One of One: Cadillac Fleetwood Show Car

While a late-80s Cadillac Fleetwood D’Elegance wouldn’t do much for your pulse on a normal day, today is not normal. This particular example – a survivor of a 1987 model – is purportedly a one-off show car created for the exhibition circuit. Loaded up with every option GM could throw at it, you’ll find here on craigslist located somewhere in the USA as it is on the New York City classifieds site but is supposedly located in Florida. 

To make it even more confusing, this Cadillac sports Texas license plates. The – ah, interesting vanity plate makes one wonder if the previous owner was in the adult entertainment industry, but license plate slang aside, there’s no faking how well preserved this Caddy is. The seller seems to know a thing or two about GM products, and lists off the litany of features that this Fleetwood received due to its destiny as a show car. It’s safe to say the one-of-one claim may be true, given not too many cars would have been optioned to the hilt like this one.

In particular, the seller notes the specific options not available on lesser cars (those that didn’t parade around turnstiles in convention centers): “Options such as the rare touring suspension which also included the 3:33:1 gear ratio, quicker steering, FE2 firmer touring suspension and cast aluminum 15 inch FE2 alloy wheels. The touring package was available on 1987 Deville’s, Seville’s and Eldorado’s but never on a Fleetwood d’elegance.” It also has a factory alarm system, Astroroof and a Bose sound system. Not bad for 1987.

If you’re an options code junkie, you’ll get a kick deciphering this one. What’s unclear is how many miles are on the car, as the seller notes he has driven it *maybe* 1,200 miles in the last 15 years and that all of the Cadillacs in his collection have under 5,000 miles. The location of the post and the car creates a discrepancy that can make some shoppers wary, so hopefully the seller can straighten out the story as to where this car has lived for the last decade-and-a-half. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Pat L. for this great find.

Fast Finds


  1. txchief

    It’s missing the vinyl roof option….

    • al8apex

      and that is a GOOD thing …

    • King Al

      Great shape, but a tiny Cadillac with the 4.1L junk engine. Seller is wise to part with it before intake gaskets leak, coolant gets into oil, and big problems start. Buy it for $2K, and drive it as a beater for a year or so until the coolant leaks, the egr stack tubes clog, or the 4t65 tranny pukes out. Pull the plate and call the scrap yard, or donate to a charitable org for a miniscule tax deduction.

      Like 1
      • Bill McCoskey

        I had friends who were line mechanics at a Cadillac dealer in the DC area. They joked that on the 4.1 V8, a “minor service” was a camshaft change, while a “major service” was a crankshaft replacement.

  2. grant

    I’m a bit confused but it seems like a loaded Cadillac is the rule, not the exception. The seller does seem knowledgeable about GM pr9ducts, but he also mentions the suspension twice within one sentence so he may have just learned some cool new words. Either way, it is a nice 80’s Caddy, that doesn’t excite or interest me in the slightest. If my grandparents were alive they would love this though.

  3. Ralph

    I have some issues, the Touring Suspension was available on the Fleetwood, its not common, but I’ve seen it, also, in one of the photos you see wire wheels, which means the wheels have been changed at one point. 1987 Fleetwood options(

    The car looks very clean, and it has some other rare options like memory seat, astroroof, dimming mirror and auto dimming headlight, but that’s way too much money for cars that really haven’t drummed up any collector interest and never might,

  4. Dusty Stalz

    I don’t get the license plate thing. Please explain.

    • David J David J

      The interior smells of roses.

    • Mountainwoodie

      The plate is kind of redundant wouldnt you say

    • whippeteer

      Spider Infested!

  5. Fred W.

    The previous owner was a woman who owned a muffler shop.

    Like 1
    • Leon

      She had chain of ear muff boutiques

      Like 1
      • Jim Mc

        Perhaps of great interest to those with scuba gear.

      • al8apex

        or carpet stores …

    • Ralph

      Dolly McMuffin, daughter of the inventor of the egg mcmuffin

  6. David J David J

    What a beauty! The asking price is interesting, as noted, though. Hagerty values a “Concours” specimen at $6,500. Perhaps this Fleetwood is the “Yenko” of the D’Elegance line?

    Unless something mischievous is going on, I’m guessing the seller is showing off his beauty and trolling for deep pocketed folks that need something new to play with.

  7. George

    Please readers don’t nit-pick. It’s not “the license plate thing–it’s a picture of the back of the car. Give the guy a break.

    It appears to be pristine. From the inside it looks and likely feels like a Cadillac. From the outside, it is too small and ran-of-the-mill to be a Cadillac. It was produced by the Cadillac Division of GM so it clearly is a Cadillac. It’s outside design was poorly conceived and not universally liked/accepted by your typical Cadillac buyer as proved by sales and used car values. For me as a driver I would have to keep for a year or so, I would not buy it because I don’t like the design. In my mind it is the functional equivalent of buying a new Maverick with a Continental Kit and pretending it is a 55-56 T-Bird. A Cadillac that only a Nerd would buy. As for me, when I saw it hit the streets in ’87 the only buy that came to my mind was “Bye, Bye.”

    Like 1
  8. RoselandPete

    I didn’t see the link to his other cars.

  9. Dusty Stalz

    I want to snatch this car up. It looks pretty tight and probly purrs like a kitten.

    • al8apex


      I see what you did there …

  10. Steve R

    His story lives or dies based on whether he can prove it was a factory show car. If he really does have the documentation claimed in the ads text, show it.

    Steve R

    • Harold Kirkpatrick

      It is indeed true! The two lower specific RPO codes that he shows in the picture does signify that it was a “show circuit special built internal car for GM”… probably why he was showing us the RPO codes photo for those of us who know.

  11. Chris

    I like the “Fuel Data Center” and the “Information Center” on the dash. High tech wizardry of the day.

  12. Bmac Bmac Member

    Built the upper door panels for these cars, spent a lot of time @ the Lake Orion plant where these were built along with Buick & Olds. Like they say if you saw bologna being made you wouldn’t eat it, same goes for the cars built @ BOC. Do I have stories!

    • Anthony R in RI

      Some stories would be very interesting.


      Waiting for stories also…..

      • Bmac Bmac Member

        They had a bar set up on the line, just kept moving down the line. I guess management got sick of chasing it. Cars never failed the water test, just turn the air on full & no problem. I’ll let you use your imagination on how they would get the gaps to pass the inspectors. Different times!

      • AMXSTEVE

        do you mean an booze bar? keep em coming, fascinating.

  13. Rob

    At the end of the day it’s a loaded example of a car that was produced in the millions and has little true collector value or pedigree. The poorly written description shows a seller who is emotionally attached to the car which means he values it much higher than the market does. They sold an equally nice one of these at Barrett-Jackson NE last week for a fraction of this crack pipe version. Not a collector car, sorry. This wasn’t a good car when it was brand new. The HT4100 engine was one of worst ever made by GM. If it had the V8-6-4 almost undriveable.

  14. Mark

    I had one of these, 4100 engine, 2 blown head gaskets, junk, any Cadillac for show is rear wheel drive with a big engine , other than an elderado, not front wheel drive k car look Cadillac, cimmeron too , if that’s how it’s spelled too, junk. Cavalier covered with caddy badges.

    Like 1
  15. normadesmond

    Interesting that Texas would allow a plate like that.

    • Goen

      I had a personalized Texas plate back in the 80’s that read “MO FO”

  16. Vin in NJ

    If this was actually a show car, it would have had the gold emblem package. That was a must have for the excess of the 80’s
    Pictures show the gold keys, which would have come with the gold package. Confusing…

    • Josh

      All Caddys of this vintage had gold keys, regardless of the “gold package” or not. Also, I believe the gold package was typically a deliver-installed option–not factory option.

  17. Aremee

    Not sure the one listed here on Barnfinds is worth 2.5X more than this loaded, low mileage, unit they sold last year at Barrett-Jackson. Where is the value? Does anyone really care it was displayed as a marketing tool for the Autoshow circuit? Winning race cars, historic one offs, cars from manufacturers that no longer exist collectors care about. A high volume, malaise era Cadillac with no real history is not a collector car.

  18. Pat A

    Microsoft’s muffler subsidiary?

  19. Peter R

    I had one of these as a company car back then – was glad to get rid of it. The $17,500 asking price must be a joke

  20. Arthur Berger

    It looks like an 88 not an 87. If so it has the 4.5l instead of the 4.1

  21. cudaman

    … too many zero’s………$1750.00 is more realistic!!!! And I love all the “muff” comments……made my day…..

  22. Rustytech Member

    $17.5k for a $5k car? We’ve come a long way baby! After working on these for years, I wouldn’t have it for $2.5k.

  23. Bmac Bmac Member

    GM was a mess in those days, everyone there in management was worried about there cushy jobs, times were a changing. I think it was Lopez who came from VW, man did he put fear in the old guard! Beginning of bigger problems to come.
    Quality of the cars of this era was terrible. And yes AMXSteve it was booze on the lines, drugs in the parking lot, and to top it off extra-marital action in the cars on the line, saw it first hand!
    Oh yea it was always the vender’s fault. Aged 10 years during that time, never did GM parts after that. As I said before, different times

    • Bmac Bmac Member

      Forgot to mention, they would stretch out their payments over 160 days. Hard to to pay suppliers & employees when customers use you as bank.

      • Bmac Bmac Member

        And people wonder why I prefer Ford & Mopar over GM products

  24. Joe

    Think Could have water damage, Rain Storm’s Flooding.

  25. Doug

    That looks like an ’88 rather than an ’87. Beneath the ‘Fleetwood’ script on the rear is what appears to be the ‘4.5 liter V-8’ badge. The ’87 was the final year for the 4.1 and had nothing on the rear other than the ‘Fleetwood’ script.

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