Yesterday I was driving through downtown Bettendorf when I spotted a Nitro Green ’95 Neon on a side street. While Neons are not rare, that color is, and I had to get some pictures. Since Bettendorf has very annoying one-way streets, I parked and walked back. Well, the car was gone. I went down the other side of the block to get back to the car, and found this ’90-’92 Cadillac Brougham, parked among some commercial vehicles. This has got to be near the polar opposite of a Nitro Green Neon, don’t you think?
I must confess that I LOVE these cars. Love them, love them, love them. When I was 10-11 years old, one of my best friend’s Dad worked at Horst-Zimmerman Cadillac, and he got several of the awesome, thick deluxe Cadillac brochures. Even then, Cameron and I drooled over the Brougham and Brougham d’Elegance. Camaro, 911, Mustang, Countach? Nope, I wanted one of these.
It was drizzly and 50 degrees yesterday, so I only got a couple of shots. Perhaps sometime I’ll go back on a nice day and see if it’s still there. In the meantime, if you have Broughamitis like me,
Paul jpcavanaugh did a writeup of a near-identical Brougham here.
Is it too late for another Cockroach nomination? In my neck of the woods, these rwd Caddies are still amazingly common. They range from beatermobiles to blingmobiles to pristine little old man/lady mobiles. Although the 4.1 era is pretty skimpy, the late 70s cars and the 5.0/5.7 cars survive in pretty amazing numbers.
These last few years when you could get the 5.7 V8, they must have been a lot more pleasant to drive than with the 5.0 that was in mine.
This Cad looks pretty diminuitive when parked between the Excursion and the Express.
The Neon is still there, it just activated its Broughamoflage.
I love me some Brougham!
Like the look of these cars a lot, just so long as they don’t have tha red/maroon interior.
Amazing how low to the ground these seem today. These were considered high up in the 70s when they replaced the even lower big big-bodies. I drove a 76 FWB a couple years ago and man it felt like I was driving a skateboard.
Still, very cool with the thick padded elk grain vinyl roof, classy body side cladding, classier metal spears that sweep around to the hood and classiest yet electro luminescent opera lamps…for going to the opera I presume
I’ve noticed tha the riide height on these seemed to increase in the later years, also some sit higher than others depending on the suspension package, the ones with the trailer towing pack seem to ride higher too.
True, and they never looked right. IIRC, if you wanted the 350, you had to take the HD suspension with the huge gaps between the tires and wheel wells. If you stuck with the underpowered 307 you got the standard suspension.
Still gets me back to my ultimate idea: pick up one of these cheap and throw in a rebuilt 500 big block. Should drop right in with no problems, as the ’77-79 425 and the 80-81 368 were basically the same engine.
The ride height got bumped with the 1990 restyle. My 89 had that classic stance that went back to the 77s. I always thought that the higher ride height damaged the look of the car. I like several features of the 90 restyle, but not that one.
Much better than a shot of a neon
I Loved these Too. This Looks much like the 71-73 Devilles which sold by the 10,000 mark in NJ Alone back then…
These were “retro” before we knew that term…..mimicking the 68, in this
I first saw a Neon Neon in my hood, then Looked Back and It Too Was gone.
ive never seen one since until recently …
Don’t feel bad Tom, I suffer from the same thing.
My name is Richard Bennett, and I am a Broughamaholic.
Some of you might even recall that before I started writing for CC, I was known as “supremebrougham”
This Caddy is beautiful!!! It’s so…Broughamalicious 🙂
I am known Brougham addict. I look at a part on a car and wonder why it isn’t covered in velour or woodgrain? I need at least 3 ashtrays in car, crests, opera lamps, the works….
I almost Brougham binged there.
My in-laws used to have an ’89 Brougham. Quiet, smooth, and roomy. It was one of the few cars that had enough rear legroom for me to stretch out. Driving it was like piloting a yacht, but what a nice way to go for a cruise. It was kind of sad when they traded it for a new ’99 Taurus. Much better on gas, but it just wasn’t the same experience.
So much easier on the eyes than a Neon. Here is a $400 1981 Brougham found one street over from my home, belonging to an indifferent 20 yr old student. It was supposedly put into decent condition for him to drive to school by his father, but he lost interest when the brakes gave out. The battery went dead from disuse, and he couldn’t unlock the doors due to cold weather freezing the locks, and his solution to get into the car was to smash out the rear quarter window to unlock the doors. One look told me that it had been loved for the first 20 or so years of it’s life, and just needed a bit of TLC to be a respectible car again. There is a little bit more work to do, but at least it escaped the crusher. To me, these cars are one of the last elegant large cars put out by the General
Thank you for saving that car! Sounds like the kid didn’t deserve a car – maybe his father should have given him bus fare. I know there are cooler Cadillacs out there, but if I ever get room for a ‘fun’ car, one of these cars would be at the top of the list.
This one was an odd situation. In Ontario, a car has to be “saftied” when sold to another owner, which usually means brakes, suspension, tires, signals, and most electrical items have to work and be up to spec. This poor kid mentioned that his Dad had found the car and “saftied” it for him to use when he was at school. The pedal had gone the floor,at some point, and the kid lost his nerve, hence the sale. When I went to look at the car, it was obvious that some prior owner had cared for the car based on the clean underhood condition and clean interior/underbody, but that it was obvious that nothing was done regarding brake work ,etc., which was obviously a “blind safety” When I got the car in the barn, the brakes were found to be down to bare metal, and the master cylinder was leaking internally. I managed to do the brakes, turned the tires around so that the whitewalls were showing, and suddenly the car looked 100% better. I still have to put in a throttle postion sensor, and look at a leak in the gas tank that only occurs when full, and the car will be up to snuff, These cars get at least $500 if crushed based on current scrap prices, and it really bugs me to see them go to the boneyard when they can make a solid low $$ entry level classic car. The prior owner would have been better served to have plumped up for the brake work, and he would have had a far more interesting car than the equivalent Neon.
Ha! I just saw that listed on eBay, I recognize the pic. Funny I dont remember their ad having that much detail tho…
81? Is is a 4-6-8? Diesel? V6?
I am assuming you bought it?
I missed a $600 79 near perfect Coupe deVille d’ Elegance coupe with like 80K on the clock….
I still think about it.
It has the 4/6/8, and some former owner ran a deactivation switch through to the bottom of the dash. When I lefted the hood, all of painted metal looked cherry, like the air cleaner, rad area, etc., which made me think that it had only recently fallen on hard times. What made this car viable for me is that I already had a bit of a squirrel’s stash of parts (dash pad/door panels/manifold) that I could use to rehabilitate the car without blowing the budget. Unfortunately, these are cars that need to be bought in the best possible shape for the price, as it really doesn’t make economic sense to try and spend much restoring them, hence fairly decent examples end up being junked for $600 or so. If you could have picked up that CDV for $600, it would have blown this deal away. I picked up a yellow ’79 CDV (with burgandy D’elegance guts) for $500, but it needs brakes, a touch of rust work, dash pad, exhaust. This would usually doom this car to junk or parts status, but I hate to see them go, so will probably slowly pick away at it until it looks reasonable.
I missed an 80 or 81 CDV for a blown trans. It was an “old man” owned car from new too.. Yellow with a yellowish interior.
Young and stupid.
On the 4-6-8, I often wonder if someone could make it work properly today with the tech we have now. They’re using the all of the same basic principles for the current systems.
I think that it is just easier to snip the wire and enjoy that big, brawny Cadillac 368, while you pass all of the poor bastards with the Olds 307s.
Good point. It was the last of the Big Blocks..
You may be an Angel among Men. That car might have rolled to the scrapyard had you not caught it.
Those were the last of the “Real” Caddies.
There is something about these cars.
It’s like flying First Class on a 747 when they still had the Lounge on the top deck.
Thanks for the kind words, but they’re a little bit strong. Usually I get something along the lines of “What, another $#@$& car, or why don’t you get rid of all that old junk and get a new car”
Attached is the current $500 mentioned above. The irony was that it was originally bought new by the same guy that bought my ’81 Fleetwood two years later. Didn’t piece that one together until I obtained the histories of both cars when transferring ownership at the DMV
Elvis casket interior as found, other known as the D’Elegance option
I have never heard of any interior referred to as “Elvis Casket” until now.
My friend, that is just fantastic!
That was like the one that I missed, except white with a blue top and blue guts. I always liked these too, my old man had an 80 Eldorado and a friend of his had a 79 Coupe deVille with a factory moonroof, non d’Elegance, triple silver with leather, it was the first sunroof car I had ever rode in, they let me stand up in the center of the seat and stick my head out the sunroof, I though that was so cool as little kid.
I always liked the strip-o-warning lights this vintage Cadillac had along the top of the dashboard.
Ditto on the warning lights — it’s cool that these dashes are so similar to the ’74’-’76 design (one of my favorites). Too bad GM didn’t keep the digital clock in that upper strip instead of the cheap plastic “Unleaded Fuel Only” filler plate.
That rolling digital clock lasted thru ’79 on the non ETR-equipped stereo cars.
That “unleaded fuel only” filler plate in the clock hole always grated on me during the 4 years I owned an 89 Brougham. I knew that it was a clock hole from having driven these in the late 70s. Sheesh, people. It was a CADILLAC! Couldn’t you give us a temp gauge or a compass or something there instead of a stupid plastic plate? This was, to me, the maddening part about GM in those days – even though the basic guts of the car were quite good, they would cheap out on the most amazing things, even in its most expensive cars.
“In the meantime, if you have Broughamitis like me, Paul did a writeup of a near-identical Brougham here.”
Tom, minor correction: it was jpcavanaugh who did the CC on the Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance, not Paul. Can’t blame you for the assumption though, as it’s not a very favorable writeup! 🙂
Indeed I did. As the 90 was the third installment of a 3 day Cadillac-fest about a year ago (following a retrospective on my 89 and a proper CC on an 87), perhaps I was getting some Brougham fatigue.
“I must confess that I LOVE these cars. Love them, love them, love them. When I was 10-11 years old, one of my best friend’s Dad worked at Horst-Zimmerman Cadillac, and he got several of the awesome, thick deluxe Cadillac brochures. Even then, Cameron and I drooled over the Brougham and Brougham d’Elegance. Camaro, 911, Mustang, Countach? Nope, I wanted one of these.”
Me too I was the weird one who wanted a Caddy, forget the sports and muscle cars. I wanted luxury.
I grew-up in a family that almost always owned GM cars, including many Cadillacs.
Years ago in a conversation with the Service Manager at our local Cadillac dealership he claimed that, when designed, the STANCE of the 1971 – 1989 full size Cads had been inspired by the images of fine MAHOGANY inboard boats from the 1930’s through the mid 1950’s. (Think Chris Craft, Century, HackerCraft, etc. with a bow high attitude or angle when operating at speed and when stationary at the dock) He had learned this in a General Motors training class.
I’d never made this association before, but ever since, it comes immediately to mind whenever I see one of these fine machines still “cruising” down the interstate.
It makes sense–I immediately thought of the hood shape and even how it goes back into the windows. Speedboat style.
I bought a silver/silver/silver ’80 Coupe DeVille from a scrapyard for $150 around 15 years ago. It had a bad transmission but the next week another one rolled across the scale with a bad engine. I got the trans out of that one for $50 & ended up enjoying my ’80 for a couple years.
it had adequate power & was incredibly quiet. Other than the transmission & the rear bumper fillers, all I did was replace the stupid “Unleaded Fuel Only” plate with an earlier model rolling digital clock.
The silver leather interior was beautiful & I tried hard to find those silver taillights the feature car has but never did. There was severe rust at the c-pillar body seam under the vinyl top though.
Since I couldn’t afford to have the roof fixed (how the heck would you fix that?) I sold it to a friend for $500. He then immediately sold it to a tote-your-note car lot in Birmingham, AL. The transmission went out a few weeks after that & the car lot put another one in it. They sold the car for $2K and transmission #3 went out in it not long afterwards. They put transmission #4 in it & then I lost track of it.
It felt good to save that one from the scrapyard but I sure do miss it. 1980 is my favorite year because it has the THM400 trans & is the last year for the Quadrajetted 368 Cadillac V8. i’ve had my eye out for another 1980 CDV but haven’t found the right one yet. The next one..if there is one…will receive a 472 or 500 engine since it’s literally a bolt-in affair.
Even with a 77-78 vintage 425, those cars would scoot. I saw a guy do a fairly impressive burnout in my high school parking lot with his boss’s 77 Fleetwod. This generation was a lot smaller and lighter than those that used the 472-500. The smaller car with the huge engine would be frightening. And I would, of course, want to drive it.
There have been a couple of very nice 1980 models for sale around here. I thought that the 1980 restyle was a big improvement over the 77-79 models. The 80-81 with the 368 might be the ultimate compromise on these if you stick with the stock powertrain. The 307 cars (like mine) were attractive but slooooooow.
I’m laughing as I imagine the high school parking lot scene. “My” first burnout scene is permanently etched into my brain. I was a freshman or sophomore…in class (third floor) & heard tires squealing outside. This kid was giving this beat-up ’73 el Camino a workout in the high-school parking lot. He was in it for probably 15-20 seconds which is a pretty long time to be peeling out in one spot. It produced a huge cloud of smoke and my 14-year old self was in awe.
Anyway…. I’ve never driven a 425, 472, or 500 cid Cadillac before but hopefully I will one day. I think these are some of the most reliable engines GM ever produced. Most Cadillacs that got junked for mechanical reasons were due to transmission issues from what I’ve seen — I respect any engine that outlives its attached Turbo 400.
A friend of mine drag raced a very fast slantback Century with a 500 Cadillac which never blew up. He also installed a 500 in his Suburban tow vehicle — he liked it much better than the 454 Chevy engine all the way around.