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1974-1976 Cadillac
Fleetwood Talisman

Cadillac's ultimate in individual luxury and comfort

Image: 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman
Image: Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman interior

Cadillac stated in its 1974 sales literature that Webster defined "Talisman" as "something producing apparently magical or miraculous effects." Cadillac indicated that it did, as well.

Cadillac introduced a new model for the Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham series in 1974—the Fleetwood Talisman, identified as accessory code V4U. Quite simply, it was Cadillac's ultimate in individual luxury and comfort for four people. Personal comfort was guaranteed by providing only four seats inside to ensure each passenger the utmost in pampering.

The interior was upholstered in Medici Velour, an exclusive crushed velour fabric reserved for Cadillac's finest automobiles. The seats featured a shirred trim design inspired by fine European furniture. Padded upper door panel inserts, B-pillar trim, sail panels, and headliner were also covered in Medici Velour. Even the door pull assist straps featured Medici Velour inserts.

Running between the seats are center consoles—also covered in Medici Velour. The front console included an illuminated writing pad with pen and pencil, a lockable storage compartment for safekeeping of valuables, and an engraved nameplate featuring the owner's initials.

The rear console features a handy storage bin, as well as a holder for a vanity mirror and other items that might be necessary while underway. Both consoles also serve as comforting center arm rests.

Thoughtful touches are everywhere: a reclining back on the front passenger seat, seat back pockets, assist straps, and deep-pile carpeting with matching carpeted mats. Outside, a padded elk grain vinyl roof, special wheel discs, standup wreath and crest on the hood, and color-matched "Fleetwood Talisman" script on the sail panels.

Image: Fleetwood TalismanAdditional refinements exclusive to the Talisman are sculpted laurel wreath moldings to accent the door and instrument panels, and "Fleetwood Talisman" script on the instrument panel (shown at right). Note the sculpted laurel wreath moldings that appear above and below the script.

In 1974, the Talisman option cost $1,800 with Medici Velour. Four interior colors were provided, which included Black, Dark Blue, Medium Amber, and Terra Cotta. All were keyed to exterior paint colors. Generally, the vinyl roof color matched the paint color on cars equipped with the Talisman option, but there are exceptions to this. Not all of Cadillac's exterior finishes were available on the Talisman, either, due mostly to the limited interior color choices.

A more expensive option featuring soft and supple Sierra grain leather cost $2,450, but was only available in two colors, Dark Blue and Medium Saddle. It is reported that very few Talismans were ordered with leather, making them extremely rare today. It is important to note that the Talisman option with leather cost $363 more than a brand new 1974 Chevrolet Vega, which had a base price of $2,087!

1974 would be the only year the Talisman option would include the rear console; for 1975 and 1976, it was replaced by a full size rear seat, in response to complaints from owners of the first year cars who frequently found the rear console to be an unwanted item. The ultra luxurious Talisman option was discontinued after 1976, which would also be the last year for the traditionally-sized Cadillacs, as well as the last time the Sixty Special name would be used. Except for the Fleetwood Eldorado, all Cadillac models for 1977 would provide smaller external dimensions and reduced weight to provide improved fuel economy.

Even among today's premium luxury cars, nothing comes close to the sheer elegance and individual comfort of the Fleetwood Talisman. The amount of space each passenger had available, along with the soft, quiet ride that isolated interior occupants from outside elements, is unprecedented even in today's modern automobiles. And let's not forget the sheer fun factor of taking the trip. Take your pick: Mercedes Benz, Lexus, BMW, Infiniti...or Fleetwood Talisman. We dare say the Talisman would be the one that would attract the most attention, and it's certain that it would also provide the highest passenger pampering factor.

They don't build cars like this anymore. And we say it's a shame they don't. Whatever happened to cars that provided sumptuous, pure luxury with no excuses needed? The Fleetwood Talisman was Cadillac's ultimate in individual luxury and comfort.

Image: 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman rear consoleThe Fleetwood Talisman featured 40/40 split front seats with a center console. A separate rear console was provided for rear seat passengers, who also enjoyed carpeted foot rests, seat back pockets, assist straps, and individual reading lights. Even a matching robe and pillow were available for $85!
Image: Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman interior
Built: 1,898
Price: $1,800 Velour
  $2,450 Leather

510 - Black
525 - Dark Blue
546 - Medium Amber
548 - Terra Cotta
565 - Dark Blue Leather
585 - Medium Saddle Leather
Built: 1,238
Price: $1,788

19B - Black
29B - Dark Blue
51B - Gold
79B - Rosewood
Built: 1,200
Price: $1,813

16B - Light Smoke Gray
19B - Black
26B - Dark Blue
32B - Dark Blue-Green
64B - Light Buckskin
Fleetwood Brougham base prices—1974: $9,537*; 1975: $10,414**; 1976: $10,935.

*Reflects mid-year price increase
**Reflects initial 1975 pricing; mid-year prices increased to $10,427, and late year prices increased to $10,843