Aussie Special: Cadillac Fleetwood Ute

Cadillac Fleetwood Ute

In my never ending pursuit of automotive oddballs, I’ve been hunting the globe for cars never seen before. While some are models that I simply haven’t ever seen, others are specials custom tailored to meet the needs of the market they were sold in. This Cadillac Fleetwood Ute is the perfect example of a car that was modified to meet the demands and style of Australia. If you didn’t already know, Australia is known for its love of all things utility. This Cadillac started life as a regular Fleetwood Brougham but had the back seats removed and a truck bed installed in the rear. Find this luxury ute here on eBay out of Melbourne, Australia.

Aussie Cadillac Ute

We’ve featured a number of specialized Cadillacs, but this one takes the cake for strange modifications. The choice to leave the rear doors in place, but modify the roof makes the car look even more unusual. It was obviously done by someone with a decent amount of fabrication skills but it isn’t the best conversion I’ve ever seen. The seller claims it was built to be a flower car, which seems to be the most common reason people modified Cadillacs. While it may have been built for funeral duty, I’m sure there are plenty of ute fans out there who would like to have it simply because of its odd nature and looks.

Cadillac Ute Interior

While this Fleetwood Brougham isn’t as large as previous generations, these late ’70s cars were still massive. The wheelbase is over 120 inches long and they weigh in well over 4k pounds, making it the perfect platform for a ute conversion. I’ve ridden in a number of this era of Cadillac, several times on dirt roads, and I’ve always been impressed with both their ride quality and their ability to take a beating. When you’re cruising at high speeds on a desolate dirt road, those are two traits you want in your luxury ute! The fact that it has some of the plushest seats ever and a 500 cui V8 out front just make it that much more interesting. I just hope that whoever did the conversion reinforced the chassis, so that it doesn’t fold in half when you inevitably hit a large bump or pothole.

Cadillac Ute Conversion

I doubt this conversion makes for the most practical of utility vehicles, but compared to a standard Fleetwood it has to be infinitely more versatile. Given the number of Fleetwoods still floating around here in the States, I doubt anyone will justify importing it to our shores, but it is definitely an interesting car… er, truck to look at. For an odd cruiser, I wouldn’t mind having it. It wouldn’t be the cheapest parts hauler to drive around, but you would be in absolute comfort no matter where you go or what you haul. I just wonder what its hauling capacity really is? So would you drive this Cadillac Ute or should we leave it to our brothers in the land down under?

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Comments

  1. Frank

    As an Australian all I can say is BURN IT WITH FIRE. Hideous mess some bogan made whilst drunk, I bet.

  2. hhaleblian

    And this is why I love Aussies. Great sense of humor they have.

  3. Jeff

    I’m from Melbourne, and let me say, the Cadillac was never sold by dealers in Australia, which means this car was privately imported. Because gas/petrol is 4 times as expensive in Australia these types of cars along with Lincolns were not sold in Australia. There was a Holden Brougham that was a great car. 308, a real beast. My dad had one.

  4. Carl

    It’s hard to drive a Cadillac on the wrong side of the road. I love caddies though.

  5. Jeff

    Wheelbase is 133 inches and the engine size is 472 cu. in. The 500 engine was put into ’70 thru ’76 Eldorados and ’75 and ’76 RWD sedans. All other ’68 thru ’74s had the 472 motor.

  6. fred

    Any one else notice it has 3 doors, not four? And looks like it always had that number? I think he may be right about it being a funeral /flower car. Which theoretically should mean factory built. It would look a lot better if the vinyl top and bumper extensions were still there. But still butt ugly.

  7. fred

    Just in case you wondered what this car SHOULD look like

    • Bill

      It isn’t right hand drive and doesn’t have the drop box option like this one.

  8. Jose

    Fred, your version actually makes the car look quite good. Are you a designer?

  9. Andrew Minney

    A bit crude but Fred’s image makes it look – interesting!
    Did you know Holden was coach builders back in the 1920’s era?

    Andrew in England

  10. tom999p

    Whats so rare about Cadillac flower cars? There were thousands of them made over the years..

  11. Gary

    The best TowCars I ever owned were my ’62 Cad (Miller Meteor) Hearse, ’70 Superior Ambo, &’76 Fleetwood Brougham. Key West to Chimney Rock, NC with the best ride ever, plenty of storage, & even rebuilt a set of Solex’s going up I-75 during rhe night, & set FTD on Sunday. Also great watching Drive-In movies parked backwards with the curtains framing the screen with a plush mattress & fine Companion. Guess I have grown older but not UP!

  12. fred

    Not my image, just one I found- to show that coachbuilt or factory cars can look great!

  13. JL Schmidt

    This 1974 was the prototype built by customizer Gene Winfield for Evel Knievel using a Coupe DeVille. This car is on display at the Classic Car Collection in Kearney, NE. and is owned by a couple in Kansas. It has Harley-Davidson logos on the hub caps and is a beautiful version of what later became those California funeral and flower specials.

    • tom999p

      Huh??? Flower cars have been around since before cars were even invented…

  14. Trickie Dickie Member

    None of these Cadillacs shown are Funeral Flower Cars. I am recently retired from thirty years in the Funeral Business in California. I have seen many Cadillac flower cars. They are all much more elaborate and have much more equipment on them than these “pickup truck” Cadillacs. Google Cadillac Funeral Flower Cars and you will immediately see the difference. Interesting photos as they will show many makes other than Cadillac. Funeral flower cars are used much more in Eastern States than in the West, especially California Why, I don’t know. They just never seemed to be popular out here. For that matter, funeral customs in the eastern states, in general, differ vastly from funeral customs out west, especially California. Getting a lot more simple and less costly here and I think that is good!

    • Woodie Man

      Some of the Fifties flower cars are the coolest. As for this…………………. a drunken Aussie with a torch…..that sounds dangerous!

      Yup…out here on the West Coast we just throw our deceased to the winds. For reference see “The Big Lebowski”

  15. John Lopaka

    What a god awful thing to do to a Cadillac then to convert it to right hand steering…what were they thinking there..

    • Tony

      John, sadly we had no choice, under early Australian law LHD cars were not allowed to be registered as it was deemed to be unsafe to drive them in this RHD country. The laws in each state changed and you can now register a LHD as long as it’s under 4 1/2 tonne which doesn’t help people who want to restore a Kenworth or Peterbuilt truck that they found in the US. In the State where I live there are over 3,000 LHD’s registered and every single one is original, we aren’t allowed to modify them in any way, they must be as delivered from the factory, trying to find original replacement parts is a nightmare for a 50 year old car.

  16. Bill M

    John L. — I believe this is an actual GM RHD vehicle. Because there are more RHD vehicles built every year in the world, GM has always offered RHD version on select cars. I’ve seen many GM conversions in England, and with these cars factory equipped with dash panels of padded, molded foam, with a molded-in vinyl cover, the conversions always looked like they had been cut and reassembled “as best as possible”. This vehicle appears to be a factory RHD version, even the armrest has the power window master switch & remote mirror lever in the correct locations, and I don’t believe they were interchangeable right to left.
    I remember 30 years ago when the American Car Centre in London was creating late model USA cars with RHD. Their solution for the steering box location? Cut the column under the dash, fit the end with a large chain sprocket from a bicycle, change the steering wheel & upper column to the RHD location with an identical chain sprocket, then install a bicycle type chain from side to side, adding an adjustable idler sprocket to keep it tight!

    • Tony

      Bill, this ‘ute’ was converted otherwise the gear shift would be on the left of the column not the right when it was built. The chain drive conversions usually used a double row timing chain and sprockets under the dash, the biggest problem was that the A/C unit had to go over to the left and all the ducting was wrong under the dash. Many had an underdash A/C fitted to solve the problem but they looked ‘crap’! A friend of mine has a 1980 Pontiac Formula Transam that was converted by the GM dealer before it was delivered new in that year, the steering box is out of a 1980 GM Holden. To convert a car to RHD is well over $20,000 these days so we leave them LHD, it keeps them original.

  17. Wayne

    Something fishy about this one. In the first link to ebay it sold for $5000 with 1 bid. Now its listed again from the same seller. I’d be tempted to think the seller put the first bid in to up the interest but didn’t succeed. here is the current link.
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/cadillac-fleetwood-brougham-pickup-ute/181640611314

  18. Bill

    I would give good money for a right hand drive flower/open Hearst car here in the USA, the left hand drive ones here in the states are rare as hens teeth, let alone a right hand drive one, the drop box tells me its both flower car and open hearse use built. The rubber around the tail lights rotted out here too, in the hot states especially and is easily acquired on e-bay, etc.

  19. Walter Joy

    In America, it’s the Mirage

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