Some people love Corvettes. Others are really into Civics. And in certain parts of the country, there are fine folks who will accept nothing less than a diesel F250 King Ranch. But for me, it’s Broughams. Fine, wire wheel-covered, opera-lamped Broughams. With soft Corinthian leather, d’Elegance button tufted seating, St. Regis landau tops, and chrome. Chrome everywhere! Why? Well, my grandparents had Lincoln Continentals, LTDs and Thunderbirds, and they made an impression on me. I was also unduly influenced by my dad’s root beer brown 1979 Pontiac Bonneville during my pre-kindergarten years. Fleetwood Brougham, Cougar Villager and Mark IV toy cars I received as a kid also were a factor. But despite also loving Volvos (I drove them for nearly twenty years) and Porsches (Dad had them before I was born), it always comes back to the Broughams.
Anything with heraldic crests on the C-pillar and a stand-up hood ornament will catch my attention, be it a Cordoba, Ninety-Eight or Marquis. But my real soft spot is Cadillacs and Lincolns. Of course, my grandparents had the Lincolns, but I always loved Cadillacs too, despite the fact that none of my parents’ friends or relatives, near or far, had one.
But as a kid growing up in the ’80s, I watched a lot of TV, and in shows like Knight Rider and Magnum, P.I. I was not interested in the Corvettes or Firebirds or Ferraris the heroes drove. Well, I was, but when push came to shove I wanted the black Town Cars, Continentals, and Fleetwood Broughams the bad guys drove!
Remember, back in the early 1980s it was still okay to order cars in actual colors-and order cars! Yes, most dealers want to sell you their silver, black or white in-stock combover-oops, I mean crossover-or 4×4 pickup or midsize sedan.
But many, many more people ordered their cars thirty-five years ago, because, unlike today, where people fret over the resale value of their beige beigemist Anonodyne LE Plus SE, people actually ordered what they wanted. Red, green, blue, oh, the colors! And let’s face it, when you trade in your 2003 sedan or minivan, how much more do you really think you are going to get for it than if it had been, say, red or orange or green. Maybe twenty-five bucks? Big whoop!
And by the way, I fully realize that I am extolling the virtues and styling of a silver and gray Cadillac, while complaining about the lack of imagination in people’s car color choices in 2017, but I don’t care. Full steam ahead, ha ha! But let’s face it, a 1982 anything was more interesting in silver than the lozenge-shaped average 2016-17 motor vehicle today.
And despite the new addition of the wheezy HT4100 V8 on all Cadillacs in 1982 (unless you wanted a 350 Diesel, or the Buick V6), there was still a lot to like over at the local Cadillac dealer. The 1980 restyling was still holding up, and just as attractive as it had been since autumn 1979 when it debuted.
The interiors were still super plush, and available in a myriad of colors. Instead of black, dark gray tan only, you could get slate gray (as shown on our featured Brougham), dark redwood, dark gray blue, saddle tan, dark brownstone, yellow, black and burgundy. Such choice!
I have always been partial to the light yellow leather that was offered on most Cadillacs from the late ’70s to the early ’90s. With matching Colonial Yellow or Cameo Ivory paint and vinyl roof, of course! I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a thing for triple yellow Caddys. It must be my inner Brougham…
But wait, you may be asking, Klockau, didn’t you write up an ’81 Coupe de Ville on here a couple months ago? Well, yes. Yes I did. But to be frank, I LOVE these Cadillacs, so I will use any excuse, flimsy or not, to write up another one. Said flimsy excuse was this time capsule Sterling Silver 1982 Fleetwood Brougham with slate gray interior and silver top. I spotted it on ebay recently. You can check it out here. It has not yet sold as of this writing, but the last time it ended it got all the way up to $15,400-not bad. But then it is in remarkable shape. I mean, it only has 6,507 original miles! This is not your typical $750 craigslist ‘ran when parked’ garage ornament with four flat tires and toasty vinyl top.
And these cars always make me flash back to my childhood, when they were new. Sure, they had their faults, and the savvy person who really, really wants one of these would be better off finding a 1980-81 with the 368 V8 or a 1986-92 version with either the Olds 307 or Chevy 350. But it’s so darn sharp!