COAL: 1987 Cadillac Brougham – From A Curbside Classic To My Curbside Classic

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Here is the back story. I am a 34 old guy from the rusty Northeastern US. Massachusetts to be exact. I have always wanted one of these cars since 1987 when I was a youngster and my Grandfather bought one new as a retirement present to himself. His was dark blue almost black and had the dark blue velour interior. He would take me golfing with him every Sunday in it and it was quite the car at the golf course.

He drove less and less as the years past and it would sit in the garage. One day, I went over for our golf outing and he backed over his mailbox at the end of the drive. Now mind you, he was over 80 and lived in that same house for 50+ years. He stated, “those kids must have moved my mailbox again”. Come to find out, he had did that 3 times prior. Shortly after he stopped driving at my mother’s request. This was in 1997 he was 84. He died the next year and the car went to my uncle. It only had 33,000 miles. My uncle went through a rough patch and sold the car in 2000 for $1200.00. It still had less than 40,000 miles. I was upset over that but as a senior in high school, I did not have the funds to buy and store it. That brings me to my very unofficial search for my first curbside classic spotting and first article.

I stared searching unofficially last April. I was trying to pay extra attention to the streets, used car lots, and internet sites. My criteria was, 1986-1989 and blue interior. It took a while to spot my first one and it was trashed. I must have looked at 20 different vehicles. Some exteriors were white, grey, blue, and an odd red one. That was very strange indeed with a blue interior. I figured the owner must have been patriotic. I saw some when you shifted it was like an earthquake. When you tried the windows, they would barely move. When you tried to start it, it just would not no matter what I did. The owner would always say it used to start right up. There were some so rotted I saw the road through the floorpan as I drove. I started to despair. None of these could be made into a curbside classic article let alone a solid driver for less than many thousands.

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I went to retrieve some items from my storage unit in August. There I saw her! She was perfect a 1987 Cadillac Brougham. She is a light blue with matching metallic top and dark blue velour interior

I met a jovial older fellow and asked to take pictures for my article. His name was Edgar and he stated the car was for sale! It was too big for him and his wife to manage. He then took me to the storage unit to show me the car. When he open the door, I was floored. The paint is perfect. In the picture there is a layer of dust on it too. Imagine when she is clean.

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I wanted a blue interior and I got one. Her velour is perfect. There are no signs of wear anywhere on her interior. The back seats still had their plastic covers on the seat belt buckles/latches. All floor mats are perfect and original. She has 85,000 one owner miles.

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Come to find out from Edgar, it was his recently deceased fathers car. He was 93 when he died and bought the car new in 1987 and get this, it was his retirement gift! He bought it from King Cadillac Olds in Putnam Connecticut. I know this as he kept the window sticker from 1987. It has the 307 Y Code Olds engine. It states it is Gossamer Blue, with a light metallic blue top, and Federal Blue Prima Vera Cloth. Interestingly the only options were the wire wheel covers and the level ride suspension. He did not even get cruise control, twilight sentinel, or vanity mirrors. I have never seen one without at least cruise control or a vanity mirror. I guess this is what a stripper Cadillac looked like. Notice the bare chrome lever to the left of the steering wheel? This is a turn signal without any cruise control. It is so solid feeling being just a hunk of chrome. The other lever is the standard tilt wheel control.

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The sticker was $24,155.47. He also had all the keys in a strange leather envelope with the dealers name on it. I guess that is how they used to come. It also had all service records starting in 1989. I guess he had a 1973 Eldorado he preferred which is why he did not use this car much over the long time he drove it.
I offered him the amount he was asking on the spot. I had never seen anything even half this good. He asked what my plans were with her before he said yes. I told him to keep her an original nice weather cruiser. He asked if I was going to lower her, paint her, or junk her. I said no way. He stated that his dad would have been dismayed had that happened to her. I reassured him again and showed him pictures of the garage where she will be kept and the picture of my Grandpa and me in his Cadillac. At that he said yes and she became mine!

I have since driven her 200 flawless miles and love driving it. The seats are as comfy as a couch and it glides over the rutted streets in the suburbs of Boston. The performance is not barn busintg. It can be tricky merging into freeway traffic but I love every white knuckled moment. Around town the engine just has a sound about it. It is a gurgling sound and hard to put into words. It just sounds different than the modern cars out there. I scored free valet paking in Boston, a rare occurance indeed. The valet was so happy to get to park it, he did not charge me and he parked it right out front too! It beat out a new Jaguar for that spot. I bet he likes looking over the long peaked hood gleaming with chrome and guiding her down the road using the proud wreath and crest as a way point.

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She needed very little mechanically apart from a steering belt that was dry rotted. She is at the body shop now getting a polishing compound, clay bar, and cleaning wax. As well as a full shampoo of the interior. Her chrome is getting polished too. When done, I think she will look as new. I intend to cruise around Boston and bring her to the car shows.