Ever had a post you meant to write up, and it keeps getting displaced by other subjects? Happens to me all the time. There was one in particular I wrote for the old site, where I really, truly meant to write it up the very same weekend that I photographed it. But then other car shows intervened, more and more photos were taken, and further bright, shiny rolling stock distracted your author. That car finally was written up, approximately a year and a half later. But, it DID get written! And so shall today’s subject, perhaps the Broughamiest Brougham that ever Broughamed. The 1974-76 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman. Today’s subject is a ’76 in Georgian Silver with matching top and Light Antique Blue velour interior. Maximum Cadillac. Maximum Brougham. Maximum Awesome!
I have had a serious jones for the 1971-76 Cadillac Fleetwood since I was a kid. A navy blue metallic, 1/64 scale toy Fleetwood Brougham by Pocket Cars had a lot (correction: everything) to do with it.
I loved that little model Fleetwood, and its compadre, a Pocket Cars Continental Mark IV in the same blue with an off-white top. Explains why I do so many Cadillac and Lincoln posts, doesn’t it?
So, as I have previously posited, 1976 was, in my opinion, Peak Brougham. And over at Cadillac, the sky was the limit in Broughamtastic Broughams. Coupe de Ville, Sedan de Ville, Eldorado, Eldorado Biarritz (a mid-year arrival), d’Elegance packages, the Fleetwood Brougham, the Fleetwood 75 limousine and sedan…and the Fleetwood Brougham d’Elegance. And the creme de la creme, the total excess Cadillac, the Fleetwood Talisman.
1976 was the last year for the truly large, truly opulent full-size Cadillacs, though the Eldorado would continue in embiggened form through model year ’78. And ’76 was the last year for the Talisman.
The Fleetwood Talisman originally appeared in 1974. It combined the Fleetwood Brougham body with velour. Velour, everywhere. And the 1974 Talisman was the most opulent, Broughamtastic four-seat luxury automobile you could buy that year.
Yes, the 1974 Talisman was an excessively luxurious, velour-bomb of epic proportions. Of course, I love them. Many a driver accidentally fell asleep due to the cosseting plushness, leading to few Talismans surviving today…I kid. I kid. But with their yuuuge center consoles front and rear, long wheelbase, and options on top of options, the ’74 Talisman was a special car. Either you got it, or you didn’t. Those who didn’t, probably found a 47-hp MB 240D a status symbol. As for me, I’ll take the Caddy. Now where was I?
The four-seater Talisman lasted for 1974 only. In ’75, the front velour-clad buckets and console remained, but the rear seat console went away, leaving room for one additional lucky passenger. All the usual refinements, other than that back-seat console, remained as before. Talisman production was 1,898 in inaugural ’74 and 1,238 were built in 1975.
The 1976 Fleetwood Talisman was introduced with all the other 1976 Cadillacs on September 12, 1975. In its final year, 1,200 Talismans were built. And our subject car, photographed by my friend Jayson Coombes last autumn at the Gilmore Museum, is one of them. She appears to be a lovingly preserved example, and the silver over blue combination is just plain excellent. Special thanks to Jayson for taking these most excellent pictures of this most excellent Cadillac!
$15,153 translates into $66,872 now. The mainland Europeans would have told you that less is more and suggested a 280SE with vinyl seats with manual controls. Many bought them and the USA is stuck with any survivors, ruined by big bumpers and smog stuff they tell us. Meanwhile the legacy of survivors like this are regularly exported. PN will tell us they go to Swedish and German rednecks being ironic. No doubt an irony that he would have failed to predict.
Great write-up as always, Tom. These cars are so incredibly cool, so luxurious, so rare. To think the $1800 Talisman upcharge is equivalent to $7973 today!
Hahaha. I love your writing style. I agree with your assessment that the Talisman was the ultimate US brougham. One thing about Cadillac is they had an exclusive engine…the massive 500 CID V8.
“Velour bomb”. Hahaha.
Really loaded up car, the 80amp alternator was the same one that the commercial chassis and limousines used, plus heavy duty cooling. Sold from a dealer in Brooklyn NY, I can imagine this decadent smooth block of luxury cruising through the ruins of “Taxi Driver” era 1970’s NYC, maybe head to mid town for a little dinner at The Copain then a leisurely drive downtown avoiding the crazy cabbies in ther Checkers to catch a glimpse of the still new World Trade Center……..
I would sign up for that ride, with Jack driving going for smoothness rather than speed for once.
Of course I am easy, would probably also sign up the ride in the 280SE between Bagwam communes with PM driving explaining how it works better when constantly floored.
My in laws bought one new in 1976. Alas it was not treated well, inhaled gas at a phenomenal rate, so was gone by the early ‘80s. Driving it was like piloting a 36’ Chris Craft in rolling seas. The seats were much more like an over stuffed couch than regular car seats. Not my cup of tea but understood why every old school salesman had to have one.
I want to roll naked over that velour. In the garage with the door closed of course. More for your sake then mine.
The heck with leather.
Funny how we went from this extreme to the current standard that a high price car needs to be a race car for the street.
Recall that after my Pocket Cars Fleetwood met its demise, I substituted a Seville. (This was in the comments for the 1/64-scale write-up from a couple weeks back.)
They actually have those available on the Bay of E! I might just partake!
I hold you responsible, Klockau! 😁👍
About the car featured here: did the 1977s and above have the problems with the filler pieces in the bumpers, or did these also have issues? I can’t tell if this car even has the fillers; if it does, they’re in as good a shape as the rest of the car—minty fresh, straight off the showroom floor! And that color combo is really pretty!
Yes, these had the fillers right through the mid-’80s, longer on the ’87-up Broughams. A friend has a ’76 Coupe de Ville. He had all the fillers replaced after he got it, and they had so much trouble matching them to the Crystal Blue Firemist paint, they wound up repainting the whole car! But it looks stunning today!
Yes. Just yes. In every way yes. I’ve been in awe of this car ever since Jack did his TTAC article.
“An American Standard for the World”
“Final Assembly Point: Detroit, Michigan”
I like that.
Nice homage to the mighty Talisman. I own a 1976 in Commodore Blue with fuel injection, Astroroof, and now a rear seat from a ’74, with the centre console! Couldn’t help myself…I always liked the ’74 rear seat.
This car is all original, except for the fillers & tires. 42k miles. I would love to know how many Georgian Silver Talismans with an Astroroof were built? Anyone have a idea?
Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any way to know how many were built of a particulr color, and even harder to know how many still exist. I have been trying to get the Talisman database started back up, but have not gotten ti going. I need to try harder. A Georgian Silver with dark blue top and astroroof just one a first place at the Grand National Cadillac LaSalle club meet in Louisville. Happy to say it was MY CAR!
Congratulations! Ya, I have been trying to locate production detail. I even wen’t to GM Heritage Center and they told me, what they might have is all in boxes or Microfiche (Wow, if you know what that is your as old as I am)
Is this car for sale.
I don’t have a Talisman but I do have a 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham in Phonecian Ivory in very good condition under 80,000 miles. I exported it to a tiny town of 14 people in outback Queensland Australia. It looks good parked next to my Rolls Royce Silver Spirit. Its a dream to drive. I will never sell it. Its reliable, easy to maintain. I could not care less how much fuel it uses. It has fuel injection. I hate the plastic bumper fillers and will be replacing them with hand panelled steel. These Cadillacs are so solid and such good cars that to me they mark to highest point of quality of the US auto industry. I would buy another in flash. I have owned this one for 15 years.
I am in California. Looking for a 1976 Cadillac coupe Deville or Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. Silver with gray leather interior is preferable but will look at all options. Thanks for your time.
Well you are in a jolly top spot to find a Cadillac Fleetwood. Mine is Phoenican Ivory with rich deep olive cloth and Fuel Iinjection but will not be on the market for at least another 20 to 40 years depending on the precise date of my own funeral. Top car and just as good but infact in many way better than both my Rolls Royces of the same era. These cars are getting scarcer now and not being stuck on a particular colour or cloth is most wise unless you fancy chasing your tail for a decade, Good luck on your search.