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By Jim Mateja
April 2, 1990
The 1990 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special is the luxury automaker`s mini-limo. In fact, when our twin teenage girls slipped into the back seat for adrive with their chief means of support, the experience prompted No. 1daughter to utter: ``To school,
James,`` a comment that temporarily lifted herspirits though it deflated her allowance. The 60 Special is built on a 113.8-inch wheelbase and is 205.6 incheslong, less than the 125-inch wheelbase and 221-inch length on the rear-wheel- drive
Brougham, but the same dimensions as the Cadillac Fleetwood andDeVille sedans. Cadillac brought out the 60 Special in 1988 on somewhat of a test basis.The Fleetwood had been downsized. When the car got smaller, so did the crowdthat usually
purchased it. So Cadillac extended wheelbase and length on a stretched Fleetwood andbuilt about 1,000 to determine whether loyalists really wanted a bigger caragain. The 60 Special was a success. Though roomy and comfortable up front, the
back seat is where the mini-limo tag becomes justified. Leg and hip room are abundant. The car also is big enough for two conversations to be heldsimultaneously. Adults can discuss pressing world matters up front while theteens debate the newest
makeup in the back. Or, the men can chat about thestock market up front while the women argue the merits of the bond market inback and they all can join in when the topic turns to Oprah. Though the size was a pleasant surprise, the performance of
the 4.5-liter V-8 was even more so. The 4.5-liter V-8 that delivered 155 horsepower for 1989now delivers 180 h.p. with Cadillac switching from regular fuel injection tosequential port fuel injection and redesigning the exhaust system for reduced back
pressure. As you move off the line, down the merger ramp or into the passing lane,you get just enough jolt of power to accomplish the task. Cadillac used to mean enormous size and weight and an engine that couldpower a battleship. With the
60 Special, you get manageable size and weightand an engine that propels you and three other adult occupants down theroadway without needing a head start against a Buick. The 4.5 delivers 16miles per gallon city and 25 m.p.g. highway. The ride is a
bit soft and pampered though not mushy. You`ll experiencesome lean in tight turns, but nothing to be alarmed about. You don`t need two lanes when swinging into or out of a turn. If the suspension were too stiff,owners would complain. The 60 Special
comes with antilock brakes and driver`s side air bag asstandard for the safety-minded. Because the 60 Special is so similar to the Fleetweed sedan, there`s more focus on amenities to set the 60 Special off, such as a power-activatedconsole. Touch
the button and the console opens to reveal two cupholders and acargo hold. Standard equipment includes four-speed automatic with overdrive,independent four-wheel suspension, pow
er brakes and steering, airconditioning, automatic level control, power windows/door locks/seats/mirrors,all-season, steel-belted, radial tires, tilt steering, AM/FM stereo withcassette and digital clock, leather seats and wrapped wheel, full padded
vinylroof (delete for $374 savings), cruise control and intermittent wipers to namethe major features. The test car added a Bose sound system with compact disc player for $872, Electriclear windshield for $250, memory feature for the power seat for
$235and rear window defogger with heated outside mirrors for $195. Base price for the 60 Special is $36,980. With options, the car stickered for $38,338 to which you add a $550 freight charge.