Short trips: we revisit Archie Vicar on Cadillac’s new for ’77 Fleetwood Brougham which was briefly offered in Europe.
From “Driving Weekly Magazine” Nov 1977. Photos by Gary Purvis. Owing to the unfortunate loss of Mr. Purvis’ wide-angle lens, stock images have been used.
Drivers interested in something a little different might like to think about Cadillac’s new Fleetwood Brougham. Thanks to the fuel crisis (merely four years ago) Cadillac have taken the cleaver to their leviathans. They have shrunk their enormous aircraft carrier down to the size of a mere naval destroyer. The car is now 750 lbs lighter which is nearly half the weight of Volkswagen’s horrid little Golf. Smaller doesn’t mean more frugal though. The fuel consumption is still prodigious, thanks to the 7 litre V8 engine: 12 mpg is easily achieved. Cadillac say this smaller Fleetwood is “more European” in its appearance
than the previous car. This is true in that it is very slightly smaller than the outgoing car and European cars are indeed smaller than American ones. Using the same logic one can say that one gunshot wound to the head is less of a problem than two gunshot wounds to the head.
Cadillac are hoping to make in-roads into a market sector dominated by Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Mercedes Benz and feel this car is the one finally able to crack the European market. Cadillac project sales of 12,000 cars next year. Sadly the car they offer is made with the quality of market sectors dominated by Vauxhall, Morris and Hillman. Everything about the car is huge, except the rear passenger compartment. This is wide but short on legroom. The rear passengers of an Austin Maxi would have more room to stretch out in. I never found out how large the fuel tank was as it took far too long to complete the fill-up. The Cadillac rides extremely smoothly which must be credited.
Our test drive ended when the car got stuck on a hump-backed bridge outside Shipston-On-Stour. The car simultaneously beached itself on the crest of the bridge and became wedged between the walls on either side. This left the rear-wheels spinning in the air. We strolled to the Duck and Mallet nearby and enjoyed a superb Lancashire hotpot and several pints of Thackeray’s Double X beer.
British prices have not been released. Body-coloured hubcabs will be available in spring.