The 2018 Shirey Cadillac Show: Brougham Overload!

The 2018 Shirey Cadillac Show: Brougham Overload!
The 2018 Shirey Cadillac Show: Brougham Overload!

Yesterday morning I woke up very early and was on the road by 6:30, bound for Shirey Cadillac. Why? Simple. Broughamage.

Yes, it was that time of year again, when Shirey Cadillac in Oak Lawn, IL, has their excellent All-GM show! Not only are the cars on display fine cars (no hot rods, 2017 Camaros or any of THAT claptrap!), they also have coffee and doughnuts in the morning.

Then, at noon, they grill burgers and hot dogs for the show attendees! No charge, just part of the Shirey Cadillac experience. Now that, my friends, is a sign of high character and quality people. I had to be a part of it.

Indeed, I have been for several years now. This was my fourth trek to the event. Thanks to Facebook (yes, really) and in particular, Dave Smith’s excellent American Brougham Society group, I got to know many fellow Brougham lovers.

And a lot of them turned out to be in Chicago. And in all honesty, when Jim Smith first told me about the Shirey show, he had me at ‘free food.’

This is not a particularly large show. In a typical year there will be around 75 cars. But the cars you see are exceptionally interesting.

Are you tired of going to car shows and seeing the same thing? The same red 2001 Corvettes, red restomod 1969 Camaros, red 2004 Mustang GTs? Brand-freaking-new Cobras, Hellcats and Camaro SSs? I mean, for crying out loud, I don’t care about seeing BRAND NEW CARS at a show!

Geez, I can just go to the local dealer on a Sunday, when I’m not going to be tracked by several car salesmen, and check out the new rolling stock. But at a show? Lame. So, so terribly lame.

No, my friends, I want to see unusual stuff, and the more eclectic, the better. 1977 Ford LTD IIs! 1973 Pontiac Luxury LeManses! 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood Talismans! Heck, I’d even be interested in checking out a 1971 Pinto Squire or 1977 Vega Estate, because you just don’t see them anymore. Ever.

So, the Shirey show is quite simply a breath of fresh air. Now, this post is going to be a little short on text and long on pictures. Because if I went on my usual article track, this thing is going to be 3,000 words! But enjoy the pictures! And keep calm and Brougham on!

White leather with red trim. Simply fantastic.

I simply adored this car. It was for sale, for a $5,000 “adoption fee.”

1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible. Amberlite Firemist with tan leather.

14,000 original miles. Driver’s seat was perfect, the steering wheel uncracked.

Sold new in Anchorage, Alaska. Believe it or not!

1975 Pontiac Grand Ville Brougham coupe.


This is a regular at this show. I never get tired of looking at it.

1974 Pontiac Grand Ville convertible. This was a new one to me, I hadn’t seen it here before.

It was in showroom condition, with nearly every available factory option.

According to my friend Jim Smith, the only options not on this car were cornering lamps and the adjustable pedals.

1976 Cadillac Seville. When it drove in, I thought it was black.

However, it was in fact Commodore Blue, a very, very dark blue. Factory color. This car was extremely nice!

I love the original Seville. And this one was in fantastic condition with a terrific color combination! The interior color is Light Antique Blue.

I just love all the little trim details Cadillac put on their cars in the 70s and 80s. All the woodtone trim, the small chrome buttons and levers, and Cadillac emblems and scripts everywhere!

1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight four door hardtop. Another one you will rarely see outside of an Oldsmobile club national meet. And maybe not even then.

Look at those fins, and all that chrome. I love the flying wing roof style too.

The instrument panels on ’59 Oldses were very cool too.

Like a clock mounted above the glovebox with its own Ninety-Eight identification, flanked by Oldsmobile emblems. Excellent.

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, owned by my friend Ronald Schweitzer.

This was the creme de la creme Cadillac in 1957-58, with a princely $13,074 retail price.

This is a 1957, in Jamaican Green. There are only slight differences between the years. Only 704 were made for those two model years, and they were built on a special line at the Clark Avenue Cadillac factory in Detroit.

Ron’s two Eldorado Broughams at the 2015 Heritage Cadillac show, in Lombard, IL. Yes, he has two!

I first met Ron in person at that show. He bought the black one in 1971, and has had it ever since. I got to sit in it and check it out too! It was very plush!

With barely 700 made in 1957-58, these cars are not common at shows. So it’s always a pleasure to see one. And seeing two is simply awesome. These cars are so slick. So sharp!

There were some more modern Cadillacs on hand as well. This 1991 Allante is owned by another friend, Jacob Szot.

It is very sharp in red over beige leather. As a ’91 model, this one has the 4.5L Cadillac V8.

As I recall, these were around $56,000 at introduction. Designed by Pininfarina, they were made from 1987 to 1993. A ’92 paced the Indy 500 that year.

I’ve always liked the looks of these, though most posts you’ll read about them online will bitch, piss and moan about how uncompetitive it was compared to the Mercedes 560SL. I don’t care about that GM fear and loathing, although GM probably didn’t make any money on them. I just like the looks. They’re especially sharp with the factory hardtop too. And it didn’t hurt that it was prominently featured in an episode of Married With Children, ha ha!

This blue on blue 1968 Cadillac De Ville convertible was one of my favorites.

1968 was such a great year for Cadillac. The looks, the styling, the power. Said power coming from a new 472 CID V8, that would quite happily suck the doors off of the nearest Valiant or Toyota Corona.

More on that engine: It was all new, with 375 hp and an impressive 525 lb-ft of torque. Impressive!

According to the 1968 brochure (of course I have a copy), the 472 was also “smoother, significantly quieter, more efficient and more reliable than any of Cadillac’s previous great engines-and more than 2,000,000 miles of testing have proved it.” All that, and they were beautiful too.

Oops. This was supposed to be a short post with lots of pictures, and it seems I’ve drifted over the 1,000-word mark anyway!

1971 Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham. Owned by Andrew Bobis.

OK then, let’s call it a day! I may be doing individual posts on some of these cars in the future, so if anyone would like to see more on any one of the beauties shown here, let me know in the comments. And keep the Brougham faith. They certainly do in Chicago!

1957 Fleetwood 75 owned by Bill Buckingham. Originally ordered by the Fire Commissioner of Chicago!


  1. I have no claim to being a Cadillac Man – neither income nor status would have ever supported it – but those did run close to me, unlike Lincolns and M-Bs. Two of my mother’s uncles, in separate parts of the country, were successful business types – in advertising and steam-fittings, more-divergent businessmen you could scarcely imagine. But both of them converged on their auto tastes.

    One owned a 1957 Cadillac…purchased to impress advertising clients, of course. He lost the need for it when he sold his business, and kept it around far-longer than the Earl-era excesses would convey success. He finally sold it in 1967, trading in on a Coke-bottle Olds.

    The other…bought a new one, every two years. I remember his 1961, with the teardrop vent-windows; than the 1963; then the 1965 and 1968. The sharp 1961 styling (compared to the other’s 1957) got sharper over the years; and then straight formal-Brougham.

    The 1975 killed him – a traffic accident, moderate speed, put him into the steering wheel. It snapped and stabbed him

    By that time I was working at a country club, mowing golfing tees and greens for other Cadillac drivers. While I did like, to some extent, the 1960s styling themes – and thought the 1969, with its horizontal headlights and V-prow was Peak Styling – the later French-bread body shapes, and then the cubist Seville…which always seemed to be sagging in the rear…those didn’t do it for me.

    This does take me back, though. The 1957s, especially – the styling didn’t age well in the immediate following years, but reviewing…they were…something else.

  2. Great pictures of some beautifully original/restored cars that were once fairly common, but now very rarely seen. I love the 1949 Cadillac Sedanette with the just right sized tailfins – you can really see the p-38 inspiration in their shape.

    1. I will second that. Wonderful lines and a great color.

      That car is brimming with post-war confidence!

  3. Great Show. On the Allante, I think it was a more positive influence than one remembers, especially on its European competitors the SL and the Jag XJS. Remember their situations in 1985. The MB was still sporting the 1972 styling. The hardtop coupe version was gone and it was clearly hanging by a thread. The XJS was even on a more precarious thread. Their convertible wasn’t even a full convertible yet just an aftermarket hack job in the style of the Triumph Stag. The restyle designed in 1985 was not actually produced until 1991 since they were not sure the car had a future.

    The Allante was a modern styling masterpiece in comparison. The fact it still managed a V8 with even the early 4.1 having more power than the 380SL even with FWD was an innovation that no one else was doing. If you think about it, the SLs and F type convertibles are still coming to us today thanks to the Allante air-bridge.

  4. Thank you, Jack, for a great review of the Shirey Show. It was a fun day with some gorgeous vehicles. Made it difficult to choose a favorite!

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