Rare Rides: A Very Unique Cadillac Brougham Widebody Limousine, From 1990

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
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rare rides a very unique cadillac brougham widebody limousine from 1990

Today’s Rare Ride started out as a rather ordinary Cadillac Brougham but was thoroughly transformed for some reason by a well-heeled customer into something unusual. I’m a bit at a loss here.

At its base, the Cadillac Brougham was a “new” model for the 1987 model year. It was a confusing time at GM’s most premium brand, as front-drive cars necessarily invaded the lineup, and adopted names once used for larger rear-drive vehicles. The company’s largest rear-drive model through 1986 was the C-body Fleetwood Brougham. In 1985 the DeVille was downsized, became front-drive, and moved to the new C-body platform with other things from Buick and Oldsmobile. The rear-drive C became the rear-drive D, even though nothing changed.

Cadillac needed the Fleetwood name for an upscale “different” version of the C-body, though the name was already in use as a trim package on the basic DeVille. Thus in 1987, the Fleetwood Sixty Special arrived as a stretched C-body, and the full-size D-body offering lost its first name and became Brougham. Keeping up?

Basic options on the Brougham were few and included the d’Elegance trim package and a “Premier” vinyl roof. The d’Elegance was a tufted and extra luxurious carryover from the prior Fleetwood Brougham model. Examples with d’Elegance fitted were identified by rear-seat lamps, nice wood trim, and tufted seating surfaces that were usually coated in very shiny leather. d’Elegance was also available as a package on the Fleetwood front-drive car, for extra confusion.

Brougham was produced initially at Cadillac Assembly in Detroit but moved by 1988 to Arlington, Texas where it would remain through the rest of its tenure. Power arrived via three V8 engines for most examples. Initial power arrived via the Oldsmobile 307 LV2 (5.0L) high output V8. In 1990 a facelift brought with it the optional Chevrolet 350 V8 (5.7L). The following model year, the 307 LV2 was replaced as a base engine by a Chevrolet 305 V8 with fuel injection. Select examples were assembled as commercial chassis cars between 1986 and 1990 and used the Oldsmobile 307 LG8 engine and a TH400 automatic instead of the TH200 used on other Broughams. A 4L60 transmission replaced the TH200 in 1990.

The aforementioned 1990 facelift was the only time the Fleetwood/Brougham changed after 1980. GM changed the Cadillac flagship only because of pressure from the new-for-1990 (and much more modern) Town Car from Lincoln. A new instrument cluster appeared, along with composite headlamps, a new tail lamp design, and “more flush” bumpers replaced the prior Seventies battle bumper look. Brougham finished out its life in 1992 as the larger whale body Fleetwood replaced it at Arlington for a final run from 1993 to 1996.

In 1990 our subject Brougham was built at Arlington and then sent off to Corporate Coachworks in Springfield, Missouri. A Cincinnati buyer wanted a widebody limousine in which to conduct business and travel in utmost luxury, and Corporate Coachworks set to it. The company went out of business in 1991 but spent years creating standard and widebody limos of various marque.

Aft of the B-pillar, the company designed what appears to be a four- or five-inch width extension on either side. This necessitated some window splicing and unique panels. The width extension ran to the end of this Rare Ride, which meant a wider trunk lid, bumpers, and seriously enhanced rear track. As a result, the rear passenger area seats six adults facing one another, with room to spare for TV/VCR setup, credenza, multiple glassware storage cabinets, two ice chests that drain outside the car, and a wall-mount telephone.

The Brougham Big Boy has traveled just 34,000 miles since 1990 and is now for sale via its original owner in the tony Indian Hill area of Cincinnati. This very special limo is yours for $15,000.

[Images: GM, Corporate Coachworks]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Writing things for TTAC since late 2016 from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find me on Twitter @CoreyLewis86, and I also contribute at Forbes Wheels.

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  • Charles When I lived in Los Angeles I saw a 9-5 a few times and instanly admired the sweeping low slug aerodynamic jet tech influenced lines and all that beautiful glass. The car was very different from what I expected from a Saab even though the 900 Turbo was nice. A casual lady friend had a Saab Sonnet, never drove or rode in it but nonetheless chilled my enthusiasm and I eventually forgot about Saabs. In the following years I have had seven Mercedes's, three or four Jaguars even two Daimlers both the 250 V-8 and the massive and powerful Majestic Major. Daily drivers of a brand new 300ZX 2+2 and Lincolns, plus a few diesel trucks. Having moved to my big farm in central New York, trucks and SUV's are the standard, even though I have a Mercedes S500 in one of my barns. Due to circumstances with my Ford Explorer and needing a second driver I found the 2006 9-5 locally. Very little surface rust, none undercarriage, original owner, garage kept, wife driver and all the original literature and a ton of paid receipts and history. The car just turned 200,000 miles and I love it. Feels new like I'm back in my Nissan 300ZX with a lot more European class and ready power with the awesome turbo. So fun to drive, the smooth power and torque is incredible! Great price paid to justify going through the car and giving her everything she needs, i.e., new tires, battery, all shocks, struts, control arms, timing chain and rust removable to come, plus more. The problem now is I want to restore it and likely put it in my concrete barn and only drive in good weather. As to the writer, Alex Dykes, I take great exception calling the 9-5 Saab "ugly," finding myself looking back at her beauty and uniqueness. Moreover, I get new looks from others not quite recognizing, like the days out west with my more expensive European cars. There are Saabs eclipsing 300K rourinely and one at a million miles and I believe one car with 500K on the original engine. So clearly, this is a keeper, in love already with my SportCombi. I want to be in that elite club.
  • Marky S. I own the same C.C. XSE Hybrid AWD as in this article, but in Barcelona Red with the black roof. I love my car for its size, packaging, and the fact that it offers both AWD and Hybrid technology together. Visibility is impressive, as is its small turning circle. I consider the C.C. more of a "station wagon" by proportion, rather than an “SUV.” It is fun to drive, with zippy response and perky pick-up. It is a pleasant car to drive and ride in. It is not trying to be a “Butch Off-Roader”, or a cosseting “Luxury Cruiser.” Those are not its goals or purpose. The Corolla Cross XSE Hybrid AWD is a wonderful All-Purpose Car (O.K. – “SUV” if you must hear me say it!) with a combination of all the features it has at a reasonable price.
  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.