1980s / American / Cadillac / Driven daily

Driven daily: Cadillac Fleetwood

Work recently took me to New York City. I took advantage of a free day to borrow an ATS from Cadillac and get out of the city. It was a road trip, albeit a short one, and it was an interesting experience because the last time I took a road trip in a Cadillac was in 1996 in a family-owned Fleetwood from the mid-1980s. I wasn’t driving at the time, I wasn’t even 10, but I remember the cushy ride and the pillow-soft, sofa-like seats. And, of course, the sheer size of the beast.

“Damn, Cadillac has come a long way in 30 years,” I thought on my way back towards New York City. The ATS is the exact opposite of a Fleetwood (or anything else Cadillac made at the time) in terms of ride and handling. I got the chance to examine the two side-by-side in Manhattan, minutes before I dropped off the ATS. The comparison would have been more accurate if I’d parked next to a Cimarron but try finding one of those street-parked today — good luck, see you in a few months.

The Fleetwood is a little bit different from what we normally feature on Ran When Parked but it’s a survivor, and a helluva tough one by the looks of it. New York City takes an immense toll on cars; if the potholes don’t get you, it’s other drivers with only a nebulous notion of parallel parking that will. This one has withstood it all, plus the test of time, and it’s got homemade, tape-based repairs to prove it. It’s still driven daily.

Note: the photos aren’t great; I left my camera at the hotel and only had my phone with me.


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