1992 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special: Of Course You Need 22-Way Seats!

The 1989-1993 Cadillac sedans have always been a favorite of mine. I drove several when they were late model used cars, and even considered buying one in the late ’90s. The 1985-93 GM C-body was a nice package, with front wheel drive traction, ample interior space, and tidy exterior dimensions. In 1989, the Cadillac De Ville and Fleetwood got some much-needed lengthening to make them more Cadillac-like, and the upper-crust Fleetwood even got fender skirts, for the first time since 1976.

An added plus was that the oft-maligned 4.1 liter V8 was no more, banished from FWD Cadillacs starting in 1988, with a much-improved version becoming the 4.5 liter Cadillac V8.

And after being a special long-wheelbase version of the Fleetwood d’Elegance for 1987-1988, the Sixty Special returned to the standard sedan body, but with a much, MUCH flossier interior, as seen here. Even the headrests were power-adjustable.

Exterior revisions for 1989 included longer rear quarter panels with a much more pronounced ‘fin’, new front fenders, hood, grille, headlamps and bumpers, and the aforementioned fender skirts on the Fleetwood.

In 1991 De Villes and Fleetwoods got a new ‘power dome’ hood and larger grille-and the 4.5 got another healthy bump, becoming the 4.9L. This resulted in a noticeable increase in power, particularly in the lighter Eldorado and Seville. I should know, I’ve driven them. A Polo Green ’91 Seville I once test drove was like a luxury hot rod. It would really giddy up.

Sedans received a longer wheelbase than the outgoing ’88s, although the Coupe de Ville and Fleetwood coupe stuck with the 1987-88 wheelbase for some reason.

Yes, you could still get a coupe, but the sedans were outnumbering them more and more each model year. 1992 was the last official year for the Fleetwood coupe, though it’s been rumored a few 93s were built. Here’s a question for Carmine: Could you have gotten the coupe with the Sixty Special interior? I’ve never heard of one being built, but it would be interesting.

This 1992 Fleetwood caught my eye recently tonight, while perusing online auctions. It appears to be, and is represented as, an original car with original paint. The pinstriping is kind of worn off though, probably due to overzealous waxing or buffing. Or maybe just 25 plus years of being used. Though 94,000 miles is not bad at all for a car of this age.

And the high-end leather has held up well, even the driver’s side bolster is in fine condition. Evidently this car has seen some care over the years. Though it really needs a set of whitewall tires, in your author’s opinion. No doubt it had them when new. I’d prefer the alloys shown in the brochure pics to the wire wheel covers as well.

Now that’s a lot of buttons. Now is the time to make the ‘which one is for the ejector seat?’ joke.

Per the auction: “Fleetwood Sixty Special sedan with 94k org 2 owner miles! This is one loaded car and is quite unique over a regular De Ville and is like a mini limousine, this is one of only 554 produced…” NOTE: I haven’t been able to verify that 554 Sixty Specials were made at the time of publication.

“Sixty Special models were differentiated from the De Ville by the factory rear fender skirts, special interior trim package that has 22-way power driver and passenger seats. Italian designer Giorgio Giugiaro created the glove-soft leather seating with built-in heating elements and multiple lumbar adjustments.”

While of course the primo Sixty Special interior was prominently featured in the Fleetwood section of Cadillac brochures from 1989 to 1992, it was a pretty pricey option, so not too many were made with the special interior.

I personally have never seen one. Every Fleetwood I’ve seen in the metal, and most of them online, have the standard interior with the button-tufted seats. And the “Sixty Special” moniker applied only to those with the Giugiaro-designed interior, otherwise it was just a Fleetwood badge-wise.

Per my friend Jayson Coombes, a fellow Cadillac stalker like myself: “I think they want about a grand to 1500 more than its worth for its condition. But it IS gorgeous!!” And the navy over navy leather is a rather stunning combo. And all that fine wood trim-genuine American walnut, in the Fleetwoods. Less fancy Sedan and Coupe de Villes got simulated woodgrain trim instead.

Anyway, if you’re intrigued, or just want to see more pictures of this classic 27 year old Sixty Special, you can check out the auction here. Or maybe throw in a bid and see if you’re Brougham Material.

20 Replies to “1992 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special: Of Course You Need 22-Way Seats!”

  1. Avatarrambo furum

    Impressively tall windows for a great greenhouse. I am rather glad that digital speedometers have not caught on for the most part.

    Reply
    • AvatarTyler

      The digital speedo was the best part about my dad’s ’91ish Cutlass. But I was at an age when anything that lit up was cool. I admit that it’s hard to reproduce the quick-and-dirty rate of change feedback you get from a dial.

      In a way, digital has in fact won, since finding the most comfortable driving position in pretty much every car I’ve driven since 2002 has also meant putting the steering wheel rim between my eyes and the “legal or misdeameanor?” portion of the analog speedometer.

      My Scion was so bad in this respect that I’d just use the Garmin readout, and certainly at freeway speeds in my Malibu I’m using the speed vs. speed limit function on the digital instrument cluster.

      Reply
  2. AvatarTyler

    I see a fair number of Caddies of this vintage on the road in visually decent shape, even up here in the salt states. Huge drop-off after that, probably because of water-based paints.

    Those dinner-plate rims are boss.

    Reply
  3. AvatarJohn C.

    Interesting how much special trim was still available on these into the 90s. Deville was still the volume model but somehow was just regulated to a conservative, austere trim level built off the Seville for 94. A sad demotion.

    Reply
    • AvatarCarmine

      Thought it shares the dash with the Seville and Eldorado, not uncommon for Cadillacs throughout most of time, the 1994-1999 DeVille is not built off the Seville/Eldorado E/K platform,it still uses a C-body platform. The interiors from 1994-1996 are kind of a let down on the regular DeVille, they are much nicer on the Concours trim level.

      The 94-96 suffers from the same cost cutting of “the little touches” that were kin to Cadillac for years, the loss of the trademark “red & white” courtesy lights on the front doors and the total lack of courtesy lights on the rear doors(what is this? An Impala??) were kinda cheap, especially when less big GM cars like the Park Avenue still had them. Plus the combination of panels being made out of that very 90’s” GM’s trademark spongy molded plastic like material” did give the interior a downgraded vibe.

      Cadillac must have thought the same things or at least listened to complaints from DeVille buyers(the probably all wrote in letters, typed on IBM Selectrics no doubt) since the red/white courtesy lights returned when the DeVille was re-freshed for 1997 to the now semi-famous “Saul Goodman” style DeVille. In addition to the return of courtesy lights in all the doors, the interior trim was moved a few notches up and the d’Elegance package returned to the line up as well.

      The lack of door courtesy lamps on the 1992-1997-2002 Seville/Eldorado has always been one my main gripes with those 2 otherwise gorgeous cars.

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        You sure about that Carmine, though I know your expertise on these is great. Wikki says it went to the Seville K platform, on a longer wheelbase. The factory move from Lake Orion to Hamtramck would seem to confirm. The trim deleations were important but moving to a platform intended to give a more Euro style ride seems the bigger sin. Also of course the ever increasing horsepower leading to suspension firming.

        Reply
        • AvatarCarmine

          Having driven lots of 94-96 and up Devilles I have no ideh where you get any kind of “euro stye” ride from those cars, even the performance oriented Concourse was whipped cream, though it did have the electronic ride control like the STS and ETC did.

          Looking at the vin on one on ebay does show a K in the VIN so it does share the K platform, I must had forgotten that change even took place, so you were right there, but your description of the DeVille as an austere trim level of the Sevile” is some of the most over dramatized dribble I’ve read.

          The DeVille continued to use K in its body designation even after the 2000 revamp even though pretty much all the big GM FWD cars were on some sort of variant of the FWD G platform which originally launched with the Riviera and Aurora in 1995 and being used in different versions under the ParkAve LeSabre, Bonneville and Seville and DeVille.

          Reply
          • AvatarJohn C.

            When you design a platform from the ground up to provide a smooth, quiet ride, there are lots of small things that are done to better isolate the ride. This was a place where it was possible to really differentiate from the imports with their stiff and loud autobahn capabilities and the other domestics with their cheap car platforms. With the Deville, they were merely specifying softer struts. The more useful difference was keeping the 4.9 for a few more years, though that was probably done for economy. Notice when the NorthStar came, with it came 60 series tires, like a Trans Am or something. Badly off course for the intended market.

          • AvatarCarmine

            Yes, whereas the E/K platform was basically a Can Am car for the street……

            I remember the factory sponsored Eldorado team sweeping LeMans in 1994….

            You’re really ridiculous.

  4. AvatarCarmine

    As far as I know, the Sixty Special/Ultra interior trim was never offered on the coupe, probably due to the already low interest in the coupes and the need to make a version of those already expensive seats fold forward to get into the back sea on a coupe.

    As an added note, in 1993, when the Fleetwood name returned to the RWD Brougham, the FWD Fleetwood’s all became Sixty Specials for their swan song year and the Sixty Special option became the Ultra interior option, which must have caused some people at Buick to go “WTF Cadillac?” in a meeting somewhere.

    This was a pretty rare option, I remember seeing it mostly at the auto show every year, but hardly ever on the street. There were only 4 color interior choices for this package from what I recall, black, blue, grey and dark red. These were fine cars, in way, more “Cadillac” than even the big Brougham in some ways. The 4.5 made them runners and the later 4.9 was even better, I would be torn between an 89 with the lower hp 4.5, but the only combination of this body style that still had a telescoping wheel with traditional Cadillac steering wheel vs a faster 4.9 car with the “Kleenex Box” air bag non-tele steering wheel.

    Another interesting thing about the feature car is the lack of vinyl top, which was standard on the Fleetwood but could be deleted. thought it seem that about 95% of them did come with the vinyl top. Vinyl top cars had another unique feature, the Cadillac crest on the C-pillar would glow with the lights on, it was the last factory opera lamp on any car from what I recall.

    Reply
    • AvatarAlfred Anton

      The 60 special interior was not available on the standard Coupe De Ville, but they WERE standard on the Fleetwood Coupes. (I was selling Cadillacs at that time and I think I am remembering rightly.) Also, I recall that less than 700 Fleetwood Coupes were built in 1992, their last year. Five years ago I had a chance to buy one for 4500. — and I passed on it. What a dummy. Now you can’t find one at any price.

      Reply
  5. AvatarDrew

    I loved the 1991-93 “big” Cadillacs. They’d really scoot with the 4.9L V8, courtesy of a relatively low curb weight. The 1994s looked like whales in comparison to the earlier models. The other amazing thing about these was the massive amount of rear seat room in the sedans. Excellent cars, and among the last Cadillacs that interested me.

    Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        I know it’s antithetical, but I rather prefer the 85-88s simply for the audacity of the ridiculously small size, on the outside. To imagine a short of gas future, and be able to design a car smaller than a big bumper Valiant that still manages to drive so well in the traditional style was the real engineering breakthrough. Who would have thought a front drive could have a V8? Apparently not Lincoln, Chrysler, Europe and Japan. Mercedes, BMW were only offering fixes for their previously flawed rear suspensions. Audi was getting accolades for putting a new aerodynamic body on the old chassis and Toyota was planning Lexus by copying MB as per their norm. Jaguar was perplexed how to make a new design look and work as well as the old.It was only Cadillac that was facing a new reality by truly getting busy and innovating.

        Reply
    • AvatarCarmine

      I liked the 94-96 styling, but I liked the Fleetwood of the same era too and the DeVille looked like a 9/10’s Fleetwood, I thought the interior trim was a downgrade except for te Concours which had more wood trim and better leather, plus really great looking pseudo “sabre spoke” wheels on the 1994 models.

      Reply
  6. AvatarCarmine

    I think it would be fair to call this “The Talisman of the 90’s”. Made for about the same time 1989-1993 vs 1974-1976, made in limited amounts, both were an “extra deluxe topping” on the already “top of the line” sedan. Thought the Talisman does have the bragging rights in the price dept. With the Talisman option package costing around the price of a base Vega or Pinto, the Sixty Special option would have to have cost around $7000-8000 or whatever say a base Geo Metro XFi cost, $6990?,

    It interesting how the same old gimmicks work again and again, and I don’t mean it in a negative way towards Cadillac, luxury car makers still use the same tactics today, after all if having a luxury car is already special, what can be even better? An extra special version of a luxury car. LED Stars in the roof? Blah….stars in the roof that display what the sky looked like on the night of your sacred birth Mr. Hedgefundcrim? Now were talking…….

    Honestly, the button pillow standard Fleetwood seats look so good that for some buyers it was hard to justify the $3,000 upgrade to the Sixty Special package.

    Reply
  7. AvatarMarc Steiger

    What happened to the truck article at Hagertiy site? Did they make you take it down? I thought it was excellent, with just a little inter-agency rivalry to increase page views.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth

      I think the future of that article is still being decided… it was popular with the readers but not popular with certain groups.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.