By on June 25, 2013

07 - 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin1996 was the last year of the Cadillac Fleetwood and possibly the last year for any General Motors Brougham edition. Can it be that The General has been Brougham-less for 17 long years now? Here’s a reminder of what Cadillacs were like when the postwar Cadillac-buyer demographic (i.e., those old enough to remember Prohibition) remained just barely young enough to buy new cars.
10 - 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThese cars were proper rear-wheel-drive, floaty luxury machines, powered by the same LT1 engine that went into the mid-90s Roadmasters and Impalas.
03 - 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNone of that fancy European-looking switch hardware on this car— what was good enough for the ’79 Sedan de Ville was good enough for the ’96 Fleetwood!
02 - 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis one is pretty well used up, but it doesn’t take much imagination to picture it cruising placidly on US 50 at 95 per.
11 - 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWill expanses of chrome like this ever make a comeback?

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58 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham...”


  • avatar
    v8corvairpickup

    I love the turn signal repeaters on the front fenders.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      An old Chrysler standby, much needed in these cars, because most drivers never notice when their turn signals are on otherwise.

      • 0 avatar
        v8corvairpickup

        My 93 Roadmaster Wagon would yell at me if I left the signal on for too long and didn’t make a turn. In other words… A warning chime would start dinging at the dingbat who forgot the blinker.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I love it. Give me Brougham or give me death.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    A local Caddy Dealer sells “Brougham” editions of every model by putting on a garish vinyl top and pimp… er chroming every outside surface.

    I think the treatment may extend to inside the vehicles, but I’ve never been inclined to get within 10 feet of one.

  • avatar

    There are people still alive who will tell you that that thing was the last real Cadillac. I’m not one of them, but I’d love to see the Fleetwood name make a comeback on a car worthy of it. But I fear that GM’s global ambitions for Cadillac will limit it to alphabet-soup model names now and forever.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I want to drive one of these so badly, just to see how it feels. I’m not sure whether I’d love it or hate it – but I am sure that it must be black or white in color for me to own one. They had a lace style wheel for a couple years which I liked as well.

    I prefer the LT1 engined non-landau. (Not sure if the Brougham trim level was available with landau-delete, but seems like I’ve seen a couple.)

    These look dreadful on the inside with cloth, like some horrible exploded Impala.

    • 0 avatar
      salhany

      I want to drive one as well, just for the experience. A couch on wheels, I suspect.

      • 0 avatar

        Back around 1999 I spent a month driving my father’s ’96 Deville while my car’s motor was being rebuilt. Cushy…leather and wood…nothing surprising or avant garde. I likened it to driving my living room. Piloting a Fleetwood must be like driving an old gentlemen’s social club lounge.

      • 0 avatar
        fozone

        I drove an 80s era fleetwood brougham for a few years (I learned to drive on it, scary stuff…) Probably not too far different than this one in feel.

        It was like piloting a seagoing La-Z-Boy. No lie. It isn’t driving as you may understand it.

        To call the steering overboosted was an understatement — you could steer the thing with a pinky. You never, ever knew which direction the front wheels were pointing. It was that isolated, almost like a video game.

        It was quiet, until you really stabbed the gas; it would roar, the nose would pitch up, but somehow you still wouldn’t move much faster. Very much like a pleasure boat, which i’m certain was the design inspiration.

        There was no body control to speak of, and my one enduring memory of the experience is nausea. Constant nausea. My passengers had it even worse.

        • 0 avatar
          86er

          I’ve never come across so many people in my life with bad stomachs.

          • 0 avatar
            Roberto Esponja

            No kidding. I keep saying that whoever states that you couldn’t point these cars straight was driving a f’ed up one, or in reality never drove one. Due to my family’s and my own professional experience, I’ve gotten to drive and appreciate American, European and Asian cars, so I’m no Detroit kool-aid drinker. These were good cars, their handicap being that their interior amenities and refinement could indeed have been better. But, they weren’t awful, as some people have tried to portray them. I’d argue that GM’s deadliest sin, by a mile, was discontinuing these in favor of SUV’s. Stupid!

        • 0 avatar
          scottcom36

          I hope you aren’t equating the LT1 with the HT4100 or HT4500. I’m sure the 260 hp LT1 moves this car just fine. I bet the steering is at least a little better than the 80′s models, too.

        • 0 avatar

          “piloting a seagoing La-Z-Boy”
          Nicely put.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Driving one is great, if that’s what you’re used to.

      You could get a Fleetwood without the vinyl top, but then it was just a Fleetwood and not a Fleetwood Brougham. You also lost the hilarious rear seat illuminated visors. The seats may also have been less plush or an extra-cost option in the regular Fleetwood.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The Brougham landau just looks untidy to me, in any colors other than triple black (which those sell for too much $). I’d love to make a second car of one of these, but I have no garage for it. Additionally, my miles per week is <50, so there's just no justification on the extra expense.

    • 0 avatar
      Slave2anMG

      Imagine driving a sleeping bag.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    I have always been strangely attracted to these. Unlike the fwd oldsmobuick cloned ’80′s and ’90′s Cadillac sedans, there’s something just unapologetically ‘Merican about these Fleetwoods. V8. RWD. Full frame. If equipped with the RPO V4P tow package, these had a 7,000 lb. tow rating!

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I don’t want one of these , looks nice on the outside i guess but my `1980 Fleetwood S & S Victoria Hearse is a better driver , the suspension is fairly taut for such an immense heavy car .

    I hope GM fixes whatever needs fixing to keep Cadillac going .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    zaxxon25

    The lone surviving tire on the back does NOT look like a whitewall …

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    Anyone notice that the drivers seat is from a Roadmaster Limited???

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Oh good catch. Wrong stitching pattern, and no crest embroidery.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        GM dropped the crest embroidery on the Deville in MY93. I can’t say I ever recall seeing it on the LT1 Fleetwoods but I haven’t seen many. I could very much see GM using one kind of leather bucket seat for ImpalaSS/Roadmaster/Fleetwood.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          All 92-96 Fleetwoods had the crest embroidered (for leather seats) or imprinted (for cloth). Both front seats had it, as well as in the rear in the middle.

  • avatar

    Sad to see her there, the identical twin to a ’95 I had years ago. Glad it’s not my “Blanchette.”

    The last real Cadillac? Hopefully not, but certainly the last Brougham. Raise a toast to our fallen comrade.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    Cruising US 50 at 95? It is far easier to envision it cruising to FL on I95 at 50mph. In the left lane. With the blinker on.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Denny was a pimp….in his mind.

    Denny started his day by putting on his requisite athletic gear. He pulled the tags off a fresh white shirt, and put it on. He made a mental note, “Gotta get more of those jams later.” He double locked his apartment, and made his way to the hangout, the stoop of a boarded-up hardware store. Mac and J were there, shouting as usual. “Kobe even said it himself!!” “AWWWW HELL no!!! Now you twistin’ words. Now you twistin’!! Kobe said they in the same room. They equal. They equal [racial expletive].” The two yammered on, segueing into the tired Lebron vs Jordan analysis. A menacing black Lexus lingered a block away, and thumped subwoofers. “This [racial expletive] creepin’.” said J lowly. The LS400 slowly departed. Denny used the nervous silence to break into a new topic. “You guys see the new Lebrons?” Mac and J replied almost in unison, “The PS Elite Crimsons? Yeah, they bad as hell.” Denny stood there target fixated in a state of shoe lust, and played with his white accessory towel while his homies talked more about hoops.

    The tinted Lexus glided past a second time. The trio stood their ground toughly, pretending not to pay it any mind while being ready for anything. It was like being in the wild. Predators going after the weak or the fled. Once their facade was deemed satisfactory, and the Lexus gone, Denny made arrangements to meet later for hoops. He departed and pimp-walked to the Bro-Ham. Under a scrabbly tree, the Brough laid in wait, it’s Rolls grill shining in the early afternoon sun. With that grill, Denny be straight. Every day he woke and found the caddy still wearing the grill, was a day to be thankful. Trick ass marks hadn’t even tried to steal it for a whole month.

    Upon starting the LT1, Denny noted the low coolant light. He popped the hood and the trunk. As he poured the full-strength Dexcool into the reserve tank, he admired the huge black plastic triangle covering his “Corvette engine”. “She got power”, he thought. For it had that Port Fuel Injection. Much better than regular fuel injection. He put the half-gone jug of coolant back in the trunk. He gently shut the lid, and it motored down tightly. Such was the character of a true luxury car. Denny didn’t feel the trunk closure system as an added gimmick. He figured it was required for the special construction of the trunk. It was probably delicate, and required a special procedure of closure. One that the Cadillac trunk closure system was obliged to handle for him.

    Denny sped his way across town to the good mall. He needed those crimson Nikes. Denny had dreams, but he was mostly preoccupied in the here and now, and embraced an illusion of having already achieved those dreams. Being “a pimp”, if you will. Denny one-arm helmed the tiller of the floaty barge. The stereo belted out his theme song, “We started from the bottom, now we here”, as bass rhythmically distorted the view through the mirrors. He accelerated from a intersection, and was faced with a serious problem. The V8 lunged into a 1-2 shudder of misfiring, and the Service Engine Soon lamp illuminated. “Oh hell nah”, he worried. He leaned forward in his sharply reclined seat, and turned off the full-volume Drake. Once the terrible hip hop was silenced, he could make out the random muffled thumps resonating beneath the big plastic Dorito chip of the LT1. “Come on baby.” The low coolant light then joined the SES light in the array.

    Denny limped the Caddy straight into the open service bay of a Pep Boys. He had no idea of the procedures when visiting one of these places. A lower tier technician was cut off from pulling in his Diamante. The other technicians all stood there perplexed, and looked at each other. Denny shut the Fleetwood off, and slid out of the seat. He brushed the disintegrating remains of weatherstripping from his bright shirt. He made sure to grab his accessory towel, as if fresh from a workout. He was quickly pointed to the service desk, where he explained his troubles incoherently.

    Technicians found the problem in short order. He would need a new water pump. Additionally, the leaking coolant had ruined some sort of Optimus Spark unit. An estimate was presented to Denny totaling roughly $1500. This news triggered a vocal and physical response, a hand gesture that would have conjoined an exclamation of “Awww shucks!” sixty years ago. Except, Denny improved upon it, exclaiming simply, “F^*K!!!”. A technician exited the counter area, and walked back into the shop to laugh.

    Now Denny was no sucker. After getting the, now dead, Caddy towed to a second service center, he was ready for a second opinion. He argued the tow bill with the driver, paid in anger, and then went inside. Thankfully, he could go to the nearby mall, while technicians sought out what was surely a trivial matter. He soon received the shock of an identical estimate. He repeated his initial reaction with his full being, as a bag of $260 sneakers hung from one hand.

    The tow truck unloaded the dead Brougham under the scrabbly tree. It would have to wait there until Denny could figure out the situation. And wait it did, for a very long time. Denny paid the $100 towing charge to the driver.

    “This FOUL.”

  • avatar
    86er

    Judging by the dent in the door, this one was a TL and not a CFC.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’ll commit blasphemy and admit that I prefer the ’91-’96 FWD GM cars over the jet-puffed B-bodies.

  • avatar
    segfault

    My late great-uncle owned two of this model. The first was a 1994 model, navy with navy vinyl roof and navy leather interior. When he heard they were going to stop making them, he traded it for an identical 1996 model. That thing was a boat. Prior to buying the 1994, he owned a Brougham with the old body style. The 1996 was the last car he ever bought.

  • avatar
    Scribe39

    These were huge. My preference would have been for the Roadmaster, with the touring suspension. Unlike the 80s models with the Olds 307 or Chevy 305 those things would move! I recall one auto mag tested a Roadmaster, with pics of a burnout . . . I think the 0-60 was under 8 seconds.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Bow tie with all the pizza toppings makes for a comfy, safe asphalt eater. I would have preferred a front drive offering of the period.


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