Archive for Cadillac Motor Division of General Motors

Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham – Contemporary Masterpiece

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac: Masterpiece from the Master Craftsmen, Classic American Marques with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

There’s nothing like the traditional full-size Cadillac. From the admiring glances of envy…to the myriad standard comfort and convenience features and accessories – The stately Fleetwood Brougham was considered the most luxurious owner-driven Cadillac in the model hierarchy. Fleetwood-bodied Cadillacs are the epitome of grandeur with a poised dignity which was the hallmark of every traditional Cadillac motorcar.

The 1994 Fleetwood Brougham is endowed with a special type of spirited operation few luxury cars share. It’s the 1993-1996 rear-wheel drive Fleetwood series that is the last of the breed…the end of an illustrious era in motoring. They preclude the traditional luxury sedan which left a void in American automobiles no other luxury car can fill. The majestic 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham presents an encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

It’s dramatically styled in its beauty and bearing. The formidable Fleetwood Brougham is the motorcar that represents the “Standard of the World” in a majestic fashion only Cadillac could create. These magnificent automobiles are more inspiring to behold and more rewarding to own than any other full-size luxury sedan.

Fleetwood models possess an eloquence and dignity befitting a flagship of its stature. The Brougham augmented the Fleetwood series with elegant appointments and signature features for luxury in the grand Cadillac manner. The 1994 Fleetwood Brougham carried on the tradition with glamour and distinction. Cadillac Fleetwoods remain America’s most aristocratic automobiles.

The gracious proportions of Fleetwood Brougham’s traditionally-inspired architecture evoke thoughts of the days gone by when we had the choice of a ‘real’ full-size luxury sedan…and a Cadillac – all in the same car. Fleetwood Brougham’s tall, extra-wide doors provide easy entry and exit. Sweeping fender lines flow systematically enhancing aerodynamic efficiency…the EPA rated the 1994 Fleetwood Brougham as 25 mpg highway.

Chrome bright work clads the lower body sides which include removable trim that mocks traditional rear-wheel fender skirts – Cadillac Style. Its stately silhouette is augmented by a long nose and short rear end design reminiscent of those fabulous classic Fleetwoods. Most important, Fleetwood Brougham’s engineering places a large sumptuous cabin between its occupants and the road…

The 1994 Fleetwood Brougham goes to great lengths to satisfy the most discerning driver. Its luxury length of 225.1” is even longer than that of the 1994 Lincoln Town Car’s mere 218.9” length. Fleetwood’s wide 78” stance beats the Town Car’s 76.9” width proudly.

Fleetwood Brougham rides upon a long 121.5” wheelbase compared to Town Car’s 117.4” wheelbase. Fleetwood Brougham’s 57.1” height beats that of the Town Car at 56.9”. So you see…the Fleetwood Brougham and its poised dignity is eminently qualified to carry the title of America’s largest production passenger automobile for the 1994 model year – Cadillac Style!

With its full-size luxury, excellent road manners, and Cadillac elegance…the 1994 Fleetwood Brougham is traditional splendor that one had come to expect from the brand. The last of the Fleetwoods are big and beautiful from bumper to bumper. Their substantial body on frame construction is configured as front engine rear-wheel drive – as a true Cadillac should be.

This is General Motors last attempt building full-size cars. The big B/D body used by Chevrolet for the Caprice/Impala SS, Buick for the Roadmaster, and of course Cadillac with the Fleetwood. One advantage to a rear drive car is the ability to move the front wheels forward in its overall design. Placing the front wheels ahead of the engine greatly enhances suspension dynamics which govern stability. The engine doesn’t have to be connected. Drive shaft, rear differential, and rear suspension adds weight to the back of the car. (And NO torque-steer!)

Fleetwood could be compared to a luxurious club room on wheels. Its spacious cloth or leather trimmed cabin was available in two distinctive trim levels. The standard Fleetwood sedan base priced at $33,990 – $34,615 is augmented by the optional “Brougham” luxury package.

The Brougham option upholstered with Prestwick knit cloth was $1680 while the leather trimmed version was $2250. This exclusive luxury package has a different seat cushion sew-style and upgraded appointments than the standard Fleetwood sedan.

The exterior is highlighted with a luxuriously padded vinyl roof treatment with “Brougham” nomenclature affixed to the rear sail panels. This deftly identifies it as Cadillac’s most luxurious owner-driven sedan. No other motorcar in its class can replicate the grandeur and dignity this supreme achievement in motoring offers. Passengers are ensconced in traditional 6-passenger comfort.

There’s room to stretch out with nearly 5′ of shoulder room. It has 38.7” of headroom available for front seat occupants and 39.1” for the rear passenger compartment. Fleetwood Brougham provides 42.5” of front seat legroom and 43.9” for rear seat passengers. Classic “Standard of the World” creations do not have to scream achievement…they simply whisper success. Fleetwood Brougham is renowned for legendary Cadillac comfort and convenience.

And…if Fleetwood Brougham’s spacious dimensions aren’t enough to prove its superiority in the luxury car segment, its impressive list of standard amenities will. Electronic components are bestowed throughout its svelte architecture. All season Electronic Climate Control Air Conditioning maintains optimum cabin comfort year-round. Once the temperature has been set no further intervention is required. This sophisticated system includes rear compartment heating/air conditioning ducts.

Power windows with ‘express down’ feature, power door locks, Cruise Control, Tilt Wheel adjustable steering wheel, and digital instrument cluster are the more basic amenities. For the 1994 model year, Fleetwood Brougham’s signature features include: driver’s memory seat, manual articulating head rests, power triple-element lumbar controls, illuminated rear seat overhead vanity mirrors, heated front seats, rear seat folding center armrest with dual cup holder and storage.

Still undecided? Additional standard amenities include: Twilight Sentinel electronic headlamp control, Solar Ray tinted glass, controlled-cycle windscreen wipers, Illuminated Entry System, Power deck lid release with pull-down feature, illuminated driver and front passenger visor vanity mirrors, power 55/45 6-way front seating w/power 2-way recliners, power heated right and left outside rearview mirrors, Pass Key II theft deterrent system, as well as power assisted steering and brakes.

Brougham’s deep-seated luxury is due in no small part to Cadillac’s patented ‘split frame’ seatback and cushion design. The wide lounge-type seats provide independent adjustment. A new window defog system allows its windscreen to be cleared in cold weather while maintaining heat flow to the lower portion of the cabin. They don’t refer to a Fleetwood Brougham as “The epitome of luxury” for nothing…

What do these two cars have in common?

The 1994 Fleetwood Brougham and the 1994 Chevrolet Corvette share a startling truth. The Cadillac Fleetwood’s power is derived from Corvette’s responsive new 2nd generation 5.7 litre 16-valve, 350 CID “LT1” V8 engine. Both Cadillac and Corvette versions are built with a cast iron block. The Vette is built with aluminum heads while Cadillac uses cast iron heads. Here’s a Cadillac with the heart of Corvette! The naturally aspirated engine is equipped with electronic sequential-port fuel injection. Dual-platinum tipped spark plugs require no scheduled tune-up for 100,000 miles. (Burn a good grade of premium fuel and you can go a lot farther than the captioned number)

The powerful new V8 is mated to the 460L-E GM Turbo Hydra-Matic 4-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift control, overdrive, and torque converter clutch. Engine and transmission are synchronized into a single synchronous power train unit for optimum efficiency. The unique power train combo provides greater horsepower and more torque at lower speeds thus yielding quicker, more confidant acceleration.

The formidable 5.7 litre LT1 cranks 260 hp @ 5,000 rpm with 454 Nm of peak torque @ 2,400 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds, 0-100 mph in 22.6 seconds with a top speed in the 142 mph range. Impressive for a luxury sedan huh? It does the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in just 16.1 seconds. These specs are great when taken into consideration, this is a 4,506+ pound sedan.

Fleetwood Brougham’s full-frame construction permits the traditional Cadillac build. The “Magic Carpet Ride” was a signature Cadillac trademark. The 1994 edition uses the same logic. An independent front suspension has heavy-duty short/long arm upper and lower control systems. Brougham’s superior ride quality is further refined with coil springs, deflected-disc shock absorbers, and stabilizer bar.

The rear suspension is Cadillac’s 4-link drive with coil springs and stabilizer bar. Standard, is Cadillac’s exclusive Electronic Level Control that automatically calibrate the car’s ride height to maintain optimum poise under any road or load condition. ASRIIU full-range traction control with throttle relaxer aids its overall operational stability. Also standard is a Bosch ABSIIU three channel anti-lock braking system with power disc brakes fitted to the front axle and power assisted drums fitted to the rear axle.

Many thanks to Jim Hailey!

When one takes into consideration, luxury sedans such as the Fleetwood Brougham and what the brand builds today…it seems as though Cadillac has forgotten its loyal following, the same following that helped catapult the brand to the eminent status of “Standard of the World.”

The full-size Fleetwood was the first choice among bespoke coachbuilders for stretch limousines and professional vehicles of distinction. It was the largest regular passenger production automobile available in America for the genre. When the Fleetwood Brougham ceased production, it left coachbuilders without a traditional-size platform…

Spirited performance is just a tap of the accelerator pedal away. Deep within this elegant sedan beats the heart of a sports car. Corvette’s formidable 5.7 litre LT1 V8 engine assures responsive acceleration with extra power in reserve. Spacious six passenger accommodations, myriad standard comfort/convenience features and accessories, and that inherent Cadillac-Style makes the majestic Fleetwood Brougham a rare commodity in today’s mass-production euphoria. The bottom line: “Life’s not a cabaret…it’s a Hallmark card.” The 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham is another successful chapter…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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1970 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1976 Fleetwood Talisman

1994 Fleetwood Brougham

Welcome to Greg’s World of NotoriousLuxury © 2017

The Elite 1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

Posted in Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Editorials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

The formidable Eldorado legend continues…

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…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Once upon a time in America there was a thing called the luxury automobile. These fabulous cars are a city block long and half a city block wide. They float along the road like a big ‘ole rollin’ Barco lounger. The elegance and prestige lineages evolved through impeccable craftsmanship, America was renowned for such. The Cadillac motorcar became the most enviable of all automotive legacies. The Cadillac name was a byword for superlative in any field of endeavor…

The Fleetwood division meticulously handcrafted the finest automobiles to motor out of Detroit, Michigan. The most eminent and revered models were Fleetwood-bodied Cadillacs. They are the last of the hand-built motorcars. The Brougham augmented the Fleetwood model hierarchy as the epitome of elegance. They were the most luxurious owner-driven sedans from the brand. The 1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham is the last of this distinguished coachbuilt series. NotoriousLuxury presents an encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Eldorado Broughams are among the rarest of all Cadillac motorcars. They were coachbuilt by Fleetwood for the 1957 through the 1958 model years in Detroit. These luxury sedans required countless hours of manpower while in theatre, because of the extensive handcrafting that was involved in order to build them. They slowed the Fleetwood assembly line tremendously. These magnificent Broughams sold for an ostentatious $13,074. Due to the nature of their build, Cadillac didn’t make a profit.

A decision was made to farm out their production to Pininfarina of Italy who are prominent coachbuilders specializing in the world of bespoke craftsmanship. This decision by GM freed the Fleetwood assembly hall to build more of the top-selling Fleetwood models such as the Series Sixty-Special. It was more cost efficient for Cadillac. Pininfarina handbuilt the Brougham for the 1959 and 1960 model years.

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Very little has ever been written about the 1960 Eldorado Brougham. Many automotive enthusiasts have never even seen one. They are elegantly exotic in appearance. It takes the eagle eye to discern them from the standard Cadillac models for 1960. These were the most opulent custom crafted models in the Cadillac model range. The Eldorado Brougham was so swank, it was only briefly mentioned in the sales brochure. Interested clients were advised to contact a Cadillac dealer for details because the car was so highly bespoke –

It’s the Cadillac of Cadillacs and the finest expression of the new era in automotive design. The 1957-1958 Detroit-built Series 70 Eldorado Broughams were totally exclusive from other Cadillac models sharing no sheet metal or trim. The 1959-1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Broughams shared mechanical components, floor platforms, dash panels, wheels, bumpers, fender skirts, and headlamp bezels with other Fleetwood models.

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1957-1958 Cadillac Series 70 Eldorado Brougham

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1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

Pininfarina hand-built the custom bodyshells. This added a romantic aura to this ultra-exclusive model…what could be more alluring than an Italian hand-built Cadillac? None of the standard Cadillac sheet metal was integrated into the Brougham. The roofline and glass are totally unique to the glamorous Italian-built Broughams.

The 1960 Brougham is the styling-lead to the 1961 Cadillac model design. This is apparent in the windshield, roof design, and lower overall silhouette. The Brougham’s sleek pillarless design is highlighted by smaller power rear quarter windows that automatically open when the coordinating rear door opens for ease of entry and exit. The Broughams are crafted a tad bit lower than standard Cadillac models. 

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1960 Cadillac Series 6400 Eldorado Seville hardtop coupé

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1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

There’s very little to distinguish the Brougham from a head-on view. Many dispute the fact the 1960 Eldorado Brougham isn’t totally unique from the rest of the standard Cadillac and Eldorado models. Due to the fact that the Broughams were not top-selling models, it wasn’t feasible to make them as exclusive as the 1957-1958 Detroit-built models. They had their own separate set of production tooling and dies than the standard 1957-1958 Cadillac models. The proof is in the photos, YOU be the judge.

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The custom crafted 1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham has an intriguing rear end design. It has tail lamps that are modified slightly and built into the bumper nacelles elegantly. The upper slim recessed taillamps from the standard models are eliminated. The Brougham’s tail fins are trimmed lower. It introduced lower body fins called “Skegs” which would be featured on all Cadillac models for 1961 and 1962. The Eldorado has always featured styling that would eventually be found on other Cadillac motorcars.

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Cadillac featured a gracious styling continuity when it reigned as the “Standard of the World.” The 1961 Cadillac Series 6300 Sedan deVille shown displays the 1960 Eldorado Brougham inspired roofline and glass.

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The lower fins aka “kegs” balanced the styling theme gracefully

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The Brougham’s expanse of glass influenced the 1961 Cadillacs

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The tail fin design of the 1960 Eldorado Brougham isn’t as radical as the standard Cadillac models. The iconic tail fins were starting to disappear. The Eldorado Brougham has an overall lower profile.

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The Eldorado Brougham is almost verbatim up front

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The Eldorado Brougham has a customized appearance

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1960 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

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The 1960 Eldorado Brougham is built as body on frame construction. Cadillac’s rugged tubular-center X-frame permits a lower body design for improved appearance, and enhanced stability with a lower center of gravity. The majestic Eldorado Brougham has the same dimensions as the Eldorado Biarritz and Eldorado Seville except for its height. It has the luxury length of 225” with a low 55” height and is 79.9” wide. It rides upon a long 130” wheelbase. Model #60-69 body style #6929P 1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham four-door hardtop sedan had a base price of $13,075 and only 101 were built.

The 1960 Eldorado Brougham was the most expensive American automobile for the day. There was no better symbol of one’s success than to view the world from behind the wheel of an Eldorado Brougham. This was a supreme achievement in motoring. Bigger is better was the premise behind these luxury land yachts. It was all about those “Car wars” – every American automobile manufacturer stretched the limits in design. Luxury was the theme. No one really cared about fuel economy because the cost of a gallon of petrol was insignificant.

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Cadillac was the undisputed luxury leader. Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell, chief designers for GM, created automotive masterpieces for the 1950s – 1960s. The Eldorado Brougham epitomized the Cadillac brand with an eloquence no other motorcar could replicate. These handcrafted beauties command top dollar, many of which fetch at least six figures today. They will never be forgotten. Cadillac at the time, was considered as prolific opulence…the envy of the driveway…the “Standard of the World” was the most desired luxury automobile in the entire world.

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These magnificent motorcars were decadently luxurious. The custom tailored interiors were completely in character with Cadillac. This is eloquence in the grand Cadillac tradition. There were two sumptuous broadcloth styles and all leather trim available. Deep plush nylon or mouton carpets were available to lavishly complete the experience tastefully. As far as appointments and amenities – it was a luxury car complete.

Virtually every comfort and luxury feature was provided in the grand Cadillac manner. Standard equipment includes: a heating and air conditioning system, electric door locks, power trunk release, signal-seeking radio with power antenna, two electric clocks (one for front seat passengers and another for the rear compartment), remote control outside rearview mirror, power windows, power vent windows, cruise control, power 6-way front seat, automatic parking brake release, Guidematic headlamp dimmer, power steering & brakes, and air suspension.

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The Eldorado Brougham epitomized the Cadillac brand…

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The Brougham was the most luxurious owner-driven model 

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The 1960 Eldorado Brougham is powered by the Cadillac 6.4 litre 16-valve 390 CID V8 engine. This naturally aspirated powerplant is equipped with three Rochester 2-bbl carburetors in the formidable Eldorado tradition with equalized manifolding, mechanical fuel pump, dry-pack type air cleaner, overhead valves, hydraulic lifters, intake silencer and automatic choke. The engine is mounted at three points in rubber.

This superb Cadillac V8 cranked 345 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 590 Nm of peak torque @ 3,400 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 10.7 seconds, 0-100 mph in 29.7 seconds with a top speed in the 124 mph ungoverned range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 82 mph in just 17.9 seconds. Remember, this is a 5,420 pound all-iron land yacht with NO aerodynamics. Eldorado models were always tuned to be the most spirited performers of all Cadillacs. 

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The engine is mated to GM’s Jetaway/Flashaway Hydra-Matic 4-speed automatic transmission without torque converter. Hydra-Matic Drive is the step-gear type with controlled fluid coupling on the forward gear-set which delivers nearly imperceptible shifting. These transmissions provided two drive ranges – the left hand position reduces engine speed to increase economy.

For more efficient hill climbing and descending, the right hand position is used to improve acceleration with the first, second, and third gears available. This selection is used to increase the engine braking effort when descending grades. Lo-range is available for driving in deep sand, mud, or snow. This range is also useful for very steep inclines where only first and second gears are required. The famous Hydra-Matic Drive is a highly efficient and reliable transmission…in fact, this was so reliable and efficient that Rolls Royce adapted it into their automobiles back in the day –

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The famous Cadillac Red-Carpet ride was also the envy of the industry. The front suspension uses the traditional upper and lower control arms with spherical joints and helical coil springs. The rear suspension is the Cadillac 4-link drive with helical coil springs. The Eldorado Brougham came standard with air suspension. It is set up with individual air springs in rubber bags at each wheel that would automatically maintain the correct ride height for optimum performance and perfect poise regardless of load or road conditions.

The rubber bags were pressurized by an electric motor regulated by leveling valves. It also had manual height control to adjust for steep sloping driveways and inclines. Sadly, this idealistic system was unreliable and prone to fail at embarrassing times forcing the driver to “limp” into the dealership for repairs that did not last. The 1960 model year was the last time Cadillac used air suspensions.

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The Eldorado Broughams were more of an “image car” for General Motors. They are among the few Cadillac models that did not make a profit for the division. They are also the rarest of the rare Cadillac models with 400 built for the 1957 model year, 304 for 1958, 99 built for 1959, and 101 built for 1960. The 1957-1958 Detroit-built Eldorado Broughams are certified milestone vehicles by the Milestone Car Society which is dedicated to distinctive domestic and foreign motorcars built during the first two post-war decades.

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1957-1958 Cadillac Series 70 Eldorado Brougham

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1959 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

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Special thanks to Jim Hailey & Daniel Schmitt & Bob Adams

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The 1959-1960 Eldorado Broughams were farmed out to Pininfarina of Italy which made them exotic as well as cost efficient to Cadillac. This move freed the Fleetwood assembly hall to build more of the Series Sixty-Special, Eldorado Biarritz, and Eldorado Seville models which outsold the Broughams. The 1959-1960 Italian-built models did not have the superior build quality of the Detroit-built models. They required a lot of extra hand finishing and electrical work by the Fleetwood division once the cars were returned to the USA.

They were more of a liability than an asset at the time. These cars have a charisma among collectors despite the issues they had. Ultra-luxury cars such as these are examples of American extravagance for the day. They epitomized the Cadillac brand with their coachbuilt enigma. The 1960 Eldorado Brougham leaves its indelible impression…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Welcome to Greg’s World of NotoriousLuxury © 2017