The company began business on April 1,1909 and continued as an
independent automobile body builder until acquired in 1925 by the
Fisher Body Company, a division of General Motors. The company
continued in Fleetwood until 1931 at which time General Motors
moved the entire operation to Detroit.
Long before acquisition by Fisher Body Company, the Fleetwood
Metal Body Company had established its reputation as a builder
of fine wood and aluminum auto bodies. Its built-to-order product
was sought after
by many notables both here and abroad, some of whom were royalty
from India and
Japan, presidents of Poland and the United States and some well
known American movie idols. One, built for silent screen star
Rudolph Valentino, was recently on sale for $1,600,000.00.
Unique, was the magic word that attracted the wealthy. One could
purchase a chassis with wheels and motor from the best builders
abroad, Isotta Fraschini, Bently, Mercedes, Rolls Royce or Fiat.
American makers were Duesenberg, Packard, Cadillac, Pierce Arrow
or Stutz. There were also Reading makers of the S.G.V., the
Chadwick and Daniels. The purchased chassis with engine and wheels
was shipped to Fleetwood while the purchaser met with one of the
company’s designers, usually in New York, to put onto a drawing
the customer’s ideas of what the finished design should be. Once
the plans were sent to Fleetwood where the body would be created, mounted
on the chassis and finished in the colors, upholstery, and
chosen by the new owner. The car was “unique” to the likes of
the proud possessor.
under Fisher’s directives, the company also made production
models with the celebrated Fleetwood name. General Motors most
notable Cadillac model was the “Fleetwood” until it was