By on May 29, 2012

After admiring the Broughamism of today’s Junkyard Find, and still awed by the Broughamic zenith represented by the ’72 Mercury Marquis Brougham Junkyard Find, I can’t help but think that the automotive industry needs to bring back the Brougham! Only thing is, it’s tough to decide which 2012 American-market car or truck would benefit most from Broughamization.
As far as I can tell, the 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood was the last Detroit-built car with Brougham badging, ending a run of at least three decades of the Big Three (plus AMC) making crypto-luxury option packages named after a sporty horse-drawn carriage.
Japanese automakers continued to Brougham it up outside of the United States; you could get a Daewoo Prince Brougham until the late 1990s, and the Nissan Cedric had a Brougham option (at least on cars sold in the Middle East) well into the current century.
No doubt there’s some Chinese or Indian car company building Broughams nowadays, but that doesn’t help us here in North America. The obvious choice for a US- or Canada-market Brougham Edition would be a leather-and-cup-holder-overload giant SUV… but I’m going to say that it’s Toyota’s time to step up and build us a Camry Brougham. Maybe even a Camry Brougham Landau d’Elegance, if they really want to be serious. Put a vinyl top on the Camry, maybe some faux-wire wheels, add a diamond-tucked red velour interior… and Brougham badges everywhere. This would put an immediate stop to the “all Camrys are boring” complaints. That’s my choice for the best 2012 Brougham. What’s yours?

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64 Comments on “Question: What Current Machine Most Needs a Brougham Edition?...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Demographics wise which most deserves it? The Camry that Murilee mentioned.

    How bout a 2012 Impala Brougham to give the W-body one last hurrah before the platform shuffles off into the sunset? The W was conceived and planned during the Brougham era, it would somehow be fitting.

  • avatar
    vwbora25

    Continue the tradition with a Escalade!

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    How about a Hyundai Genesis Brougham. I might go for it.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Either the Equus or the Challenger.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Scion iQ.

    (I mean, come on, it’s just screaming for a landau roof and wire wheels)

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      A couple more candidates: Nissan Cube or the Kia Soul. They would look great with landau roofs and wire wheels.

      I’m just not sure where the landau bars would go on those, though.

  • avatar
    iainthornton

    I can’t think of the name of any Hyundai off the top of my head, but I’m sure that one of those would be prime.

  • avatar

    You make it sound like there’s a car that would NOT benefit from brougham-ization! For example, I eagerly await the MX-5 Brougham with wood grain trim and lotsa old school chrome.

    • 0 avatar
      mr_muttonchops

      You basically described the Mitsuoka Himiko

      http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2011/02/Himiko-537×339.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Wait a minute – a padded roof on my MX5? Hmmm…I’ll start by improvising an “S” make-believe exterior brace and see how it looks. Not sure how a padded and enhanced rear top convertible section will look, though.

      It would garner lots of laughs, though.
      I’d need the clip-on aftermarket hardtop to do it up correctly.

      There is a 2005 Impala next block over that has the fake convertible roof. Take away half of it and you’d have it.

      I’m not degrading my ride, however…

  • avatar
    geozinger

    The OBVIOUS choice: Prius Brougham. With a higher content Prius Brougham Deluxe to follow.

    Jeez, people… Wake up! It’s Tuesday, already…

  • avatar
    28-cars-later

    Volkswagen! Picture a CC or Beetle Brougham.

  • avatar
    jco

    Sonic Brougham

    I’m disappointed that I wasn’t the first one to think it should be a small car wearing the name in an ironic fashion.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    why stop with just a Brougham, lets really do it up with a Brougham Landulet.

    From wikipedia..”A variant, called a brougham-landaulet, had a top collapsible from the rear doors backward.”

    Sounds to me like the perfect variation on your next Porsche Cayenne or better yet, Porsche Panamera special edition.

  • avatar
    galloping_gael

    Mini Clubman Brougham has a nice ring, as does Countryman Brougham.
    Not the Camry, but the Avalon Brougham.
    Buick LaCrosse Brougham, with deluxe ventiports.
    Chrysler 200 Brougham, with vinyl Landau roof, some sort of opera window treatment and seats of rich Corinthian leather.
    Escalade Brougham would have to have enormous tufted leather seats…

  • avatar
    doug-g

    I’m going with the Toyota Avalon as it seems to appeal to the demographics who could relate to “Brougham” and the concept.

    Then, seriously, I think Cadillac should bring back “Fleetwood” and make it an in-house, bespoke custom color and trim shop. They could do the lighted sill plates that say “Interior by Fleetwood”.

    • 0 avatar
      markholli

      I think today’s Avalon buyers are the same people who drove yesterday’s Broughams and Fleetwoods.

      Where I live, in the “country” (read fly-over state) it’s not uncommon to see a recent model year Accord or Camry with the Landau treatment. It’s funny to think that somewhere out there a business exists solely for the purpose of creating these resale-proof anachronisms.

      • 0 avatar
        elmwood

        In Buffalo, there used to be Harold’s Auto Tops, which was the source of all the vinyl-topped “Buffalo Edition” cars sold by local dealerships to the region’s large population of blue collar silverhairs.

        Want to see a modern Brougham? Head to a blue collar suburb of Buffalo, find the nearest Greek restaurant, and look in the parking lot.

  • avatar
    pk386

    They do have a late model Brougham… its called the F-150 Lariat, King Ranch, Harley Davidson edition.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    I’d pick either an entry luxury or already pseudo-luxury sedan, as those are the ones that could benefit most from classing up a bit on the prestige street cred.

    The Toyota Avalon, Buick LaCrosse, Chrysler 200, and Lincoln MKZ all strike me as cars practically built for the Brougham treatment.

    Their dealers and customers must already agree, because I’ve seen examples of all of them fitted with aftermarket carriage roofs. GM, Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota just need to start doing it at the factory and keep the profits to themselves.
    .

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Could we skip the fluffy marketing and get what people really need for modern luxury? Seat options to fit our now varied shapes and a robot driver. Those should be 21st century Brougham qualifiers.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    ItsaJeepBrougham.jpg
    I got nothing…

  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    Cadillac XTS Brougham.

  • avatar
    Garak

    Chrysler 300C Hardtop Brougham with a vinyl roof and 14-inch chrome plated wheels would be a clear winner.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    I’d say the Chrysler 200. That thing got serious lack of respect. Plus, with it’s “imported from detroit” ad, it’s targeted toward domestic loving buyers, right? The kind who would be thrilled with a brougham edition featuring vinyl roof and opera windows. And tufted velour upholstery, of course!

  • avatar
    John

    Shelby GT500 Cartier Edition.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      I never realized how sick and twisted your thought processes were until your statement kept me awake long into the night thinking up all sorts of baroquely encrusted variations on that theme. I love the way you think.

  • avatar
    Tinker

    Fiat 500 brougham, anyone? Surely I’m not the only one that believes it would be fashionable perfection.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    Rolls Royce Phantom Brougham d’Elegance Talisman Byzantium Croesus Gargantua.

    • 0 avatar
      SilverHawk

      Well played. Then have the vehicle tested on Motorweek, where John Davis always politely recites the entire vehicle name during their road tests. After the test, the poor man would need oxygen.

      Cadillac will offer a version of the XTS for the livery market, which would make a great starting point for a new Brougham.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Veyron

  • avatar
    tbhride

    How about nothing?

    For non-car people “Brougham” would have more connotations with being old-fashioned rather than luxurious. Hardly something to strive for,

  • avatar

    A Chevy Cruze Brougham Landau??? LOL

  • avatar

    Since the Brougham was originally a 2+2, it’s really a misnomer for a vehicle this enormous.

    They should really call it the Barouche-Sociable-Tarantass-Charabanc.

    And it should be made entirely of leather, brass and horsehair.

    Good DAY to you, Sir! Harumph!!!

  • avatar
    Commando

    What are you talking about when you say there are no more Broughams (and I know how to spell Brougham because I own a ’76 New Yorker Brougham). Down here in Florida, God’s waiting room, the spirit of the Brougham is proudly carried on (although maybe not in name) with new car dealers still pimping their versions on every car imaginable by adding on padded Landau roofs and Rolls Royce grills. Just this morning I saw a new (!) Honyota (couldn’t tell exactly, I was doing 65 while it was doin 30) trimmed out that way right down to the gold anodized bright work
    By the way, they are all grieving the death of Marquis’ and Town Cars so badly, the death rate has risen sharply due to broken hearts.
    Oh, wait! A new Chrysler 300C just drove by with the fake convertible top and chrome wheel opening ‘arches’.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    Chrysler 300 with the “parchment” half roof, like the old T-Birds. Or full fake convertible padded look. Someone here in town actually has one like this, with more chrome than it’s 50′s counterpart.
    Also the Fiat 500, they’ve tried almost every other version.

  • avatar
    sastexan

    I really REALLY want to figure out how to get the neon-ish opera lights that were on my ’85 Olds 98 Regency Brougham into the sliding door pillars on our Odyssey. Only issue is that I might be forced into that becoming my primary car and my wife refusing to drive it…

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Solution: Drill holes. Then wire. Apply neonish-opera lights securely. Make sure you prepare drilled holes to resist rust, or you’ll be sorry…

      Enjoy something unique! If you’re near Cincinnati, I’ll be on the lookout to see and behold and give due honor!

      Do it.

    • 0 avatar
      old fart

      I think those were electroluminescent panels, I had one across the passenger dash on one of my my Buick’s really cool but they died fast

  • avatar
    GoesLikeStink

    I like this idea of the mini-van-brougham. The Town and Country brougham. But the first car I thought of was the Camry, followed by the Passat. or maybe a Volvo

  • avatar
    redliner

    I cant believe no one has mentioned The Lincoln Navigator.

    The Lincoln Navigator Braugham Landelau De’Elegance Deluxe Mark III Ultra.

    “Upgrades” include (but are not limited to)

    - Huge button tufted leather seats with chrome inlays. (available in deep cherry red or Navy blue)

    - LED opera lights, driving lights, ambient lights, signal lights, fog lights, headlights, ohhh and that cool starlight headliner that Rolls Royce has… led lights everywhere basically (this is the 21 century after all)

    -VCF Technology (Virtual curb feelers, with computer synthesized scarping noises. Implemented through cameras or radar/laser)

    -Dual V-shaped, horizontally mounted wing style antennas.

    -Vinyl half roof with faux carbon fiber weave.

    -Chrome spoke wheels with white wall tires (available in sizes from 16 to 26 inches)

    -Industrial strength air conditioning system.

    -bespoke gold colored badges and hood ornament(s), Fender vents, door badging, b and c-pillar emblems, wire mesh grill (in horribly contrasting chrome of course.)

    -A useless iphone/android app.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I’m not sure why we had a fetish for British monarchy (inbreeding?), but let’s bring back terry-cloth and polyester leisure suits while we’re at it.

    Luxo editions have to be called something to stand out from the mid to lower trim levels and ‘King Ranch’ and ‘Lariat’ are actually good examples. One means ‘lasso’ and the other is one of the biggest cattle ranches in the world, founded by Richard King.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    It may not be a current car, but a few years ago I had a Chevrolet HHR 2LT, the fancy one! I always thought it had a stupid name, and I had a pair of Oldsmobile Brougham emblems, laying around, so I decided to use them and rename the car…The Chevrolet Heritage LT Brougham.

    Sounds much better, doesn’t it???

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    There’s actually a town near me by that name: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brougham,_Ontario

  • avatar
    Joss

    Smart Brougham.. 500 has Gucci.. Econoline Brougham – gated/hotel shuttle.

  • avatar
    Glen.H

    Which cars need the Brougham treatment? All of them, Murilee, ALL of them!

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    How about a Corolla Brougham? If they make ‘em with spoilers…


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