1938 Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine

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It’s hard to miss our fabulous Fleetwood Limousine by Cadillac, by far the largest car in our collection. This larger-than-life luxury vehicle demands your attention with its high-lustre maroon bodywork and chrome and white detailing.

All that size wasn’t just for show – with a 3.6 metre wheelbase, eight seats and a huge 5.7 litre V8 engine it was built to provide ultimate luxury cruising.

The car has a fascinating history and was one of our first exhibits to be put on display. It’s been part of our collection since 1978, only occasionally out on loan as a luxurious wedding vehicle.

The car was first registered in 1938 to a Mr. Joseph Furlong of Surbiton, Surrey, but he only kept it a few years until 1941. We’re not sure why Mr. Furlong parted with it – perhaps it was the car’s thirst for rationed petrol and the hefty wartime vehicle taxation was too much for the owner.

The next owner was the Daimler Hire Company of Knightsbridge, one can imagine that occasional use for special events meant the expense of running the car was less of an issue. Daimler Hire Limited was created in 1897 to provide chauffeur driven limousines to the wealthy and royalty and its lush interior suited that purpose well up until 1966.

From 1967 onwards the famous swinging sixties Saville Row tailor, Rupert Lycett Green owned the car. He was married to the author and daughter of the famous Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman and the couple were very much part of the Swinging London 60s scene with close friends, amongst others, The Beatles, and the Prince of Wales. Who knows what other famous celebrities travelled in the back of this car?

Key Facts
ModelFleetwood Limousine by Cadillac
Engine Size5.7 litre V8
Weight5,110 pounds
Location in museumDownstairs at the back of the entrance hall

Interesting Fact

The Cadillac "Fleetwood" was called this because the bodywork was carried out by the UK-based company Fleetwood. When they opened a United States department, Cadillac bought the company and produced all of the bodywork within a similar style.


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