Demon in the Rib: 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood Ownership Experience (part 1)
In those years when the whole world was already accustomed to compact, light and economical cars with a leading front axle, Cadillac suddenly released a car completely uncharacteristic for the trends of the automobile industry of the 90s, as if it had fallen out of a hole in time. This is the Cadillac Fleetwood, a giant frame rear-wheel drive battleship with a powerful multi-liter engine. Last True Caddy, the last of the 20th century patterns.
“Once upon a time, having tried Lincoln Towncar, I got sick with classic American cars,” says Fleetwood’s owner, 30-year-old Muscovite Evgeny, who works in the financial sector. – I tried a lot of models, but for a long time I could not get hold of one of those that attracted me – I couldn’t find it, then I didn’t have enough money … Cadillac Fleetwood 1993-1996 – the last full-size frame Cadillac on the rear wheel drive, but, nevertheless, Already quite modern and does not require any special automotive “retro skills” in operation.Once, on one of the sites where “Americanovody” hang out, I saw a bright Fleetwood, sold in Moscow. I found out his biography and the reason for the sale – this copy turned out to be rotten, uncooked, unbroken, with an impeccable frame. In general, a rather rare case! In Russia, this car changed only three owners, having stayed in the hands of each for a very long time, which always positively affects the safety and, accordingly, the price. Before me the car was owned by a fairly well-off man, using it as a “fan car”, investing some money in bringing it to a problem-free technical condition and repainting it from blue to catchy purple. Due to departure for permanent residence abroad, the car was put up for sale. They asked for a million rubles for Cadillac – this is a lot of money, but this is the current situation. There are less than a hundred fleetwoods in Russia, and it is extremely rare to get rid of such instances. I caught fire, so much so that I quickly sold my new, recently acquired Kia Optima, to free up money for the purchase. After some bargaining, the car ended up costing 800,000 rubles.
Interestingly, the “American” lives in the Ufa numbers 02RUS. The fact is that once Fleetwood spent some time in Bashkiria, receiving license plates there, and the previous owner said to the previous one without going into details that these numbers are supposedly happy and very desirable to leave them. The previous owner believed him and did not change them, subsequently transferring information “as is” to the current owner, who also supported the topic. Happy – so happy …
The huge car impresses owners of compact modern cars with the atypical nature of its design. Moreover, it’s not atypical that not for our time, but even for the 90’s – the length and width, the unlimited hood, overhangs and the mass of sparkling chrome. Once such a thing was a visualized embodiment of a naive American dream, later it became the quintessence of purely American vulgarity and narcissism, but today it is just a classic.
The roof, reminiscent of a convertible from afar, is in fact, of course, rigid. This is the so-called “vinyl top”, pasting the metal hard top and the rear pillars with a black textured film, characteristic of Fleetwood’s “greasy” equipment – Fleetwood Brougham.
Side segments of headlights – for “shining through” of turns:
The rear wheels are half-hidden with decorative arches. The pads are removable and hold in place with the help of several pivot-type clamps that can be moved without a tool by hand.
One of the pride of this Fleetwood and its owner is real (and not with “whitewalls”!) Tires with white sidewalls on the original regular disks! All “Americanovody” chasing white-rubber tires – this is part of the cult … But only today such tires are produced extremely rarely and in very limited series, they are expensive and rare. However, in the early 2000s, several of the world’s largest tire manufacturers (Pirelli, Michelin, Cooper) released a line of white-striped rubber for the American classic. It was an extremely high-quality durable rubber, and the remains of those parties can, with some effort, be found today. The owner of this Cadillac was looking for a very long time and eventually got a set of five Michelin Radial XH4 2002 wheels in a 225/75 R15 dimension for a modest 10,000 rubles.
On top of the front fenders mounted indicators-repeaters of turn signals lamps. Their diffusers are aimed at the driver, and a dim glow is visible only to those who are driving. These strange flashlights, in fact, are a tool to help you remember to turn off the turn signal after completing the maneuver, without looking at the dashboard.
The blue interior of the car perfectly harmonized with the original color of the body, but even after changing the color to juicy purple, it didn’t get any worse! Huge chubby armchairs, soft vinyl on the doors and dashboard, imitation of polished walnut root, high-quality texture of the carpet on the floor – even adjusted for age, all this looks really “expensive-boho”! The interior of the Caddy satisfied both senators from the Republicans and high-ranking pimps – apparently, it was for such an audience that the second set of regular keys was galvanized with a layer of real gold!
Free space – the sea, “at least lie down with a star, even with a snowflake” (c). The front row of seats is traditionally solid, the back becomes solid as well, if you put upright a huge armrest like a suitcase. On the back sofa is no less luxurious and high, although without such an abundance of adjustments as in the front seats.
All this luxury is decorated in a “dresser-old-fashioned” style, corresponding to the average age of the target audience of this car. What are the door handles alone, U-shaped and folding, like old furniture …
At the same time, it is curious that there are no canonical dial gauges on the dashboard! Fleetwood dashboard is generally peculiar: it has a lot of huge indicator lamps of various kinds of problems and malfunctions and a very small digital green fluorescent screen surrounded by a “polished tree” – a speedometer / odometer (with electronic switching from miles to kilometers) and a fuel level indicator. And, of course, a separate mechanical “scale” of the included gear with a red arrow, jerking like on an analog radio …
The controls for adjusting the seats, doors and windows are countless:
Other comfort and technical features include a steering wheel with height adjustment (but not reach), climate control (conventional single-zone air conditioning), power windows on all doors, and an electrically retractable antenna. There are two airbags, a driver and a front passenger. The front seats have a ton of adjustments, including lumbar support, position memory, two-stage heating. On all doors – lock lock control. An immobilizer chip is needed in the ignition key to start it – only then you can remove the key and leave the locked car to warm up or cool the interior with air conditioning. The key fob of the security system can close / open doors and the trunk, as well as turn on the light to search for a car in the parking lot. Plus, under the Cadillac logo, a well is hidden on the trunk lid for manual opening of the hold.
The trunk itself is huge, but somehow awkward … With a narrowed opening at the corners, with a difficult approach due to the strongly protruding bumper, close to the load. But the electric door closer is integrated in the cover, reaching and locking the lock, if you did not do it clearly enough with your hand!
The LT1 V-engine was once developed by GM for sports cars – Corvette, Camaro, Impala and others. They also attached it to Fleetwood: a 5.7-liter engine with 260 horsepower combined with a four-speed automatic 4L60E, an extremely widespread gearbox, put on countless cars from the beginning of the 90s and with minor modifications that survived until the last H3 Hammers of the end of 2000- x years.
When Eugene bought a huge and heavy car with such a tandem of engine and transmission, he was ready for the fact that the consumption of 22-25 liters would start to hit significantly, but everything turned out not so sad.
– In the city I have an average consumption of 16.7 liters of 92nd gasoline – I emphasize that this is a figure for everyday use in heavy Moscow traffic! – says Eugene. – On the highway – 11-12 liters. Many people don’t believe me, but I constantly monitor the fuel costs, as usual, preferring to refuel under the cork and carefully monitoring the consumption. So this is reality, not fantasy. By the way, I once had a fairly modern Cadillac – the 2005 STS model, and now he ate 24-25 liters in Moscow, although the engine volume was noticeably smaller and the generation was fundamentally different …