1972 Fleetwood Brougham: Black Beauty

As I type this, I am sitting on my couch due to extreme cold weather here in the Midwest. It was minus 23 degrees this morning and is now about -9. So I got a ‘snow day’ of sorts, though it isn’t snowing, and actually has been sunny all day. But when it’s cold enough outside to freeze a bottle of vodka, it’s prudent to stay inside.

So after making a pot of coffee, working on a C. J. Box novel and watching TV  most of the day, I decided to start looking at old cars online. As is my wont.

I ran across a good number of potential writing subjects but this was the one that really pushed my buttons.

A black over beige 1972 Fleetwood Brougham. Looking mighty fine and majestic, as most vintage Cadillacs do. The 1971 to 1976 Cadillacs have always been a favorite of mine.

As most of you regular readers will know, since I’ve done probably 8 to 10 posts on them in the past.

So what’s another one going to hurt, haha! What can I say, I’m a Broughamoholic I guess. This fine specimen of Cadillac from the year of Our Lord 1972 is currently on the electronic Bay.

20,750 Fleetwood Broughams were built that year, with a base price of $7,637 each. To put that into perspective, a 1972 Chevrolet Biscayne 4 door sedan with a six-cylinder engine had a base price of $3,074.

But of course the Fleetwood Brougham was Cadillac’s flagship, with the exception of the Series Seventy Five limos, and the price reflected that.

Truly maximum Brougham for that year and this example is definitely impressive 47 years later. You can check out the auction here, with even more pictures.

Until next time folks, keep calm, keep warm, and Brougham on. Spring-and car show season-is on the way!

17 Replies to “1972 Fleetwood Brougham: Black Beauty”

  1. John C.

    Check out that extra filigree in the I believe fake wood. Fantastic. Cadillac did have an issue in the years where their styling got more flamboyant what to do with their more formal models. They seem to handle it with stately colors and more built with leather. Remember this was the time when car payments were first stretched from 24-36 months. That opened Cadillac ownership to a wider audience. You can see certain deletions were made so GM could take advantage of what must have been the most profitable years ever, when the high volume was taken into account.

    You wonder how much they understood by 72 that the younger coastals were gone but on the other hand there were a lot of the greatest generation into their prime earning years. It seems so key to know who you are designing for.

  2. Carmine

    I’ve always liked the 72’s, they have something that looks “right” about them compared to the 1971’s, the differences are very slight, but everything they did to these cars for 1972 just looks better. Even though these are huge, they are really good looking before the big bumpers, I like the 73-76 cars too, but these have a “big but lean” look with the tighter bumpers. The thinner padded top helps too, later d’Elgance’s at such grew thicker padded roofs.

    The 1971-1972 Fleetwoods also have that unique 2 year only center “stretch” section between the doors enhancing al the “personal limo” styling touches that these Fleetwoods have, like the semi blanked out rear quarters and slightly smaller rear window and of course, making their 2nd year appearance, the opera lamps. The individually framed windows also pay respect to the original Sixty Special.

    Inside these had all the classic “Big Caddy” touches like the rear foot rests and thicker seat padding, along with the usual compliment of ashtrays and lighters and gangway and emergency exit illumination. I do like the later 1974 and up dashboard with the long strip of warning lights across the top of the dash a little more than this dash.

    Overall a gorgeous car, these have a great imposing look of authority to them to , they’re like the Don Corleone of cars. The Broughamfather.

      • Felis Concolor

        For a couple years, Hyundai’s Equus featured reclining rear seats with pop-out footrests. However, in a move best described as “fire your market research department” they only shipped the SWB version to the USA, which rendered the reclining seats useless

    • pdq

      Some neighbors of ours had a ’71, a ’73 and a ’75 Fleetwood when I was growing up. All of the Fleetwoods from ’71 – ’76 had that extra wide B pillar which is what gave the rear seat passengers in the Fleetwood an extra 4″ of legroom (I think it was 4″) over the regular Sedan deVille. Fleetwoods in that series also have the fold down footrests for the rear seat passengers that folded down from the backs of the front seats. I also liked the wiper controls up on the drivers door and the tilt/telescope steering wheels that eventually went away when airbags became a thing (the telescoping aspect I mean).

      Because these were top of the line, I’m inclined to think many of these came with Twilight Sentinel AND the Auto-Dimming high beams. Auto Dimming was probably great in rural areas, but it wasn’t worth a damn in residential neighborhoods where the headlights reflected off parked cars, fences, you name it, confusing the Autronic Eye. It was sorta like that esurance commercial with the “haunted house” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA1nhSujbz4

      My favorite of this series was the ’73’s which had a 5 mph front bumper but 2.5 mph rear bumper. It was also the last year of the fixed shoulder belts that could be tucked out of the way up against the headliner when not in use.

  3. CJinSD

    The vendors have that Sixty Special listed on their website for $35K. They also have a restored 1973 Plymouth Duster for $40K. I wonder why the Plymouth held its value so much better. I had a friend who was into the Buick Electra 225 version of this car. He had a couple of them when we were in high school, the second one a low mileage, garage kept, one owner 1972. They were both four door hardtops. Did Cadillac make these sedans because the extra six inches of wheelbase was a bridge too far to go pillar-less?

    • Carmine

      The Fleetwood had been pillared since it returned to a longer wheelbase in 1965, sort of intended to bridge the gap between the hardtop “junior” sedans like and big limousines. The equivalent to those Electras would have been the Sedan deVille, this sat a rung up on the ladder.

  4. Tom Klockau Post author

    Really? Both those prices are ludicrous. A friend of mine regularly buys Scamps and Darts in Washington, they are not 40K cars, unless Elvis owned it. Like that black ’78 New Yorker Brougham I wrote up last year. It’s sold on eBay for about $7,500 then some flipper bought it and immediately listed it for 21K. Also ludicrous. Unsurprisingly it hasn’t sold over the last 5-6 months.

    • CJinSD

      It’s a Duster 340 with A/C and front disc brakes. OTOH, it is an automatic with no gauge package, no sunroof, and no folding seat. $40K seems rich, but we aren’t talking about some tired beater either. It would be nice if you featured some Valiants here. I guess that’s not where your passions lie though.

  5. Tom Klockau Post author

    I did do a ’60 Valiant post here last year, will have to check ‘The Vault’ and see if there are any others…

  6. -Nate

    SWEET .

    I wish someone I know would buy it and drive it so I could enjoy the ride, I’d probably rub it against a post or other stupid thing .

    In my town there were several 1972 Caddy drop tops in emerald green that still looked great in spite of being hooptie ghetto cars run into the ground by young kids who were just ‘frontin’ .

    As mentioned , these simply have a great elegant presence .


  7. jc

    I wish I had someplace to keep something like this, and that I did the kind of driving that it is designed for. However, I mostly drive in the city, and have to park in small spaces, so the hassle of driving an enormous boat like this is just too too much (I learned how to drive in a 74 full size Chevy and a 66 full size Pontiac, so I know whereof I speak).

    I hope whoever buys this doesn’t put 40 inch wheels and neon lights underneath and a big spoiler on the back.

  8. Laurie Kraynick

    Hey Tom, I thought the 70 Brougham was your first/favorite, The Ark is heartbroken!
    Auction ended at 13.6 “reserve not met”.
    That steering wheel is an unoriginal replacement.


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