1951 Cadillac Fleetwood An Interview with an aging Film Star

I visited Crest Cadillac to look at a 1951 Cadillac Fleetwood today.  Like visiting an aging Film Star, this Cadillac frankly still has it going on.

1951 Cadillac Fleetwood

The power plant is the famous Cadillac 331 cubic inch OHV V8. This engine first arrived in 1949 and was a breakthrough engine for its time. In 1951 trim it produced160 hp gross, and perhaps 133 hp net.  The Fleetwood could go over 100 mph new.

Cadillac Identification Plate

This example appears to be a Series 60 Special Fleetwood.   The body tag matches and it has the 8 vertical chrome louvers ahead of the rear wheels that mark the Sixty Special Fleetwood.  Compared to the Series 61, the Series 60 Special Fleetwood had a 4″ longer wheelbase, at 130 inches, and looked longer and lower.  The body of this Cadillac was made by Fleetwood the coach builder.

It is hard to describe in pictures, but the body of this Cadillac is truly enchanting.  It suggests luxury, opulence, the urgency of the jet age and restrained power all at once.

1951 Cadillac Fleetwood Interior

Air conditioning was still an add-on at this point of automobile development, not yet integrated into the dash.  That’s a “Fleetwood” script emblem on the dash above the AM radio.  That emblem served as a constant reminder to the lucky Owner that he or she was piloting one of the finest automobiles available.

1951 Cadillac Fleetwood front grill

1951 Cadillac Fleetwood Tailfin

It is frustrating to capture styling details alone and not have a way to suggest the majesty and art of the sum of the parts.  This Cadillac has very consistent themes, and I felt a great community with those owners in 1951 when they set eyes on this car on Cadillac showrooms and got out their checkbooks.

This Cadillac is for sale. For information about this car please contact Crest Cadillac of Plano, Texas.  They are located at 2701 North Central Expressway, Plano, Texas.  You can contact them by phone Toll-free at 1-866-697-9144 or locally at (972)578-7511, or on Twitter or Facebook

Please let them know you saw the Fleetwood here on CaddyInfo, so they call me to visit other models!

The Old Car Dilemma the Siren Song of the Weekend Cadillac

I am often attracted to the idea of picking up an older Cadillac as a weekend car.  There are some really interesting models that are in the $5K-10K range now — the Allante convertibles from 1989-1993, or the classic Eldorado convertibles from 1970-1975.

The goal would be to have a fun car as a weekend car.  Not to restore the vehicle to a show car standard, but to keep it operational as a Saturday out to the store type of vehicle.  We have a 2-car garage, so that means the weekend car would have to go into the garage (on my side), and my prized current daily driver out into the weather, if it stayed here.  Another idea would be to rent a storage area and park the weekend car ‘away’, but that makes it very likely that I would not spend any time working on it, or driving it.  It would just be an expense.

The ‘entry’ cost of buying an older Cadillac is of course just the start.  Then there are replacement parts to be tracked down, and additional cost.   The car itself becomes a hobby even if it is running well enough — planning ahead for the next repair or restoration step.  The 70s Cadillacs were not fuel efficient, so a lot of the fun drives would be near gas stations lol.

There are ‘new’ old skills to learn, and there are things to deal with such as metal fatigue that just don’t come up a lot on newer cars.

There are safety issues — the older cars don’t have air bags, or traction control, or stability control — they are strictly cruisers.

But there is the joy of driving a Cadillac convertible the way God intended, and enjoying one of the finest motorcars available for its time.

Generally the newer the model, the better the performance, handling, comfort, luxury, and safety.  My 2005 CTS out-performs even the 93 Allante’s with the Northstar V8, and far outperforms the 70s Eldorado’s with the massive 500 cubic inch V8s.  Any money spent on a hobby or weekend Cadillac would come right out of my budget for the next Cadillac to replace my current car. So not the sensible thing to do.

But one can dream of  cruising down the street in a classic Cadillac convertible with wall to wall leather and enough torque to move the planet.

[Please see this Ad for the source of my Eldo picture.  Hope it sells soon so it moves out of temptation!]