The Fleetwood Metal Body Company was founded on April 1, 1909. Fleetwood bodies rode chassis from Duesenberg, Hispano-Suiza, Isotta-Fraschini, Lancia, Lincoln, Locomobile, Mercedes-Benz, Pierce-Arrow, Rolls-Royce and others. Although the vast majority were from Packard. Fleetwood clients included Hollywood stars, captains of industry and political leaders from around the world.


Fleetwood continued as an independent automobile body builder until acquired in 1925 by the Fisher Body Company, a division of General Motors. With acquisition by the Fisher Body company, coachwork for Cadillac began to assume a greater role in the company's output. Fleetwood became a part of Cadillac in 1928. By 1929, most of Fleetwood's work was for Cadillac, and very few outside commissions were accepted. Eventually, under GM/Fisher's directives, the company also made production Cadillac models with the celebrated Fleetwood name. The company continued in Fleetwood until General Motors moved the entire operation to Detroit in December 1930.


When the special coachbuilding tradition diminished, the Fleetwood name was used by Cadillac to designate the top of the line trim of the Series 70 and 60 Special and from 1972 Cadillac reused the Fleetwood name as a model designation for their series produced limousines.