By on December 9, 2014

12 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOnce the price of crude oil quadrupled in 1973, even your Cadillac-buying demographic felt some pain when contemplating the thirst of a Fleetwood. Still, the biggest Cadillac (not intended for chauffeur operation) projected the sort of majesty that rich (if elderly) car shoppers sought during the Middle Malaise Era. I spotted this battered example of the breed yesterday in Northern California.
10 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhile the quarter-panels, floors, and fenders are rust-free, the areas of the hood where rainwater (or maybe ocean spray, if the car lived within a couple of blocks of the Pacific) collected picked up some rot.
06 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinFisher and Fleetwood, working together.
01 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car would have been perfect for Spec Land Yacht racing.
09 - 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin500 cubic inches, 190 horsepower. Let’s not dwell on that.

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89 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1976 Cadillac Sixty Special Fleetwood Brougham...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I think what you’ve got here is a 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood, the first of the “downsized Cadillacs” The ’76s were still full sized…

    http://automotivemileposts.com/cadillac/images/1976/cadi1976fullline.jpg

  • avatar
    philipbarrett

    I had a ’76 Phaeton. Loved that car, although eventually every single piece of electrical not directly involved in the engine running died.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Lie2me beat me to it. That’s a downsized ’77. This is a ’76:

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/review-1976-cadillac-fleetwood-sixty-special-talisman/

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Hence the Talisman name right, they knew it was gonna go down next year.

      PS. That article is what got me to sign up for this site, it was the first thing I read here.

  • avatar
    319583076

    I wonder what this series will look like 38 years from now? This article might feature the Lincoln Navigator Jack reviewed yesterday.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    I don’t care what it is. I need this for Spec Land Yacht, and I’m gonna need the chandeliers on the fenders as well.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Man, I really hope this Spec Land Yacht thing gets off the ground. Perhaps as a Class D in LeMons?

      Also, that is one serious speed hole in the hood.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        THIS is a “land yacht” the ruler by which all other land yachts are measured

        http://history-auto.info/images/model/1240/5231363284356_history-auto.info_cadillac-fleetwood-sixty-special-brougham-d-039-elegance-b69.jpg

        1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham (no one ever referred to them as “Sixty-Specials”)

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I like the Ambassador recommendation in the article. Be a little different!

        Though if I’m going old boats, I’m probably going in a Ninety-Eight.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      Spec Land Yacht racing?

      Lol

      If anyone has ever driven one of these big bastards at high speed, it really IS a chore. I’m surprised to see anyone wanting to run these big barges at high speeds. Where’s the appeal in that??

      I mean excessive body roll. Skinny tires. Mushy suspensions. Brakes, you ask? What brakes??

      “I’m giving her all she’s got captain!!”

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “I don’t care what it is. I need this for Spec Land Yacht, and I’m gonna need the chandeliers on the fenders as well.”

      I’m the Duke of New York – A Number One!

      http://s3.vidimg.popscreen.com/original/17/eGlpYTVxMTI=_o_escape-from-new-york—the-duc-car-1977-cadillac-.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      AoLetsGo

      Spec Land Yacht racing would bring back some memories. While in high school in 76-77 I valet parked at two upscale country clubs and we raced these boats around the back rows. Also a word of advice – never stiff the guys that park your car on a regular basis, it is amazing the damage we could do to a car that would not show up right away. For example did you know that if you threw it in park going 25mph a few times the trans would not start acting up until a few weeks later. Not mature or nice – but what can I say we were 16 years old.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    My then girlfriend’s father had an early 70’s Sedan de Ville. For some reason its steering wheel was slightly off centre. Have since learned that this was common among that type of Caddy.

    During the 70’s my old man had 4 Lincolns and 2 Caddys, all leased new. The Lincolns were in fact superior in every way. He switched to Cadillac in the late 70’s when Lincoln ‘downsized’ and finished the decade in a Fleetwood.

    Back then still had cache. He was a successful ‘entrepeneur’ in his mid and early 40’s at the time and they were not considered as cars for the older crowd but for the successful.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      I agree, most 70s Lincoln models were superior to most 70s Cadillac models. BTW, the Caddy was ‘downsized’ for 77 while the Lincoln soldiered on as a full size car until 1979. Google ‘1979 Lincoln Town Car’ if you want to see the last of the Murican land yachts

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        It was the changeover from the Mark IV to the Mark V. Mark V was more square, did not seem as large and just did not have the presence of the Mark IV. Switched to an Eldorado and then for some reason a Fleetwood, which was probably smaller than the Town Car.

        All told in the 70’s he had 1 Town Car, 2 Mark IV’s, 1 Mark V, 1 Eldorado and 1 Fleetwood plus prior to that a Le Sabre and a T-Bird.

        In retrospect, I now realize why I have squandered so much money on autos!

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        There’s few cars that look more massive than a pre-downsizing Town Car. Even the coupe looks like a mammoth Duesenberg compared to a 77 Cadillac.

        Actually, looking it up, the 70-79 Continental had a similar wheelbase to the short wheelbase Duesenberg J. Which must mean a long wheelbase J is about as long as a bus…

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          I actually took my driver’s examination in a Town Car of that era. Black exterior and the red velour interior.

          Think that I passed the minute the examiner sunk into that rich bordello interior.

          And yes I could parallel park it using one finger on the steering wheel.

          • 0 avatar
            Panther Platform

            There is nothing like driving a 70s Town Car. You are incredibly insulated and removed from the road and the sheer massiveness of the beast is unbelievable. Easy on the turns!

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            5300+ pounds! Still not as much as a current day Phantom, but more than a S Class by a good amount…

  • avatar
    dolorean

    My grandfather was a Lincoln man, by God! and wouldn’t sit in a Caddy regards of his best friend driving it. He always told me his ’72 Mark V coupe with Landau roof and 460 V8 was the real deal. Caddy’s were for pimps and Mafia bosses.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    The cheap plastic awfulness of that POS says GM in so many ways.

    It’s amazing how much GM got from their one remaining engineer…buttressed by their 5,000 MBAs and associated business majors.

    Not to mention the unmatched talent of the UAW.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Actually the 1977 Cadillac was a very good car. GM went out of their way to prove that this first round of “downsizing” were every bit as good as their predecessors. By comparison they were quick, agile, well built automobiles with a lot of attention to detail.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        The basic platform for these cars was quite good for the time. The problem was that, by 1977, it was painfully apparent that you could get just as much car by buying a Buick Electra or Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight. In the long run, these cars accelerated Cadillac’s downhill slide.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Yep, and that was great for Olds and Buick, but not so good for Cadillac.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            It was really in the next round of downsizing (1985 C-body) that the lines between Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillac became so blurred that it was nearly impossible for the average person to tell them apart

        • 0 avatar
          SCHONHAMMER

          Our family had the misfortune of owning a 77 Coupe Deville in bright Naples yellow.
          I enjoyed taking trips in the land yacht and at the time dreamed of owning it as I sat in those rear leather seats.
          However, It is one of the reasons (the other two being a 73 VW type 3 Squareback and a 1975 AMC Hornet) that I went to school and immersed myself in all things automotive.
          It must have left us stranded a hand full of times and always seemed to have some electrical issue with the headlights or automatic climate control
          In later years I received my driver’s license in it and I definitely had some low-grade fun with that somewhat torquey 425.
          Sadly, it was junked when the front floor pans incorporated a Flintstones ventilation system :-)

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Believe that your ’73 would have been a Type 4.

            We had both the Type 3 (’67) and the Type 4 ’73) in the ‘shooting brake’ style.

            Although well thought out the Type 4 was a bit of a stinker and largely put the family off VW’s despite having had at least one of them in the driveway since ’62.

            The changed the headlights partway through the production run.

        • 0 avatar
          olddavid

          My memory of 1978 is that when a customer had a credit app called in on a Cadillac that was turned down for budget, it would be re-submitted with a Bonneville or a 98 on the line two days later. Usually the $3-4000 less financed would allow the contract to fly.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    500 cubic inches, 190 horsepower. Let’s not dwell on that.

    Torque, torque, torque – diesel like torque. I can remember when Hot Rod Magazine did a feature on these engines in the late 80s/early 90s to loudly proclaim they were not boat anchors but had tremendous potential.

    • 0 avatar
      doctorv8

      Let’s also not dwell on the fact that there was no 500″ motor in the downsized 77s.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      In 1970 that same 500 engine produced 400hp and 550lb*ft torque The 425 pictured here produced a 180hp and 320lb*ft torque

      • 0 avatar
        doctorv8

        Of course the ’70 model was rated at 400 gross HP, while the 180 HP ’77 was a more realistic SAE net number. Even though the 70 had higher compression, it was probably making no more than 275-300 net HP in ideal conditions.

        I have a ’71 Mark III and a ’72 Mark IV, and while the 460 went from 365 gross to 208 net HP, the loss in performance was not quite as bad as those numbers would indicate.

        • 0 avatar
          chicagoland

          Thanks for pointing out the age old misconception of Net versus gross HP. .

          “Lie to Me”, please look this up. The 400 hp rating was unloaded, while later was more realistic ratings based on a loaded motor. Don’t assume that there was some “Sudden” hp cut, as some tire kickers have done for decades. If so, why did the net HP car get only slightly lover 1/4 mile times?

          Again, look it up.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Part of the drop is that accessories were horribly parasitic back in the day, like those good old “Harley Davidson” 2 cylinder A/C compressors. Apparently another part was poor factory exhaust systems, and then of course you have the obvious compression drops and application of poorly designed emissions equipment.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Those old gross HP ratings really were a very best case fantasy in many cases. A good example is the 390 in my ’63 Thunderbird. That 300 gross hp performs like 160 net.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            That might partly be because of the mammoth weight and general ponderous of a 60s T-Bird…only beaten by the “literally just a Lincoln Mk IV with new ends” 72-76 T-Bird.

            The ’64 with the 300hp 390 took 11 seconds to get from 0-60!

  • avatar
    stephenjmcn

    Ok, so it’s the wrong year but…..

    “Cadillac Sixty Special Fleetwood Brougham”

    THAT is a proper f**king name for an automobile.

    Up yours, “CT6”.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I gots (like that?) no experience with any 76 (or 77 or what not).

    HOWEVER, a very good friend of the family had a 79 Fleetwood that he had since new. He drove this bastard up until the late 90’s!

    It was actually fairly reliable. Sure, it was old, but I always thought it was pretty cool. Triple blue (had a quarter top).

    The car was in great shape, cold air, etc., WITH the exception of those fiberglass tail light fin thingies. Lol

    “You oughta get those replaced, Fred.”

    Fred (owner): “Why?”

    My heart still yearns for a minty, low-mileaged Fleetwood Talisman. (early 70’s, IIRC?)

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      You mean the sought-after floating tail lights that after about 7 years just floated in mid air with no obvious means of support?

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        Lol, cracks me up thinking about it.

        The fiberglass was all smashed in. Where it wasn’t damaged, the paint on the extensions (if that’s what you want to call them) was all faded, too. Wires just a danglin’.

        At least there wasn’t any newspaper all smashed in as filler material, which I’ve seen before.

    • 0 avatar
      doctorv8

      raresleeper, I’m going to sell my black ’76 Talisman that Jack wrote about on this site. It’s not low mile, but it is very nice. LMK if you’re interested.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Agreed…this is a downsized ’77. The ’76 were MUCH larger than this.

  • avatar
    kmoney

    Anyone know what the “auto” function does on the cruise control?

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Yup that is a 77. The 425 was a hell of an engine and we routinely saw examples with 200-300K at the auctions and behind dealerships purring away as if they had 50K. One particular car was a 1978 light yellow coupe from Virginia with 208K miles that looked like it rolled off the assembly line a year before. It would lay rubber on command and it had the not so common heavy duty ride option which included a rear sway bar and beefed up springs/shocks and larger front bar. That car was a dream to drive and it took us a year before we caved in and actually put it out for sale on out used lot.

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    It looks like some of the interior electronics were taken, along with the left front sidemarker, tailfin spacer and I suspect a Continental kit, though that could have been removed earlier.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The 76 was the last of the full-sized barges

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/review-1976-cadillac-fleetwood-sixty-special-talisman/

    The talisman was the uber-luxury version with a huge for the era center console and more rococo upholstery and trim. The Maybach of Fleetwoods.

    • 0 avatar
      Whatnext

      Cadillac Sixty Special Fleetwood Brougham Talisman.

      Now that is a name. It still boggles my mind that the 1974 version basically turned this mammoth car into a 4-seater with front and rear consoles.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    So, did ya get any more shots of the black Eldorado coupe next to it?

    Weird that there’s all that rust on the hood sides and none at all anywhere else, like for instance the edges of the deck lid. I wonder if it had a battery blow up at some point….

  • avatar
    GoesLikeStink

    I had a 76 DeVille with the 500Ci/8.2 liter V8. Got it in 94 for $100. By far the best vehicle value of my life. It was probably the best running used car I have owned. Everything worked, the lights came on if I went in a tunnel, the eight track worked, the electric antenna worked, hell even the dash clock worked! Sadly I moved to the bay area and had no where to park it. And it looked like hell on the outside due to my sky blue rattle can paint job. But I really miss driving that car.

  • avatar
    walleyeman57

    I spent quite a bit of time in the back of a ’76 two door (coupedeville?). This was my dad’s statement that he had arrived. He worked as an outside salesperson for 30+ years when he was forced into becoming a broker (commission only) versus a company man. In a few short years his income doubled, he could buy and drive what he wanted (no more Catalina’s with dog dish wheels). Driving crazy miles in this boat was just like sitting in a Lazy Boy. I was 18 at the time and for the most part this car was off limits to me (“take your mom’s car”).

    Red with white leather and the 1/2 Landau top.

    I was allowed to take it to the prom with the promise of no smoking or drinking in it. A month or so later my Mom was in the back seat and noticed that there was a small footprint on the inside of the little window in the back seat-for the life of her she could not understand how this got there. My dad gave me an understanding look-he knew.

    My mom was not buying into the whole energy savings Jimmy Carter Was pushing. She claimed that to do her part she would put the make-up mirror on low rather than high.
    Thanks for the memories. RIP Dad.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    The thing I remembered about the ’77 and later GM B & C bodies, compared to the previous full size versions is that 3 people could no longer sit abreast comfortably whereas in the older versions it was possible. The big FoMoCo full sizers picked up a lot of additional sales in the ’77 and ’78 model years.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    I had an 80 with the 368. Great motor. Comfortable car, rode well, braked well. Four u-joint drive axle, rear light indicators in the rear of the roof so you could check bulb status every time you used the parking lights or braked. Leather wore very well for 100k…. but that is then the wheels fell off and it all went to hell. Electrical issues galore then ball joints, tranny and header pipe failures.. Junked with just under 100k. Body was fairly clean too.

    • 0 avatar
      Whatnext

      The management of Cadillac in the Eighties were idiots. First jettisoning the basic 368 for its nightmare V8-6-4 cousin and then replacing it altogether with the disastrous 4.1 litre selfdestructomotor.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Pass on this spirit of 76… Still prefer silhouette of 75 Seville. Should been available in more than practice silver by then.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Shoulda bought one in the early 80’s when I was starting out. Dad argued that a massively depreciated Cadillac had a $1,000 price advantage $1500 purchase price as I recall, over the 75 Corolla I ultimately bought. It would require a couple of years of driving to make up for the price difference back then at maybe $1.10 per gallon and 13-14 mpg as opposed to maybe 23 for the Corolla. (Japanese cars did not get such great mileage back then, especially Toyota).

    I guess the kicker was the risk of unreliability in a Caddy. The quality differential between Toyota and Cadillac was pretty wide in those days, although not nearly so bad as other American cars.

    Knew a guy who bought a 1970 Eldo 500 ci convertible around the same time. Rust-free Arizona car. It was kind of a hoot, since it was diametrically opposed to the whole trend at that time. He kept it until the early 90’s until the thing kind of came unglued as big Cadillacs tend to do. When he sold it, in the early 90’s as I recall, he was astonished when a bunch of Swedes from Gothenburg Sweden who could barely speak English, inspected the car and shipped it back to Sweden from Arizona.

    In retrospect, they knew exactly what they were doing. a 500 ci Eldo convertible must be a sensation in Sweden.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Body by Fisher Toys? That explains many things.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    “Mr Know it all”, this is not a pre downsized ’76 and for sure is not a 500 ci motor. This is the real downsized 1977 version, and was called ‘small’ by hard core old timers, in fact some still say so. Did you assume it was from the build date tag?

    I do get tired of the “Look at the Malaise era car, how did people live back then” texts of some of these finds.

    Yeah, it was the Dark Ages and we all drove ‘huge cars’, [sarcasm]. But look at today’s highways, all the even bigger and not so ‘sporty handling’ trucks used for commuting.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    So, is that the “Zincrometal” Cadillac used to brag about in its brochures of the times?

  • avatar
    gottacook

    With all respect to the editors: How long is it going to take until the headline is corrected from 1976 to 1977?

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    raresleeper, I’m going to sell my black ’76 Talisman that Jack wrote about. It’s not low mile, but it is very nice. LMK if you’re interested.

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