1936 Cadillac Series 85

Vehicle Profiles

Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Fleetwood

As America's Great Depression continued, the luxury automobile market dwindled, yet Cadillac offered three distinct series: the V-8, V-12 and V-16. For 1936, performance of the V-12 motor was greatly improved over its 1935 counterpart. The 368 cubic-....[continue reading]

Convertible Sedan
Coachwork: Fleetwood

Chassis Num: 4110624

Cadillac introduced its new models for 1936 in October of 1935. The most notable change was the addition of a more moderately priced eight-cylinder model and an expansion of the 12-cylinder models into two different wheelbase configurations. The V-12....[continue reading]

Formal Sedan
Coachwork: Fleetwood

Chassis Num: 4110554

The Cadillac V12 engine was designed by engineer Owen Nacker concurrently with the V-16 which was introduced in 1930. Based on the V-16 architecture, the 368 cubic-inch V12 was a 45-degree unit with overhead valves actuated by hydraulic lifters for r....[continue reading]

Town Sedan
Coachwork: Fleetwood

This 1936 Cadillac Model 85 Town Sedan is one of 901 V12s made, bridging the price gap between the V16s and the V8s in the Cadillac model line. A total of 15 different body styles were available with the V12 in 1936. The V12 is distinguished by its v....[continue reading]

Coachwork: Fleetwood

The 1936 Series 36-85 Cadillac's were basically the Fleetwood V8 body style with the larger 12 cylinder engine. Performance, however, was increased materially over the older V12's. During this period, Cadillac produced V8's, V12's and the V16. The be....[continue reading]

Convertible Sedan by Fleetwood
Convertible Sedan by Fleetwood
Chassis #: 4110624 
Formal Sedan by Fleetwood
Chassis #: 4110554 
Town Sedan by Fleetwood
Sedan by Fleetwood


Carrozzeria, Italian meaning coachbuilder, is an individual or company that bodies carriages or automobiles. The name in German is Karosserie. These skills were needed during the early part of the 1900's to fabricate enclosures for rolling chassis. The materials used were mostly wooden or metal. As the evolution of automobile production evolved, manufacturers brought the design and development in-house, making individual coachbuilders a dying breed.

Unibody construction has mostly eliminated the need for coachbuilders. Many coachbuilders were purchased or merged by the automobile manufacturers. Others became highly specialized and worked on a contract basis, mostly for high priced, luxury automobiles.

Fleetwood Metal Body was a coachbuilder during the early 1900s. The name is from Fleetwood, Pennsylvania the birthplace of the company. They specialized in the production of wood and metal bodies. They were large and luxurious and often purchased by the rich and famous. Fleetwood was purchased by Fisher Body in 1925 and integrated into General Motors in 1931.

The luxury segment of General Motors was Cadillac, so it was only natural that Fleetwood would aide in the design and creation of bodies for the Cadillac marque. In 1927 the name appeared on Cadillac's representing their top of the line vehicles. In 1946 Cadillac offered an upscale version of its Series 60, dubbed the Series 60 Special Fleetwood. The name was later used on the Series 70 and Sixty Special models through 1976. The name continued to appear on Cadillac vehicles as late as 1996.

By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2007
The Cadillac Series 75 was the marque's flagship V8 from 1936 onwards, though the lower priced series easily outsold it. Production of the full-size V8 powered Cadillac's would continue from the 1930s through the 1950s. It served as a replacement for the outgoing 355-D and was introduced around the same time as the less-expensive Series 60 model. Outwardly, the Series 80, including the 85, were similar in appearance with the main difference being underhood. The Series 80/85 featured a V12 engine while the Series 70/75 had a V8. The V8 produced 135 horsepower while the V12's output was 150 hp.

In 1941, the short wheelbase Series 70 was replaced by the Series 62 and the long wheelbase Series 75 was integrated into the Fleetwood line. Cadillac would continue the '75' name until the mid 1960s.

The V8 Series 70 of the mid 1930s were powered by a Monoblock V8 engine that displaced 346 cubic-inches and produced 135 horsepower. A total of 5,248 examples were sold in 1936. There were three body-styles available for the Series 70 from 1936 through 1937 consisting of a 131-inch wheelbase for the 36-70, a 138-inch version of the 36-75 and a large 156-inch platform for the 36-75 Commercial version.

There were a wide variety of body-styles to select from and all wore badges of Cadillac's in-house coachbuilder Fleetwood. The list ranged from two-passenger coupes to seven-passenger town cars with 14 cataloged styles offered.

The Fleetwood Metal Body Company had a history that dated back to 1905 when they were formed in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. During their early years, some of their best customers were Packard, Pierce-Arrow and Cadillac. Lawrence Fisher, head of GM's Fisher Body Company and later president of Cadillac was pleased with Fleetwood's coach-building work and felt the union between the two companies was appropriate. The company was purchased by Cadillac in 1925 and the sales and design offices were moved to Detroit. Additional plants were built in Pennsylvania for body production and Fleetwood continued to accept body-requests from non-GM companies.

A Fleetwood plant was built in 1929 in Detroit, adjacent to the Fisher Body facility, and by 1931 all production had migrated to this location. Later, the production was absorbed by General Motors Art & Colour and Fisher Body. The Fleetwood name persisted for many decades, often referring to limited and low-production styles.

In 1939 the Cadillac V8 models were given a new frontal look with a matching textured grille. On either side were two side grilles. The engine still displaced 346 cubic-inches but further tuning had increased the horsepower output and its compression.

The Series 72 was a Fleetwood car that rode on a shorter, 138-inch wheelbase.

Production ceased during the Second World War and resumed in 1946. When it did, the Series 75 became Cadillac's largest model offered; now riding on a 136-inch wheelbase. The 346 L-head V8 engine was the same as was most of its basic styling. Just like most other automakers, a 'new' model would not be introduced for several years.

For the Series 75, this did not occur until 1950. It had a 146.7 inch wheelbase with seating for seven. Engine options included a 346- and 365-cubic-inch V8.

The wheelbase size was again increased by 1954, now measuring 149.8 inches. To carry the extra weight Cadillac increased the horsepower to 230. The following year it rose again to 250 hp, with an optional dual-four barrel carburetor version offered that produced 270 horsepower. 1956 saw another increase in horsepower, now ranging from 285 to just over 300.

Another restyling occurred in 1957 and would remain until 1965. By now, the name '75' had all but disappeared. Horsepower hovered around the 300 to 325 range depending on the engine and the setup. The long version of the Fleetwood became known as the Series 6700 in accordance with the new Cadillac naming scheme.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
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