The Cadillac Fleetwood was a rear-wheel-drive long-body hardtop sedan produced by Cadillac from 1947 to 1996. Its basic drive train layout remained the same up until 1987 when the Fleetwood marker was applied to a front-weel-drive Deville, with the original rear-wheel-drive car rebranded as a Cadillac "Brougham." The marker would return to the rear-wheel-drive car in 1993 after the first significant revision of the Fleetwood since 1977.
The Fleetwood engine remained the same as the Cadillac Deville up until 1987. The rebranded Fleetwood kept the same motor as the Deville and the Brougham received an Oldsmobile 307, replaced by a Chevy 305(LO3) in 1991, with an option for a Chevy 350 (LO5) until it became the standard engine for 1993.
The Fleetwood has been fitted with a wide variety of V8 engines throughout its production run. Horsepower made significant improvements up until it peaked in 1970 with the 470 Cadillac big-block putting out 375 HP and 525 ft lb of torque. Improvements to engine output stopped following the gas crisis, with engine displacement and output dwindling to an anemic 4.1L with 125 HP by 1981. This was a new low for GM, as the engine in the original 1947 model was rated at 150 HP.
Significant power output would not return to the Fleetwood until 1994, when a detuned workhorse version of the LT1 Corvette motor standard equipment. Displacement was 350 cubic inches with output of 260hp and 335 ft lb of torque. This gave the Cadillac Fleetwood an advantage of 50 hp and 55 ft lb of torque over its closest competitor, the Lincoln Town Car.
Sadly, the Cadillac Fleetwood was discontinued after the 1996 model year. GM determined that it would be more profitable to retool the Fleetwood’s production plant in Arling Texas for an upscale luxury SUV that was later dubbed the Cadillac Escalade. Along with the Fleetwood, production was stopped on two other highly successful cars, the Buick Roadmaster and the RWD Chevy Impala SS / Caprice. Long body car enthusiasts and police officers nationwide immediately became upset, as the closest alternatives to these vehicles were the Ford long-bodies that generated 20% less engine output.
The Fleetwood did make a brief reappearance in 1998-99 as the "Fleetwood Limited." However, this was simply a FWD Cadillac Deville sent through a factory coachbuilder for a six inch wheelbase stretch.
Wally: Let’s go to the club man.
Curtis: Hell yeah, we can pick up some chicks!
Wally: Wait a Sec’, how's everyone gonna fit in my Neon?
Curtis: No sweat man, we can take my Cadillac Fleetwood.
Wally: Hell Yeah! We can fit an army in there.
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