. There were more DeVille models built than all of the other models annually. The Hardtop Sedan deVille was a perennial favorite among luxury car buyers. AND also, be prepared to shell out BIG-BUCKS to purchase it. The survivors aren’t cheap! As for the formidable Sixty-Special Brougham – this is the rarest of the rare right now! I like the center seam in the extended body shell of the 1971 and 1972 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special and Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five nine passenger sedans and formal limousines.

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