I’ve always loved cars. My family was into cars, and I was born right into it. As a kid the yearly auto show at the Providence Civic Center was my favorite event! Back then, it wasn’t the foreign models that impressed me….oh no. It was the Cadillacs and Lincolns I was drawn to! And Caddies were always around me too….lots of them! My Grandma’s second husband loved Coupe deVilles. He had a ’64, ’69, ’74 and ’78. My Uncle Bob had a ’79 Sedan de Ville, ’86 and ’90 Fleetwood Brougham, ’98 de Ville d’Elegance, ’03 Seville and lastly a ’10 DTS before he passed – only Caddies for over 30 years!
My Aunt Lila had an ’80 Eldorado diesel and my sister had a ’77 Seville and a ’79 Eldorado. Lastly, a car I wrote up for Riverside Green last year was my Grandma’s beloved ’87 Fleetwood d’Elegance….so you can see we were a Cadillac family. But the one I will always have a truly special bond with is Dad’s ’90 Spring Edition Coupe deVille. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in December of ’89. It wasn’t a very happy time. But he was strong and a fighter. And he was a car guy….his ’87 Maxima just wasn’t doing it for him.
A bit too small, just not his cup of tea. I told him about the new Cadillac de Villes and how nice they were. He researched and decided to look at them. He said he had always wanted a Cadillac before he died – he never owned one. Well he ended up buying his ’90 and absolutely loved that car. I’ll never forget the smile on his face the day we picked up that car. He would often say it was the best car he ever owned. And for that last four years of his life his enjoying that car made me so happy! Mom drove it for five more years after he passed, and eventually she sold it. But that car never left my mind. The way it rode, handled, even smelled inside…..memorable. I often said one day I want one of those cars for my own……My very own Caddy. My very own “Brougham”.
One day I was on Facebook and for some odd reason I just happened to click on the marketplace icon. The first car to jump out at me was a white (ED: Cotillion White! -TK) 1993 Sedan de Ville. It looked amazing in the pictures. And only 60k miles? It can’t be. I gotta check this one out! And its only a few miles away….could this be the one? I texted back and forth with the owner. The car was purchased from Corson Cadillac on Cape Cod and lived its entire life there. It was garaged and babied, accumulating only 60k miles in 26 years! Apparently the owner was a priest who rarely drove the car and kept it in the garage all the time. There is even a tiny cross on the front fender….my car is blessed!
After his passing, the car remained in storage for several years before being traded in by the family at an Infiniti dealership. The gentleman I bought it from saw it at the auction last October and had to have it. He was going to keep it for himself, but didn’t really have the room to store it so he decided to sell. When I got to his house and saw it in person I was in total shock at how nice it was. I have to add a bit of unbelievable fate into this ordeal. My Dad’s license plate was Q-841. It has been in our family for over 65 years. He loved that plate. It was “his” number and everyone knew that.
Well, I get into the ’93 to take it for a test ride and the owner apologizes that the clock wasn’t set for the right time, it was off by a few hours. No worries I told him…..I turned the car on and guess what time it said….yes, 8:41. Goosebumps. Tear in my eye. Happiness. So many emotions it was insane.
All I can say was driving her made me euphoric. I had to have this car. Seeing that Cadillac crest on the hood ornament made me so happy and yet a little melancholy at the same time. But I knew I wanted her. I arrive back after the test drive and the owner is on his phone. Wait a second….he was getting endless texts and calls for the car.
There were two different sets of young kids begging him to sell the car to them. He told them it was sold before he and I even shook hands. Before he knew I wanted it. He wanted ME to have that car!
Stupid me – I had no money on me to give him for a deposit so I was going to have to go to an ATM. He told me not to bother, that a handshake would be sufficient to hold the car. He trusted me and knew I was serious. He had a party to attend and wouldn’t be back until later that night.
And we really never discussed price, I was so in love with the car I hadn’t even thought about it! So we shook hands and I was off. On the way home I decided to call him to throw him a crazy offer and see if he would bite. He said he would call me after the party with an answer. Later that night I was speaking to my brother, another total car nut like me, when my phone rings.
Yes! The owner accepted my offer! My brother calls me back and says check your phone. What time did the man call you? OMG. What?? No way……8:41!! It was totally meant to be. And then on the way home the mileage hit 60,841 miles! Incredible. Thanks Dad!! The rest is history!!
Driving this car has such a special feeling for so many reasons. I’ve always loved this generation of deVille. The ’89 through ’93 body style was a great design from new. These Caddies were a home run for GM. Classy. Comfortable. Reliable. Prestigious. They handle great for a big car and ride so well. They are fast too! And that distinctive smell….wow. But what really amazes me is the attention this car draws. It really stands out now.
Everywhere I go I get thumbs up or people approaching me asking all kinds of questions. A little 5-year old boy yelled out “Wow mister that’s a nice antique car!” And endless amounts of people have said they had one like it back in the day and loved it. It brings back so many fond memories for me. The nostalgia is incredible.
Well, to say I am happy with my new Caddy would be an understament. My Dad, Uncle, Grandma and Grandpa are smiling down on me every time I drive it. Yes. My very own Caddy. My very own “Brougham”!
Just reading this made my day.
Now I want to thank you for the memories.
I don’t know the chemicals that run within me that make me the car fanatic I am.
But I can remember begging to wash my older brother’s 1958 DeSoto, with custom 383 hemi dual overhead racing cam, swivel seats and its push button transmission. He made me “co-owner” if I did even though I had years to go before high school.
As a very small, perhaps 5th grader, I used to design cars. Each one was pages thick with each page dedicated to a section or part, like dashboard, etc.
I would send to Ford.
And God bless Ford and a reason I must be a Ford guy to this day…they would send me a note thanking me for the design but sorry that they could not use at this time.
And with each reply came a new model car complete with opening doors and hoods.
The one I most remember was the green 1964 Thunderbird.
Again…thank you for this story and the memories brought back.
You’re welcome Paul – Glad I could share some car love and memories!
Forgot to mention how cool it was that you sent Ford your designs and they responded!!
Great story. My grandparents were loyal Caddy owners from 1970 to their last one in 1992, and I always thought the 92 with the 4.9 was the best one. Nice classic styling and reasonable size, and the 4.9 was pretty quick, especially compared to their earlier models with the awful 4.1 and 4.5.
Haven’t read the whole thing, plus the other stories about Dad’s and Grandpa’s Caddies, but caught the “841” reference—this ought to be good, and I might have a tissue handy just in case. Always love these kinds of stories!
But the contributor’s last name is a bit ironic, considering that he’s a GMer! 🙂
That is a sweet looking car!
Tom and Tom,
Congratulations on your purchase! It looks like a match made in heaven, enjoy the experience.
Lovely car. About the only knock would be the mouse fur headliner. I would have thought GM would have done something different for Caddys.
I swear if they still made cars shaped like this, they’d be able to sell cars.
Rear headroom on par with front head room.
I went to a Honda CRV because trunks on cars are essentially useless these days.
So true….in fact the headliner needs to be replaced! To me this body style was the last true Cadillac that looked like a Cadillac. The rounded versions were not my cup of tea at all. Thanks for the kind words!
Hope you enjoy your time with your Sedan. Your father buying his dream coupe when faced with such a medical challenge is such a remarkable feat of optimism. That’s what a Cadillac is for though, enjoying the good life, and in my opinion, your 93 was one of the last built with that ethos.
On the 4.9 engine that this front drive model had. The 275 pound feet of torque available at low rpm was such a throwback to the Cadillac’s of the 60s and 70s with their torque rich 472s and 500 V8s. As malaise and CAFE set in, it was thought that their time was up and the future was going to be as dreary as MB with all their S class diesels. Yet Cadillac had fought for proprietary engines and engineered a car to make the most of it. Your 93 weighed in at 3600 pounds giving it a torque to weight ratio of 13 pounds of weight for every foot pound of torque. This is right on top of 472s,and 500s from the mid 70s and available at similar rpm. The front drive Continental and Imperial V6 had torque to weight ratios in the high teens and the BMW 528 had been especially modified that year for more low end torque breaking the 19 pounds per foot pound barrier. All that grunt was available at now only 4200 rpm, 500 rpm less than before and only a few thousand rpm higher than a Cadillac. Our BMW friends will point out that low rpm torque is not the best measure for BMW, high rev autobahn power is. They are correct. BMWs built for what they do well, and Cadillacs also built for what they can do best. How did both manufacturers get away from that? Perhaps BMW forgot the German burgher driving the autobahn and Cadillac forgot Tom’s father.
It truly is a fast car and hard acceleration makes me think of the cars of the 70’s for sure! My Dad always bragged about how fast that car was……he even offered to race my Aunt with her BMW 5 series!!! Lol. Great memories!