Curbside Classic: 1990 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance – Too Much Lipstick?

(first posted 7/4/2011)     I seem to have gotten carried away in a swoosh of nostalgia after seeing my old 89 Cadillac Brougham.  The Cadillac Broughams got a more extensive treatment with a 1987 model posted earlier today, so now would be a good time to say a few words about the last of the Brick Broughams.

I have never been crazy about the final years of this car.  Up through 89, there was a certain Cadillac-ness that those cars captured very well.  But with Lincoln’s first new Town Car in a decade, Cadillac apparently saw the need to tart up modernize the Brougham.

The big single headlights, the massive lower bodyside cladding and a 2 inch increase in ride height did nothing good for the look of this car, in my view.  I have also never been a fan of the door-mounted automatic seatbelts. One would think that GM could have spent a little money on a new dashboard and airbags.  This dash went all the way back to 1977 and the steering wheel to 1979, so I think that GM got its moneys worth out of them.  GM might have been more successful investing on the inside of this car than with the full restyle of 1993-96.

The only redeeming feature was the switch from the anemic Oldsmobile 307 to the more muscular Chevrolet 305 and 350 V8s.  I guess it’s all about your perspective:  Are you outside looking in, or behind the wheel.

But here is an example for your consideration.  This one is the d’Elegance trim level with the extra poofy seats and the vinyl roof trim over the rear door quarter windows.  (The Cadillac of Cadillacs?)  Who among us can’t find a little love in our hearts for white leather interiors?  I spied this car at my local supermarket a couple of weeks ago, and got a minute to speak with the owner as he loaded his groceries.  An older gentleman, this is one of four that he owns.  He plainly enjoys the old Cadillacs, and has had this one for about 4 years.  It could use a bit of a spiff up, but who among us couldn’t?

So the question for your consideration is this:  Do you prefer your Brougham with the extra lipstick or without?