: Real body length of '78 Deville & '96 Fleetwood



pompste
06-07-10, 02:46 AM
Sometimes i wonder about the official listed body lengths of the longer Cadillac`s.

For instance today i saw a pristine '96 Fleetwood parked alone away from the masses at a local retail store.I drove my '78 Deville today and parked right next to the Fleetwood-----i wanted to see if there was really any difference in the lengths of both rides.I know the '96 is listed at 225" and the '78 is listed at 221".
I lined up my '78 so the tips of both front bumpers were EXACTLY even horizontally,i had to get in my ride 3 times and nudge it forward inch by inch to get it right.When they were both exactly lined up,i looked at the rear bumpers of both vehicles----my '78 was actually sticking out further,about 2 inches longer,than the Fleetwood! This did not seem right so i triple checked both front bumper alignments and they were dead on lined up.What`s up with that?
I noticed as they were lined up that the hood & trunk lid on my '78 is really noticeably longer than the hood & trunk lid on the '96.

I made the same comparison last year with my '95 Deville and a different '96 Fleetwood in a different parking lot.The '95 is listed,rounded off at 210" and the '96 at 225".I again meticulously lined up both front bumpers and then looked at both rear bumpers-----the Fleetwood was longer----but it sure did`nt look like a 15" difference--it looked much less than that.

I had my girlfriend with me both times and she agreed that the front bumpers were exactly lined up.We were both 100% clearheaded--neither one of us drink or smoke at all.

Of course the only true way to know would be to actually tape measure the bodylengths------but based on the very accurate sight comparisons we made---i do sometimes wonder if the official listed bodylengths are really true or not.

deVille33
06-07-10, 09:54 AM
Perhaps the car you chose for the comparison had collapsed energy absorbers. 2c.

77CDV
06-07-10, 02:06 PM
Interesting. I've never parked my '77 next to a 93-96 FWB to check the difference. I do know that with the '77 in the garage, I have room to walk around the back of it with the garage door closed. With my '69 FWB (listed officially at 228" vs. the '77's 221"), there is zero room to spare between the '69's back bumper and the garage door.

CBodyFan
06-07-10, 03:16 PM
Remember that the LOA is measured from the point that sticks out furthest at each end. This includes bumper guards, if standard. If bumper guards were optional in 1969 but standard in 1979 the official length would differ because the bumper guards would not be included in the LOA measurement of the 1969. And many Cadillac models have a grill that is pointed, thus the center of the bumper protrudes further out than do the bumper ends. You could line up the bumper ends perfectly between two cars but one would be officially longer because the grille is pointier. You have to measure the car from a birds eye view to get the total length.

Also, when the original federal bumper standards came in to effect in the 1973 cars grew tremendously in overall length yet the bodies stayed the same size. This was because the bumpers were mounted out away from the body rather then being snugged in like in the 60s. The body didn't grow but the length did. By the 90s, with relaxed bumper standards, there was less space between the edge of the bumper and the grill or tail lamps. On many new cars there is no bumper to speak of, the grill is right out there ready to take on any parking lot ding with no protection.

CBodyFan
06-07-10, 03:25 PM
Interesting. I've never parked my '77 next to a 93-96 FWB to check the difference. I do know that with the '77 in the garage, I have room to walk around the back of it with the garage door closed. With my '69 FWB (listed officially at 228" vs. the '77's 221"), there is zero room to spare between the '69's back bumper and the garage door.

This is a good example of what I am trying to explain. The 1969 FWB has a 133" WB but is only 7" longer than the 121.5" WB 1977 model, which has a noticeably trimmer body. The bumpers are much further out on the '77 which explains why the '77 isn't a full 11.5" shorter.

outsider
06-07-10, 03:51 PM
I'm not sure where you're getting these measurements but if you look at motorera.com they have actual lengths and wheelbase measurements. that should answer your questions.

sven914
06-08-10, 12:48 AM
I've checked several sources and they all say the '78 is 4 inches shorter. The '93-'96's come in at 18.8 feet long where the '77-'92's are only 18.4 feet.

One way to confirm for yourself (and I might try this) is to find a last gen in a parking lot and mark the pavement at each of the cars most protruding points with a paint marker. I would use a ruler or yardstick to accurately mark the point's position on the ground. Once the car leaves, you can measure the space to see exactly how long the car is.