Well... Do we have a new FOSS member???
I'm so sorry.
I thought I had it in me, but I guess I don't.
I'm not FOSS material.
After work yesterday, I went by to see the '96 Black/Black/Black Fleetwood with 59,800 miles on it. During the 15-minute test drive, the salesman TWICE offered to let me take it home overnight. So I did!
It's absolutely BEAUTIFUL. It rides like you're on a cloud. The shocks are in great shape, no bouncing. The transmission is solid.
The engine was in great shape, too. No leaks that I could detect. More power than I've felt in a car that size in several years. The injectors probably needed a good cleaning, there may have been some trash or something in the throttle body, or maybe it just needed a little tune-up. Or it could've been a vacuum-type problem, I'm just not sure. NONE of these minor complaints affected my decision.
The interior was very clean, but there was a hole in the usual place on the driver's seat right next to the lumbar control (see picture). The seats were as comfortable as any car seats I've ever sat in. They adjusted to my every mood. I couldn't ask for more.
COSMETICS: Three door dings on the passenger side, two were pretty deep puncture-type wounds, but they could be fixed for less than $250. The rear bumper had a very minor dent in it, but barely noticeable. The front chrome accent strips were blistering a little, but again--acceptable and replaceable when it got bad enough. The right headlight had a rock hole in it that had been taped over, but AGAIN, replaceable and it didn't detract from the appeal of the car.
The paint was in extremely good condition. A few surface scratches from when the old lady drove through one of those car washes with brushes. But I know how to buff those kinds of things out and glaze them over. I could have this baby looking showroom new in probably two weekends. No rock chips on the front, either.
I couldn't find a single reason not to buy the car. This Fleetwood was in as good condition as ANY Fleetwood I was going to find locally. I don't think I could have beaten it, except maybe if I found an extremely low mileage car.
I LOVED sitting in this car.
I LOVED looking at this car.
I just didn't like driving it. Too "floaty" and too heavy for the kind of driving on the roads I drive. I don't remember Dad's DeVilles feeling this cumbersome back in the 70's and early 80's. It seemed they had a lower center of gravity or something.
I think I've grown accustomed to the "Euro" feel in luxury cars. I've owned two Acura Legends, and one Acura RL. Mom had a '92 Legend that was different from mine and was the predecessor of the RL. Dad has had two Mercedes S-class cars. I felt more in control of them, and I think that's what bothered me about this Fleetwood. I didn't feel like I had control of it, or that I could avoid a hazard at a speed over 40 mph.
It wouldn't fit in my garage, either. I originally built it to hold a 20' car, but I added on to the house and connected the garage. In the process, I lost about 18" of its length. If I'm going to have a black car like this, I'm not going to leave it outside. I'm too much of a paint fanatic to let anything happen.
On paper, this car was EVERYTHING I wanted. I'm thankful that the salesman let me take it home, because I probably would've bought it if the price had been right.
Thanks for reading, I'll be interested in your comments. I'll make subsequent posts for the pictures.