The most interesting part of this car is on the inside
But my phone ran out of power. Drat.
I paid close attention to the dashboard and trim and didn’t find very much to criticise. Specifically, I looked at the dashboard which is a terrific slab of shiny wood and convincing plastic with an immense dual ashtray (hanging open – unphotographed). The two things which let it down were the coarse steering column cover which had rather crude detailing and the ashtray liners which were zinc-coated stamped items that were far smaller than you’d expect given the 15 cm width of the drawer they sat in.
Apart from that, the cabin is eminently habitable and inviting. The chairs are broad and shaped to accommodate sprawling on long trips. The standard wheelbase car has the same rear seats and these too are rather magnificent. The alternatives from Mercedes and BMW may handle better but are assuredly not more comfortable.
This example, with its lurid plastic gold coating does not show off the Fleetwood’s form in the best light. I always considered the standard car to be a good interpretation of a modern Cadillac. It was related to the Buick Roadmaster and Chevrolet Caprice but the Cadillac was more clearly differentiated. All of them got a 5.7 litre V8 and these were Cadillac’s last rear-drive cars for two decades. They were also BOF cars which made for much better insulation from the road.
The standard cars don’t attract much interest in Europe while the stretched cars tend to be liked for their comedy value. That’s something of a pity as, in standard form and with dark colours, these are handsome and useful vehicles, every bit as valid as Mercedes and BMW equivalents though their focus may be markedly different.