1993 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham
Unlike the Subaru, which is close to the ideal car that I like to drive, I first came across the Fleetwood because it was cheap. MJK Motorcars offered it for less than half the Blue Book value (people were freaking out about $3/gallon gas.) Once I took it for a drive it brought more emotional attachment than any cheap car I had looked at, and now that I own it I've come to enjoy it even more. It was pretty clean, so I was sold. There was only one previous owner and it was registered and serviced out in the West County area.
You can pretty much walk through the history of American automobiles just by talking about this car. Cadillac, founded in 1902 and purchased by GM in 1909, has had a long history of automotive innovation. Here's a start:
1912: First manufacturer to offer an electric starter, replacing the hand crank.
1914: First to offer a V8.
1928: First to offer a fully synchronized manual transmission.
1934: First automaker to use the newly invented Phillips screw/screwdriver to speed assembly.
Engine: L05 - 5.7L OHV 90-degree V8. 9.8:1 compression ratio. 300 lb-ft of torque @ 2400 rpm. (Cadillac was the first US manufacturer to install electronic fuel injection in 1975.)
Transmission: 4L60 4-speed automatic. The GM "Hydramatic" in 1940 was the first automatic transmission developed for a passenger automobile. GM has used Hydramatic to describe a lot of iterations of the automatic transmission since then, including what eventually was renamed the 4L60.
Drivetrain: RWD with a 3.73:1 rear axle - included with the 7000-lb towing package
While the new Fleetwood may be a new acknowledgment that FWD is not the way of the future in every passenger car application, it was also clear the big B-body cars aren't exactly forward thinking either. After a brief run, production on all B-body cars ended in 1996 to make way for the next era of American motoring - the Tahoe/Suburban. However, sitting in a modern, loaded, 2003 Tahoe, I can't help but notice the elements taken almost straight out of the Cadillac feature bin - so the heritage continues.
Suspension: 4-wheel FE2 (upgraded handling/firm springs) independent suspension with auto level. (Cadillac was the first in the world to offer an independent front suspension in 1934.) Currently running Bilstein B46-1140 shocks.
Cargo volume - 20.8 cubic feet
Turning Diameter: 40.4 feet
Wheelbase: 121.5 inches
Track - Front: 61.7 inches
Track - Rear: 60.7 inches
Length: 225.1 inches - the longest car produced, longer than the Suburban even
Width: 78.0 inches
Height: 57.1 inches
Headroom - Front: 38.7 inches
Headroom - Rear: 39.1 inches
Legroom - Front: 42.5 inches
Legroom - Rear: 43.9 inches
Shoulder room - Front: 64.3 inches
Shoulder room - Rear: 64.0 inches
Wheels and Tires:
- Climate control with outside temperature display
- 6 Speaker audio system with Radio/Cassette player, 5-band EQ, speed-sensitive volume adjustment, and power antenna
- 7000-lb towing package, includes trailer wiring harness, 3.73:1 rear axle, and heavy duty cooling system
- Split front power heated bench seats
- Retained Accessory Power (10 minutes after ignition is switched off)
- Bosch ASRIIU traction control
- 4-wheel Bosch ABS-5
- Dual airbags
- Front and rear storage armrests with dual cupholders
- Brougham leather interior
- Multi-delay interval wipers
- Digital speedometer, fuel gauge, and trip odometer
- Power windows, driver one-touch down feature
- Front and rear reading lamps and vanity mirrors
- Front cornering lamps
- Front and rear lamp monitors (Fiber optics that have been on Cadillacs since the 60s)
- Power mirrors
- Underhood and trunk lamps
- A wide array of possible warning lights and tones, including leaving the turn signal on for half a mile.
- Speed-sensitive variable-assist steering with a 13:1 ratio
- Automatic parking brake release
- Rear defroster
- Three 12V outlets
- Remote trunk release and power latching - don't slam this trunk, I was confused for the first week!
- Power locks
- Color: Driftwood Metallic
Power Seats - 16-way adjustments for both driver and passenger with 2 driver memory settings
Rear Door Controls and 12V outlets - You can lock the doors from the rear - extremely convenient in the days before remote keyless entry. Think about what happens when you get something out of the back seat of your car, and you need to lock the car - you don't have to open the front door again to do it!
Rear Lights and Vanity Mirrors - with rheostats
Climate Control and Stereo - Cadillac introduced the industry's first signal-seeking automotive radio in 1953. While audio luxuries are now standard in most cars, climate control is still a only a part of premium packages and vehicles. Cadillac set the started way back in 1964 when they debuted the industry's first automatic climate control system.
Seats - Front and rear bench seats, with seating for six.
Rear Seats - The rear seat is like a big comfy couch.
Heavy Duty Cooling System - Part of the towing package - a mechanical belt driven fan with clutch and 240W secondary fan
Lights and Mirrors - Cadillac debuted the industry's first automatic headlights in 1964, and the switch is still labeled Twilight Sentinel in 1993. The mirrors are small and low profile to reduce drag and wind noise, and because the car is already so wide!
Hood Ornament - my "new" hood came with a gold hood ornament!
Motorweek 1993 Review:
Cars: Driving | Legacy | Cadillac | Chevrolet
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