Cadillac Sixty Special

Cadillac Sixty Special

Infobox Automobile
name = Cadillac Sixty Special
manufacturer = Cadillac
parent_company = General Motors
production = 1938–1972
class = Full-size luxury car
body_style = 4-door sedan
The Sixty Special name has been used at Cadillac to denote a special model since the 1938 Bill Mitchell-designed Series 60 derivative. Although the 1938 model began in Cadillac's lowest price range, soon the Sixty Special name would be synonymous for some of Cadillac's most luxurious vehicles.

1938 - 1941

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Series 60 Special
production = 1938–1941
related = Cadillac Series 60
wheelbase = 127 in (3226 mm)
layout = FR layout
engine = 346 in³ "Monobloc" V8
For 1938, the Bill Mitchell designed Sixty Special was added to Cadillac's lowest-priced line of cars - the Series 60. The new four-door sedan, designed to look like a convertible, showcased trend-setting features including a completely integrated trunk, lack of side running boards (soon all makes followed), and four front-hinged doors. It was built on a convert|127|in|mm|sing=on wheelbase - convert|3|in|mm|sing=on longer than the standard Series 60 cars. The new Sixty Special utilized a unique "X" frame underneath, which allowed the convert|4170|lb|abbr=on. car to sit within its frame, This not only gave the new Cadillac the stiffest chassis on the market, but it was also 3" lower than other Cadillacs - with no sacrifice in headroom. The disappearance of running boards along the side, and its lack of belt-line trim, made the sleek car appear even lower. The Sixty Special was powered by Cadillac's standard 130hp, 346cu V8 engine. In its debut year, 3,703 Sixty Specials were delivered, at a base cost of $2,090 each - it was a success in every measure. The new Sixty Special outsold every other Cadillac model in it's first year. In 1938, aside from the standard 4-door sedan, three special order models were built on the Sixty Special body - two very dashing four-door convertibles (each owned by GM executives), and one Sixty-Special coupe (the only one of its kind).

A pleasing new front end, a few minor trim changes, and some unique options appeared for Sixty Special in 1939. First was a retractable metal panel above the front seat called a "Sunshine Turret Top Roof" a predecessor to the moon roof. The sliding roof, patented by GM's Ternstedt Hardware division, was operated by a hand crank. Second was a retractable division glass in between the front and rear seats. This partition did not have a header in the roof, but rather, just channels in between the door posts that the retractable glass would travel in. The $2,090 price from 1938 remained for 1939 as well. More than 5,500 Sixty Specials were built for 1939, but only 280 of them were equipped with the sun roof option (of those 280 sun roof optioned cars, 55 of them were also equipped with the retractable glass partition).

For 1940, the price (for the third year in a row) and general styling remained the same, with only modest trim changes. Of special note is that 1940 would be the last year that side-mounted spare tires (optional on all Cadillacs, including Sixty Special) would be offered. 1940 was also the first year that Fleetwood was now building the Sixty Special bodies. Thus, the Sixty Special line expanded to four models this year: Touring Sedan (the base model), Imperial sedan (priced at $2,230, it featured a retractable glass partition between the front and rear seats), and two open-front Town Car models (one style with a painted roof; the other with a leather-covered roof). These two very formal cars had a removable roof section over the front seat and a glass division window. Of the Sixty Specials built in 1940, 4,242 of them were the Touring model. There were 113 Imperials (including 3 that were also equipped with the sun roof), and lastly, only 15 Town Car models. Of the 15, 9 had the painted metal roof (priced at $3,465), and 6 were the formal leather-covered roof version (priced at $3,820).

1941 was the last year of Bill Mitchell's original Sixty Special design, as an all new 1942 model was in the works. Many consider the 1941 to the most beautiful of this series. A contemporary front end design blended well with the original body, and the rear fenders now held full skirts. For 1941, the wheelbase was reduced by one inch, down to 126". Sixty Special showed a $105 price increase (for the first time) to $2,195. Power was still supplied by the same 346cu Cadillac engine as before, but now rated at convert|150|hp|abbr=on. Production totals include 3,878 Touring sedans (including 185 with the sun roof option), and 220 Imperial sedans (now priced at $2,345). Only 1 Sixty Special Town Car was made this year. Featuring the leather-covered roof, it was the last one to come from Cadillac-Fleetwood.

There were nearly 17,900 Sixty Specials made from 1938 to 1941, including about a dozen custom bodied versions.

1942 - 1950

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Sixty Special Fleetwood
production = 1942
wheelbase = 1942: 133 in (3378 mm)
engine = 346 in³ "Monobloc" V8
layout = FR layout
The completely new Sixty Special for 1942 was 7” longer and one inch lower than the ’41 model, and now riding a wheelbase of 133”. Through 1948, Cadillac would advertise the Sixty Special as a five-passenger car. This was the year that the bumper ‘bullets’ were introduced, they would remain a styling feature for Cadillac through 1958. The slow-selling sunshine top (sun roof) option was discontinued at the end of the 1941 model year, and would not re-appear for Cadillac until the 1970 Eldorado. While the roomy interior was luxuriously outfitted, Cadillac depended on trim to differentiate the exterior of Sixty Special from its Cadillac siblings. Decorative chrome louvers - which would become a Sixty Special trademark ornament for years to come - were found on three different locations on the ’42 model: behind the wheel well openings on the front and rear fenders, as well as mounted on the roof behind the rear door opening. In addition to the louvered trim, the Sixty Special held a wider “C-pillar” than other models, and retained its individual chrome bead – one of the only design features to carry over from the original Bill Mitchell design. Just two models were now available in the Sixty Special series – the standard sedan priced at $2,435 and a $2,589 Imperial sedan which featured an electrically adjustable glass division between the front and rear seats. Productions totals include 1,684 standard sedans and an additional 190 Imperial sedans. Because of World War II, Cadillac ended automobile production in February 1942 and began assembling military equipment.

On October 17, 1945, the first post-war Cadillac rolled off the assembly line. The 1946 Sixty Special was now very similar to the C-body Series 62, though with a mild wheelbase stretch adding more room to the rear seat area. The 1946 model showed few changes from the 1942 model, including a mild grille redesign and new bumpers. Parking lamps and turn signals were now mounted below the headlights. This was the first year the “V” was used underneath the Cadillac crest (the last vehicle to use this emblem would be the 1984 Deville). Only one model remained in the Sixty Special line-up – the $3,054 standard sedan. Both sets of fender-mounted chrome louvers were gone, but roof mounted ones remained. Cadillac now used a negative-ground battery on a 6-volt system. Sixty Special would only reach 5,700 units for ‘46, as it did not go into production until later in the model year.

Few changes greeted Sixty Special for 1947, as an all-new design was coming in ’48. Cadillac’s famed “sombrero” wheel covers – in bright stainless steel - debuted this year. Behind the redesigned grille was the same 346cu engine that Cadillac had been using since 1936, now rated at 150 horsepower. Bright metal stone shields – mounted on the forward edge of the rear fenders - replaced the black rubber pieces used on the ’46 model. The new grille was made up of five bars versus the previous six. Lastly, Cadillac script nameplates replaced the block letters used previously. Price was up to $3,195 – a pretty substantial jump from the 1942 price of $2,435 considering it was practically the same vehicle. Despite the steep price hike, production hit a new height at 8,500 units.

Nearly every model was redesigned for 1948, including the $3,820 Sixty Special. With all new sheet metal, but still riding an exclusive 133” wheelbase, the luxurious Sixty Special weighed in at 4,370 pounds. Inside, electric window lifts and a two-way power bench seat were standard equipment. A clever rainbow-shaped instrument cluster, which put all the gauges directly above the steering column in front of the driver was used for 1948 only, while a new curved dashboard design added to passenger roominess. The roof-mounted decorative chrome louvers, and individually framed side door glass (a Sixty Special design element since 1938) were carried over to this latest model as well. With trim inspired by the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, the new Sixty Special featured simulated side-scoops and curious tail-fins - resembling the P-38’s vertical stabilizers.

1949 brought new power to Cadillac, in the form of the 331cu OHV V-8 engine. This new powerplant featured a short-stroke, high-compression design that provided both quiet, economical operation and smooth, high performance. Although the engine was smaller and shorter than it’s predecessor, it was 10hp more powerful and 188 pounds lighter. With near-annual improvements, this engine was used through the 1955 model year. In typical Cadillac form, a new grille was in order for ’49 – this one appearing wider and lower than last year. With only a slight price increase, the $3,859 Sixty Special was now advertised as a six-passenger car, and sales reached a record 11,399 units. 1949 was the last year Sixty Special used a two-piece windshield with a vertical divider mounted in the center. Four Cadillacs were custom-made this year for the General Motors Automobile Show in New York. Three of them used the Sixty Special body – including a two-door pillar-less hardtop, built on a 133” Sixty Special wheelbase. The other two were specially outfitted and equipped standard Sixty Special sedans. The fourth car built for the show was a stock ’49 Cadillac Series 62 convertible – but with a custom western motif interior.

For 1950, Cadillac showed all-new styling on every car in the line-up, including the $3,797 Sixty Special. While the opulent interior rivaled no other Cadillac, the exterior styling was nearly identical to the less-expensive Series 62 models. The chrome louver trim that was mounted on the rear roof panel since 1942 was now moved to the lower rear doors, just forward of the rear wheel wells. Although Cadillac utilized a wheelbase four inches longer than the Series 62, the 130” wheelbase was down 3” from the previous year. The 1950 Sixty Special weighed 4,136 pounds in base form, and was powered by the same engine introduced for 1949 - the 331cu Cadillac OHV V8 producing 160 horsepower. For the first time in their history, over 100,000 Cadillacs were sold this year, and 13,755 of them was the Sixty Special – a new record for that model. Of historical note is that the actual 100,000th Cadillac that rolled off the assembly line was a 1950 Sixty Special.

1951 - 1958

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Sixty Special Fleetwood
production = 1946–1950
layout = FR layout
related = Cadillac Series 62
wheelbase = 128 in (3250 mm)
engine = 346 in³ "Monobloc" V8
330 in³ "OHV" V8
Infobox Automobile generation
name = Sixty Special Fleetwood
production = 1951–1953
layout = FR layout
related = Cadillac Series 62
wheelbase = 130 in (3302 mm)
engine = 330 in³ "OHV" V8
Infobox Automobile generation
name = Sixty Special Fleetwood
production = 1954–1958

layout = FR layout
related = Cadillac Series 62
wheelbase = 133 in (3378 mm)
engine = 330 in³ "OHV" V8
365 in³ "OHV" V8
Throughout the 1950's, the Sixty Special would continue as a stretched and optioned-up version of the Cadillac Series 62.

1951 showed little change from '50, apart from a new grille and bumper design. Inside, red warning lamps replaced the gauges for secondary instruments like voltage and oil pressure. The same 331cu engine, introduced in 1949, was utilized for the 1951 Cadillacs, but with minor revisions for the drivetrain. Despite a price jump to $4,060, the 4,155 pound Sixty Special broke records for the second year in a row, as sales now hit 18,631.

Cadillac celebrated it’s Golden Anniversary in 1952. Changes were minimal – and mostly in back where the reverse lamps were now integral with the fin-mounted tail lamps, and the “Fleetwood” script returned to the trunk lid. In addition, the rear exhaust outlets were now in the form of two wide horizontal slots on the outer edges of the rear bumper. Also new for ’52 were winged crest emblems, mounted on the grille extensions below the headlights. With the addition of a down-draft carburetor, the 331cu engine was now producing 190 horsepower. A revised automatic transmission was standard on Sixty Special, while power steering was offered at extra cost. Sales fell to 16,110 units, while the price and weight both rose, to $4,269 and 4,258 pounds.

Just more of the same for 1953 Sixty Special, as all the attention was towards the new Eldorado convertible. Minimal trim changes to the Sixty Special included wider rocker panel moldings – which moved the chrome louvers higher up on the rear doors, and a revised grille and bumper. However, significant engineering changes were made to the ’53 models, including a new 12 volt electrical system for the body, and a jump in horsepower for the 331cu engine – now rated at 210. Two new notable options debuted this year. First, the $619.55 trunk-mounted air conditioning unit – developed by Frigidaire – was available in all closed-body Cadillac models. Second, the dashboard-mounted “Autronic Eye” became available. This automated system, which automatically dimmed the high-beam headlights when a forward-facing sensor indicated oncoming traffic, would become a Cadillac option for nearly the next forty years. Also available – for $325 – was a set of five true wire-wheel rims, which hadn't been seen on factory Cadillacs since the 1930's. Wire-wheel rims would occasionally continue to be optionally available through 1992. The minor changes for the 1953 Sixty Special worked wonders, as sales of the $4,304 car was now up to a record 20,000 models. Weight was up to 4,415, and optional wire wheels would add an additional 30 pounds.

All 1954 Cadillacs wore new sheetmetal, but unfortunately the $4,683 Sixty Special still looked too much like it’s lower-priced sibling, the Series 62. Wheelbase for Sixty Special was back up to 133” – where it had been in 1949. Refined power steering, from Saginaw, became standard equipment, along with electric windshield washers. New options included a four-way electrically-power bench seat, and power brakes from Bendix. As they had been doing since it’s introduction in 1949, Cadillac was able to pull more horsepower out of it’s 331cu engine, and now it was rated at 230. The eight chrome trim louvers moved lower onto the rear doors, back where they were in 1952. Sales dropped to 16,200 this year – down from 20,000 in 1953.

Sixty Special arrived with revised trim and more horsepower (250hp, to be exact) for 1955, and while the $4,342 price was lower than last year, production rose slightly to 18,300 units. The eight chrome louvers – mounted on the lower rear doors since 1950, were replaced by 12 louvers mounted just ahead of the bumper on the rear fenders. Chrome rocker panel moldings – taller than the ones used on Series 62 models - stretched from the back of the rear wheel well to the rear bumper. A new grille held a bold eggcrate design, while the rear roof support fashioned a delicate Florentine curve – this design was also shared with the lower-rung Series 62. In back, six vertical chrome louvers were mounted on the panel below the trunk lid – three spaced on each side of the license plate mounting. The tinted band across the windshield header changed from green to gray this year. A new option, the remote control trunk release, debuted this year.

1956 was the last year for the knobby, P-38 inspired tail fins on the rear of most Cadillacs, including the $4,587 Sixty Special. While the Cadillac division broke records by surpassing 150,000 units, Sixty Special slipped down to an even 17,000 models this year. Revamped trim included Cadillac crests on the front fenders, and a new grille (with a finer eggcrate design from last year) bearing a Cadillac script emblem, mounted at an angle, on the driver’s side. Rear fenders held a chrome bead running along the top, while massive chrome spears with hash marks replaced the 1955’s delicate chrome louvers on the rear sides. This chrome side trim morphed into the oval exhaust ports in the redesigned rear bumper. A anodized gold grille was optionally available on Sixty Special, while power brakes became standard equipment. New for ’56 was a larger 365cu powerplant producing 285 horsepower combined with a revamped automatic transmission. Sabre Spoke wheels - standard on Eldorado - became available for Sixty Special, while inside, passenger seatbelts appeared on the option list.

Cadillac introduced it’s first production four-door hardtop, the Sedan de Ville, in 1956. When Cadillac redesigned all of it’s standard models for 1957, the Sixty Special adopted the pillarless design as well. Priced at a hefty $5,539, the 4,761 pound Sixty Special production reached an impressive 24,000 units - a sales plateau that history shows the nameplate would never achieve again. The chrome fender louvers, a Sixty Special trademark since 1942, were gone in favor of a giant ribbed metallic panel that occupied the entire lower half of the rear fender. Engineering treats included moving the optional air conditioning unit from the trunk to a space under the hood, and a foot-operated parking brake that released when the car was put in gear. The 365cu engine introduced last year was now bumped up to 300hp. In spite of all new sheetmetal on the ’57 models, much of Cadillac's attention was focused on the new limited production Eldorado Brougham. This new four-door model did not pose a threat to Sixty Special production, since the new Brougham was a hand-built, limited-production specialty model with a stupendously steep $13,074 price tag – more than double that of a new Sixty Special.

1958 saw extensive design changes, even though the cars were entirely revamped for ’57. Horsepower from the 365cu engine was now at 310. Sparkling “studs” decorated the wide new grille, while the rubber-tipped bumper guards were moved further out towards the edges of the car – leaving a lower, wider look. Four headlights, a style that appeared on last year’s Eldorado Brougham, were adopted for all Cadillacs, including the $6,117 Sixty Special. Full fender skirts practically hid the rear wheels from sight, and the massive ribbed aluminum trim occupied the lower half of the rear fender. Small vent windows were added to Sixty Special’s rear doors, and newly available power door locks were optional. Sales for the 4,930 pound car slid to 12,900 units – nearly half of last year’s production.

1959 - 1972

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Sixty Special Fleetwood
production = 1959–1960
layout = FR layout
related = Cadillac DeVille
engine = 390 in³ "OHV" V8
In 1959, the memorable "zap!" fins appeared on nearly all Cadillacs this year, including the Sixty Special. Now riding a three-inch (76 mm) shorter wheelbase (130"), the 225" long Sixty Special continued as a pillar-less hardtop with its own distinct moldings - including a side-mounted dummy air-scoop on the rear fender, and a thin chrome bead that ran from the front fender back to the rear bumper, and then forward again to the front wheel well. The fin-mounted tail lights pods (which were body-colored on lesser Cadillacs) were chromed. The 390cu engine provied 325 horsepower. Air suspension, utilizing freon-filled shock absorbers, was optional on Sixty Special.

1960 saw new (shorter) rear fins, and a cleaner side-trim design,as well as a rear "grille" design shared with Eldorado. Wheelbase remained 130", and the $6,233 price was the same as the '59. New for 1960 was a standard vinyl roof covering, and the small chrome "louvers" returned (first seen in '42, last seen in '56) mounted on the rear fenders, just ahead of the tail lights.

For 1961, Cadillac's Fleetwood Sixty Special received all-new sheet metal, with a crisp, formal roofline fitted with a vinyl covering and a mildly shorter 129.5" wheelbase. The small decorative louvers were back, this time just ahead of the tail lights. Sales were up to 15,500 units. With the cancellation of the four-door Eldorado Brougham at the end of 1960, the '61 Fleetwood Sixty Special now became the sedan companion to the Eldorado coupe.

1962's styling remained similar to '61, and Sixty-Special's fender louvers were moved up to the roof, directly behind the rear door opening. A revised grill up front, and a new trim panel below the rear deck lid rounded out the subtle changes. Sales slipped to 13,350 this year at a base price of $6,366.

1963 had all-new styling (on the same 129.5" wheelbase), and a brand new convert|325|hp|abbr=on powerplant. Sixty-Special shared its (lack of) body-side trim with Eldorado - appearing very clean and formal when compared to the standard Cadillac models. Price was down to $6,300, and sales were up slightly 14,000. While the small decorative louvers continued on the C-pillar, a new Cadillac "wreath and crest" ornament was on the rear fender. The front fender-mounted cloisonne "Sixty Special" emblem (which appeared for 1960) was gone. The formerly standard vinyl top had now become a $125 option on Sixty-Special.

Other than a slightly revamped grille and rear bumper, 1964 saw few changes - including the Cadillac wreath and crest ornament moving from the rear fender of the '63 model to take the place of the C-pillar mounted louvers for '64. The '64 Sixty Special (and companion Eldorado convertible) now had nearly no side trim, except for a wide rocker-sill molding which ran from the rear-edge of the front fender wheel well to the rear of the car. Cost was back up the '62 price of $6,366, and sales were up to 14,500 units.

1965 featured all new styling, and a longer 133" wheelbase. The Fleetwood Sixty Special was now back to being a pillared sedan (the B-pillar was absent from 1957), and also new for '65 was the available "Brougham" package, which added $194 to Sixty Special's base price of $6,479. Included in the package was a padded grained-vinyl roof covering with "Brougham" nomenclature on the C-pillar. 18,100 Sixty-Specials were built for 1965.

1966, with minor trim changes, now offered Cadillac buyers two models in this series to choose from - the standard Fleetwood Sixty Special (priced at $6,378) and the new Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham ($6,695). The Brougham option package proved so popular last year that it was named as a separate model for '66. The Brougham model included a formal-looking vinyl roof covering, and luxurious appointments inside such as genuine Walnut trim, and for rear seat passengers - lighted picnic tables, foot rests, and reading lamps. This was the last year that the Sixty-Special would serve as a body-sharing companion to the Eldorado convertible, as the '67 Eldorado moved to front-wheel drive and all new sheet metal. The new Fleetwood Brougham sold over 13,630 copies, surpassing the standard Sixty-Special which sold only 5,445 units.

1967 was all-new styling at Cadillac (but with Sixty-Special continuing with an exclusive 133" wheelbase), and the $6,739 Fleetwood Brougham continued to outsell the $6,423 Sixty-Special - 12,750 units versus 3,550 standard Sixty-Specials.

1968 featured mostly carry-over styling from 1967, but the hood was longer this year, as it extended all the way to the base of the windshield to cover the "hidden" windshield wipers. Also new for '68 was a stylish beveled deck lid. The $6,867 vinyl-roofed Fleetwood Brougham sold 15,300 models this year, while the standard Sixty-Special with its painted metal roof (priced at $6,552) sold just 3,300 cars. Cadillac buyers clearly showed that the $315 price difference was worth every penny.

1969 models ushered in all-new styling, and the two Sixty-Special models held distinct rooflines from the other Cadillacs. A 60/40 split bench seat was standard in the Fleetwood Brougham, optional in Sixty-Special. Safety was a new priority at Cadillac, introducing a new steering column that not only was designed to absorb impact and collapse in a collision, but also held theft-deterrent features such as an ignition key switch activated steering wheel and transmission shifter lock mechanism. Head rests were standard on front seats, while seat belts were provided for all six passengers. The 375hp 472cu engine carried over from 1968. Also of note this year was the disappearance of the small vent windows on the front and rear doors. Fleetwood Brougham, at $7,092, included a vinyl roof top (available in six colors), as well as rear-seat foot rests and an automatic level control for the rear wheels which kept the car level despite the weight of fuel, passengers, or cargo. Fleetwood Brougham's sales of 17,300 units easily surpassed the 2,545 copies of the standard $6,761 Sixty-Special.

The 1970 Sixty-Special received few changes, aside from the usual new grille and tail lamps. Sixty-Special had long been recognized for its bold, bare side body - but this year, the models received a 'chrome with vinyl insert' body-side molding. It was really the first prominent side molding on Sixty-Special since the 'rocket-ship' 1958 model. It did not take away from Sixty-Special's individuality much, and certainly improved the chances of a devastating parking-lot door 'ding' on those smooth, slab sides. Sales and production figures include 16,913 units of the Fleetwood Brougham at $7,284; and just 1,738 units of the Sixty-Special at $6,953. This would be the last year for the standard, metal-roofed Sixty-Special.

For 1971, the line-up was trimmed down to just one Sixty-Special model, the Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham. Still riding on an exclusive 133" wheelbase, but with all-new sheet metal and a distinctive roof design. The formal new roof was clearly reminiscent of Bill Mitchell's original 1938 Sixty Special, with individually-framed, rounded-corner side glass (out-lined by a thin, chrome bead). Also new on the vinyl top were C-pillar mounted opera lamps, and a thick B-pillar - all of which heightened the limousine effect. To complete the "custom-body" look, the front and rear side doors held a narrow body filler panel between them. Despite the formal new look and higher levels of luxury, sales dropped slightly from last year, down to 15,200 units.

1972 was Cadillac's 70th anniversary, and the last year for Sixty-Special. One of the few changes on the '72 was the addition of a chrome molding around the rear window. Sales were a robust 20,750 units - each at a base price of $7,585. The '72 Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham weighed in at an impressive 4,858 pounds. Standard equipment included rear-seat reading lamps, automatic level control, and dual-comfort front seats. A wide range of upholstery was available in nine colors of "Sierra" grain leather, four colors of "Matador" cloth, a combination of "Matador" cloth and leather, a "Minuet" fabric in three colors, or a plush "Medici" crushed velour. Although the car (and it's distinctive roof style) remained in similar form though 1976, the Sixty Special name was retired and the 1973 model would be simply called, "Fleetwood Brougham".

1987 - 1993

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Sixty Special
production = 1987 - 1993
related = Cadillac Fleetwood
Oldsmobile 98
Buick Park Avenue
Cadillac Coupe de Ville
Cadillac DeVille
layout = FF layout
platform = C-body
wheelbase = 115.8 in (1987 - 1988); 113.8 in (1989 - 1993)
transmission = 4-speed automatic
fuel_capacity = 18 US gal.
engine = 4.9 L "L26 HT-4900" V8
The Fleetwood Sixty Special returned in 1987 as the upper model in the front wheel drive Fleetwood line. The 1987 & 1988 Fleetwood Sixty Specials were custom-crafted cars featuring a five-inch (127 mm) wheelbase stretch over the Deville on which they were based. The additional five inches (127 mm) increased the rear seat leg room by an equal amount. They were akin to "Mini~Limousines" that could be owner driven or chauffeur driven. The Fleetwood Sixty Special returned for 1989, now sharing the standard 113.8" wheelbase with Deville and Fleetwood, and continued in production through 1993. When the Fleetwood name supplanted Brougham on the large rear wheel drive Cadillac in 1993, the model that had been the Fleetwood (which was really just a variant of the front-wheel-drive Sedan DeVille) was renamed, simply, "Sixty Special". It had been 55 years since the Sixty Special was introduced, and the first time in over 50 years that the "Fleetwood" name was not used with the "Sixty Special" designation.

While the '87 & '88 Sixty Special had their unique longer wheelbase, the '89 through '93 models were differentiated from the Deville by the special interior trim package that included 22-way power driver and passenger seats. Italian designer Giorgio Giugiaro created the glove-soft leather seating which included built-in heating elements, a center clamshell armrest with flip-up seat adjustment control panel, and an electrically-powered slide-out storage bin. This seating package was standard from 1989 through 1992.

In 1993, the Fleetwood name went onto a new, rear-wheel drive vehicle (a replacement for the rear-wheel drive Brougham), so the 1992 front-drive Fleetwood 'became' the 1993 Sixty-Special (available only as a four door). This was a step-down in furnishings and standard equipment for Sixty-Special, as the car was now similarly equipped to the 1992 Fleetwood it was replacing. Velour upholstery was now standard, leather optional. While Sixty Special retained genuine American Walnut trim on the doors and dashboard, the custom seating that made the Sixty-Special unique since 1989 was now optional, available in the form of a $3,550 "Ultra" package. Only 688 of the 5,292 Sixty Specials built in 1993 were ordered with the "Ultra" interior. The breakdown by color is as follows: 3 Pink / 59 Dark Plum / 110 Light Blue / 206 Charcoal-Bronze / 226 Medium Gray / 228 Red / 250 Silver / 310 Medium Blue / 326 Rose-Gray / 445 Maroon / 477 Light Beige / 518 Medium Green / 578 Black / 707 Navy Blue / 849 White.

* 4.9 L "L26 HT-4900" V8, 200 hp (149 kW) and 275 ft·lbf (373 N·m)

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