The company quickly gained fame through the manufacture of car bodies using wood and aluminum. The entire production ethos for Fleetwood bodies could be summed up as “made-to-order”. A customer purchased a rolling chassis from brands such as Isotta Fraschini, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce, Duesenberg, Packard, Cadillac, Pierce-Arrow or Stutz and sent it to Fleetwood. The client was then invited to meet with a Fleetwood representative, usually in New York, to outline the contours of the body. Once completed, the design was sent to the Fleetwood factory who would build it using the colours, fabrics and materials the new owner desired. This whole process ensured that each Fleetwood-made car was one-off and unique.
From 1927, Cadillac began to use the Fleetwood title on some of its models. And then in 1946, the company presented an exclusive version of its Series 60 Special, dubbed the Series 60 Special Fleetwood. The Fleetwood was distinguished from Cadillac’s other models by its use of the most luxurious materials available. The Fleetwood designation was again repositioned in 1972, with the appearance of the Fleetwood Limousine, which was based on the Fleetwood Seventy-Five model, while the Fleetwood Brougham model took over the position previously occupied by the Sixty Special model.
The fourth generation of the Cadillac Fleetwood was first seen in 1954, the year in which the Fleetwood Brougham model lost its distinctive body, sharing the one used in the rest of the American brand’s range. A move that would allow General Motors to lower the price of the model, which in turn was justified with an up-turn in sales.
Cadillac’s top of the range vehicles, however, remained distinct in their use of truly luxurious materials on the interiors. The Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham returned to occupy the top of the brand’s chain in 1965—above the Calais and DeVille. Among the many options, disc brakes, standard since 1966, was a welcomed addition on the luxury saloon which could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just nine seconds.
This car was donated to the Museu do Caramulo by the Portuguese State.