In the late Eighties, American auto manufacturers still sold large, traditional luxury sedans in decent numbers. Their aging sedan consumer base fondly remembered the vinyl and chrome of yesteryear and still relished brougham-style accoutrements.
Up for consideration today are three comfortable, luxury-oriented sedans from 1988. It’s hard to lose here.
Finding a Malaise Era Cadillac in a self-service wrecking yard is interesting, especially when it has Cadillac’s not-so-successful first attempt at a cylinder-deactivation engine. Those cars don’t make me sad, though.
A nicely customized show-car Cadillac with metalflake paint and pro-applied airbrush work in a junkyard — that makes me sad, even if it did suffer from the wretched V8-6-4 engine. I found this once-glorious Cad in a Denver-area yard last summer.
Here’s a well-banged-up Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham, spotted in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard last month.
So many rusty Junkyard Finds lately! We had the Krusty Kressida earlier this week, and then a whole week of corroded Coloradans before that. Now we’re returning to San Francisco, where cars parked close to the ocean dissolve in strange top-down fashion thanks to the constant salt spray and chilly fog. I found this once-luxurious Fleetwood sedan in a Bay Area yard a few weeks ago.
Once 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.
1996 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.
I admit it: I’m suffering from a silly infatuation with Broughamness. Every American car manufacturer (and a few Japanese ones) slapped Brougham emblems on a wide variety of vehicles during the Brougham Era, which we’ll call 1968 through 1992, and the last hurrah for Detroit Broughams was the car that I found in a Denver self-serve wrecking yard yesterday.
Damn that Jack Baruth and his uncanny ability to awaken the latent spiritual needs and carnal passions sorely missing in my life. I’m talking about the love of owning a 99-cent Caddy Limo from a strong bloodline, sporting a nearly perfect black leather interior. With 25 years of historical flaws in full sight, this 3800lb lightweight is still a charmer in the Cadillac Tradition. The designation as “The Cadillac of Tomorrow” holds true, have you driven the latest poseur sedans to wear the Wreath and Crest? Torqueless V6 motors, tall buffalo butts and Euro-wannabe interiors only above that of a Hyundai Sonata. I can hear it now:
“LULZ OMG you are nuts because the CTS-V is awesome and that thing’s a POS. The new Caddies even come in a wagon with a stick! Who wouldn’t want a Cadillac that can do all that?”
My bad, they still make one coupe/sedan that’s somewhat worthy of the Fleetwood 75’s halo effect, but don’t be talkin’ that Euro-Caddy station wagon mess to me. This Houstonian spends too much time watching southern hip-hop music videos with proper American Iron getting the respect it deserves. Where else can we embrace the best remnants of Detroit in popular media? But I digress…
I have a new baby, and a prized Miata, and want to keep both. Therefore I am considering selling my daily driver, a 2002 Cadillac STS with 82K miles. In order to reduce overall monthly costs, I need something with extremely high MPG. Therefore I am considering the Honda Fit.
I like small cars. I love the Miata. However, the STS is simply the nicest car I have ever driven. It’s like being friends with a mobster. Life with the “Soprano STS” is easy: soporific comfort, isolation, lots of leather, and nonchalant delivery of raw power if/when I need it. Did I mention this is the same model Silvio drove to whack Adriana in the NJ Pine Barrens? Every time I get nervous about the Northstar head gasket, the car pinches my cheeks and reassures me “ya worry too much!!!”
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