As many of you here on CC have guessed, I have a thing for Broughams. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the 1980s and seeing them reminds me of my childhood. Maybe it’s because many relatives and family friends had these landau- and velour-bedecked gunboats in my formative years. Or maybe it’s because one of my most favorite childhood toys–nay, my most favorite childhood toy–was a dark blue Tomica Fleetwood.
Even before I could read, write, and ride a bicycle without jumping off of it (I could get it going, but didn’t know how to stop), I was into cars. To this day, I have crystal-clear memories of my dad’s 1979 Pontiac Bonneville company car, a car he got rid of when I was one or two years old. So this affliction has essentially been a lifelong affair.
So from an early age, my parents bought me 1/64-scale toy cars. So did my grandparents, aunts, uncles–you name it. Ertl, Majorette, Hot Wheels, Zylmex, Matchbox and others all found their way into my car cases, and I still have the ones I didn’t destroy.
I was a destructive kid. Models that I would love to have today were unceremoniously and intentionally smooshed, crunched and stomped on by my own little hands and feet. It didn’t even matter if the cars were worn out or in nice shape. One day, I got it into my head to smash some cars in the windowsill, with the window. Boy, did I get in trouble for that. I have no idea what I was thinking at the time!
But I digress. Two of my earliest models were by Tomica, better known as Pocket Cars in the U.S. in the ’80s. They were a little smaller than the usual Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars, but they were a lot more detailed. And my favorites were a blue Fleetwood Brougham and white-over-blue Continental Mark IV.
I took them everywhere–school, car trips, wandering around the yard when Mom was working on her roses. According to my mother those two were always in my mitts, and if I tripped and fell, I would continue to hold on to the cars, so as not to get them scratched. Apparently I had no concern about getting bumps and bruises on my own person.
Despite the love I had for them, they did get pretty banged up, racking up as many miniature miles as they did. But I still have both of them today. The Caddy was pretty paint-skinned by the time I entered junior high, so about fifteen years ago I repainted it in light blue metallic. And as you can see from the pictures, I still have it today.
In the late ’90s I discovered eBay, and bought quite a few vintage 1/64-scale cars, including the mauve Brougham you see here. I also got a Cadillac ambulance, to supplement my also well-worn example. I still have my original ambulance and the Mark IV previously mentioned, but those are mini CCs for another day. So now you know how I got this way!