1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham d’Elegance: Be Still, My Heart!

1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham d’Elegance: Be Still, My Heart!
1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham d’Elegance: Be Still, My Heart!

Well, you know the drill. I love these 1971-1976 Cadillacs, particularly Fleetwood Broughams, Fleeetwood d’Elegances, and Fleetwood Talismans. Sure you do. I’ve written up no less than three of them, here, here and here. So I’ll dispense with the background information and history on these.

But a couple of weeks ago, I saw this one for sale on Orlando Classic Cars. It was just gorgeous, in triple black, with the turbine-vaned wheel covers and velour d’Elegance interior. Sold new at Bob Moore Cadillac in Oklahoma City, home of Jim Jordan and his many Cadillacs (here’s one of them), it was simply a stunning motor car.

This car has only 2300 miles on it, which is pretty remarkable. And the triple black (meaning matching top, paint and interior, for those of you just joining us) is classy and somewhat sinister. Imagine walking down the street, seeing this Caddy slinking by, and briefly wondering if someone is out to get you!

When I first saw this car, it was on their website with an eye-watering $40,000 ask. That’s a lot of money. A friend of mine, Eric De Virgilis, told me this very same car sold at auction for $23,650. So the close to 100% markup seems a little cynical to me. But there’s no denying it’s a beautiful ’70s Cadillac.

And I’m not buying it. So let’s just sit back, relax, perhaps make a nice gin and tonic, and simply enjoy the glamour and sheer Broughaminess of this classic Caddy!

Am I biased? Of course I am. I LOVE these cars. Are they perfect? No. But they’re lovely, they have presence, and they scream Cadillac. I always have, and always will, love them. And will never apologize for it.


  1. Tom,

    Dave was going to run that Triple Black 76 across the block at Mecum Kissimmee in January but I can not find it in the lots posted on the Mecum site. Dave may have sold it. Eric knows these cars. His red/white/white tri-7 CDV won best of show at the CLC Hershey Show this July. Tom, if Dave paid $23,600 plus commission plus transportation to Orlando he most likely has $26-$27K in the 76 Fleetwood. However these cars were apporoximatly $12-$13K new in 1976 depending on options, which equates to about $58,000 today so if some one purchased it for $36,000-$38,000 then they came out ahead. With that kind of mileage you are buying a brand new 44 year old car…. Not making any more new ones until these 3-D printers get a little more powerful. 🙂

    1. The thing is that not much separates a low millage over priced potential problem car from a nice driven 50,000 mile Fleetwood Brougham that you could probably score for well under $10,000. Yes you’re buying a “brand new” 44 year old car, with all that entails, good or bad.

      This thing does look great, the Fleetwood in black is sort of “The Godfather” of cars, “Ill carro de tuti carro”, the Boss. Big, sinister, room of a conga line in the back seat, what else could you want?

  2. Rare cloth interior as 90% of D’Elegance option packages were leather.
    $40 grand is $20 grand too much.
    Now if it were a Talsman, I’d be looking for my checkbook.

      1. That’s weird to me, now. Maybe I’ve just spent too much time sitting on those old 70s GM velour seats to ever feel they are classy or luxurious or anything, really, except uncomfortable.

  3. Great article as always Tom, thought it odd the interior lights weren’t on (under dash, door, reading lights) when
    the doors were open. For 40K that stuff should work…

        1. Sometimes a little Clownside Classics/TTAIHATEEVERYTHINGHAVINGTODOWITHGMC leaks on to this site, the best thing to do is not even bother to reply, if they haven’t been educated by this point, why bother?

          1. Well, if you grew up driving and riding in GM cars like I did (and fixing them, constantly), you might have a different idea. But what do I know?

          2. Let me put it a different way. Do you REALLY think the switches, bulb sockets, and wire harnesses Delco made for Cadillac were any different in quality and reliability than the ones they made for Chevy? (Though electrical problems weren’t really a particular weak point in 60s/70s GM cars.) Do you REALLY think the Rochester Quadrajet for the 65 Caddy was different than teh Quadrajet for the 65 Chevy, other than calibrations and jet sizes? (Carbs were an ongoing weak point of GM cars in my experience.)

            The rap on these old GMs was that the fundamental drivetrain would go on forever, but all the ancillary components fell apart as soon as they could. That was borne out by my experience of the 1953 Chevy, the 58 Chevy, the 64 Chevy, the 70 Chevy, the 66 El Camino, the 66 Pontiac, the 74 Chevy, the 76 Chevy, the four Corvairs, the 86 Buick, the 93 Buick. Once again, all the bits that would fail and cause trouble and strife – electricals, HVAC, ignition, carburetion and later FI, trim both interior and exterior – were coming out of the same plants with the same assemblers, same designers, same QC (largely nonexistent), for all GM products. That’s fundamental to the business model of General Motors, for crying out loud.

            So, one can reasonably expect that other than matters of driving dynamics and long term drivetrain wearout behavior, a 65 Cadillac would behave almost identically to a 65 Chevy.

            And that, dear reader, is why I am not surprised that a low mileage Cadillac appears already to have an electrical failure.

          3. Let me correct myself, one GM engine came with a Qjet in 1965, the new Mark IV 396 big block…..

          4. When I tried to look up 65 Cadillac carburetors I saw multiple references to Rochester. At any rate, I doubt there was any real difference amongst “standard-grade” carburetors used by Ford/Chevy/Plymouth vs. Cadillac/Imperial/Lincoln.

          5. “But what do I know?”

            Not much from what I’m reading. A crotchety old man yelling at clouds and making up stories.

          6. Meaning what? That mid 60s Cadillacs did in fact use all special different higher quality components than the Chevy of the time? Do you really think so? Do you really think the day to day reliability of things like carburetion, ignition, and electrical systems was significantly better for Cadillac than Chevrolet?

          7. I don’t know, I’m not an expert on those cars. But it certainly sounds like you aren’t either.

  4. Man, that thing is impressive. I also have a fondness for Cadillacs. Except for this generation. Not that I find these cars inferior or something, but when my father died in 1978, our ride to the church and the cemetery was in one of these cars. It’s kind of hard to dissociate these cars from that event.

    However, that still doesn’t deter me from someday finding a nice V-series for my own personal toy…

  5. My in laws bought one in 1976 I got to drive it quite a bit back then. My father in law was ill and my mother in law had rather terrifying driving habits, so it fell to me by default. The contrast between that and my Fiat 124SC was immense to say the least. It could fit a lot of people and was soft in so many ways. It truly was like driving your couch down the road, with about the same level of road holding capabilities. As long as you drove it like it was designed, it was fine. Alas after about six years of aggressive use and indifferent maintenance it sold for a fraction of its’ $13,000 fresh out of the showroom. Back then every salesman bought a Cadillac to prove they had arrived, the number of vacuum cleaners sold out of the trunks of Cadillacs was probably a pretty impressive number. Geez, I feel like I am talking about several centuries ago……

  6. A wonderful, wonderful car. Two friends had “last” ’76 Fleetwoods, they, like the Continental Town Car were the peak, the most elaborate, the end. Never again the sheer Early American-ness, the optimism, the total regard for the passenger that this Cadillac represents. God, how I miss it so!

    1. Yeah but what was it’s burgerkingring time? /s if it was not obvious. I love this thing. It is the antithesis of the XLR, a car almost as cynical as the Cimarron and twice as stupid. If anyone at GM knew what Cadillac was about they would have built a six passenger convertible that would have been in every rap video in 2005 instead of that piece of crap.

  7. I love the look of these cars.

    Given the retro-modern styling of pony cars, I have continued to hold out hope for an Arts&Science car that uses some of these design cues. I think the XTS would have looked so much better with the stylized fins and twin headlights, rather than the blandboxification of the ATS styling.

  8. My grandfather had one of these cars in white, with black interior. Pimp to the pimp, I took it to prom. It had a 500CI engine. When you punched this car, smoke came out of the tires.

    1. btw..he had this car for about 17 years. EVERYTHING worked on it when he passed away, and it was still in great condition. Sadly the economy wasn’t good at that time, and I was in college, or I would have bought it and stored it. I saw it around town for a few years. The asshole who bought it just drove it into the ground.

  9. Hi there from Sydney, Australia. I own a 1972 Fleetwood Brougham in Cotillion white with a half leather half Silken Brocade trim in a very pale green called Green-Ice , it’s a 70th anniversary model, a 2 owner car , me buying it from it’s original lady owner when it was 19yrs old in 1991 & had a mere 18,000miles on it . I also own a 1974 Talisman in Sable black with half leather & half brocade in a color called gold, kind of mustard colour. This car I have owned longer, 39years in fact, Australia went metric in ’74 , so its a metric dash car & when I bought it w\hen 9 yrs old it had 102,700 klms on it now it has 709,000 klms on it and to the nay sayers above re component failures this car has been superb serviced monthly, it looks like new it has been loved & cared for it even has ABS brakes traction control & the ACRS airbags as well a super rare car indeed .

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