1977 Ford LTD Landau: Love To Drive

I have always loved the Ford LTD. The top trim full-size Ford. Top of the heap. The most Broughamtastic. But what does LTD stand for? There are many opinions. One favorite is “Luxury Trim Decor.” But no one is certain. Ford never truly defined it. But no matter what one’s opinion is on the lux-Ford acronym, one thing it most certainly meant was luxury.

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If I start talking about the LTD’s history, we’ll be here all night. And I want to focus on my favorite, the 1975-78 models, so let’s try to be concise, shall we? The Ford LTD first came on the scene in 1965, as a deluxe trim Galaxie 500, available initially in two- and four-door hardtop versions.

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In that same record-sales year for Detroit of 1965, its arch-rival, the Chevrolet Caprice, also appeared, initially as only a four-door hardtop.

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1970 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham: The Brougham of Broughams!

Note: Today’s spectacular Nimitz-class luxocruiser, a 1970 Fleetwood Brougham, is owned by a friend of mine, Laurie Kraynick. The first time I saw pictures of her 1970 Fleetwood Brougham, I knew I would have to share it here on RG.

70 Brougham 02

Isn’t it cool when your own car is the same color combination as the one in the showroom brochure? I have a copy of this brochure in my collection, and when I saw the Fleetwood Brougham in this color, Lucerne Aqua Firemist, I was smitten! But my love for these cars goes much further back. The 1970 Cadillacs are a favorite of mine. Especially the Fleetwoods. You see, the first Cadillac I ever rode in was a 1970 Fleetwood Brougham.

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1976 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham: Last Call For Full Size Broughamage!

The Bonneville Brougham. Most primo Pontiac of them all. And my buddy, The Brougham Whisperer, Jason Bagge, found one out in Spokane. He posted pics. He bought it. I got excited. So excited I did a preview post last month. Why? Simple. I love these. Absolutely. Love. Them. Let me tell you why.

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1990 Cadillac Brougham – Now THAT’S Cadillac Style!

The 1990-1992 Cadillac Brougham has always had a hold on me. And never mind the fact that I was nine years old when it first appeared as a facelifted variant of the 1987-89 Cadillac Brougham, in the autumn of ’89. Many 1990-92 “facelift” Broughams have been either driven into the ground or rendered nearly unidentifiable by customizers, but I think these classic Cadillacs look beautiful just as they came from the factory.

While this car was not strictly the final classic RWD Cadillac, and itself was a revised version of the 1980 Fleetwood Brougham and Brougham d’Elegance, I just happen to really like the look. It remains one of my favorites today, nearly 30 years after it first appeared. Retaining the classic, elegant lines of the 1980-89 model, but with just enough modern cues to carry it forward. Today’s vintage premium GM product is owned by a friend of mine, Jim Jordan. And it only recently turned 30,000 miles. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we?

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1986 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham – Maximum Broughamage

Options. It’s always nice to have options, especially when you’re talking Detroit luxury like Cadillac, Lincoln and Chrysler. Take Cadillac in the mid-1980s, for example. Between 1980 and 1986, Cadillac Motor Division went through some major changes. It arguably had to be done, but by 1986 most people used to Cadillacs being large, plush and heavily chromed were in for a surprise. Sure, they were still plush, but a crash diet program in anticipation of major gas price increases (that never happened) made for a very different showroom experience. Except for one holdout.

1986 Cadillac Fleetwood d’Elegance

The De Villes and Fleetwoods introduced as very early ’85 models were completely different from their ’84 iterations. Smaller, yes, but also more space efficient-and front wheel drive! Despite the huge change in design, they sold well.

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Introducing A New Series: Retro Show!

My good friend, Jim Smith, recently celebrated his 50th annual visit to the Chicago Auto Show. I’ve known Jim for several years thanks to Facebook, and have bought myriad dealer promo models and vintage brochures from him as well. As a fellow gearhead and Broughamophile, he has taken many pictures at the show for decades-well before it was cheap and easy as it is today with smartphones. Just this past weekend he posted a number of terrific pictures to my favorite Facebook group, The American Brougham Society. I was bowled over by them, and Jim has graciously agreed to let me share them here on RG. Continue Reading →

1979 Cadillac Phaeton Sedan – Broughamtastic Perfection in Chicagoland

2015 was a big year for me. Not in home and hearth (I haven’t moved since 2002) nor at work (been at the same place, happily, since 2013), but in other matters. For starters, I left CC. Why? Easy. The guy who runs the site became insufferable. Let’s leave it at that. As a result of that voluntary departure, I decided that 2015 was going to be “the summer of George!” It was going to be my year. I was going to do what I wanted. So I did. I joined the Lincoln and Continental Owners Club, went on a club meet to the Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee (and had a blast!), bought a second Town Car, and met a lot of terrific people I had previously only known via Facebook. Case in point: The 2015 Shirey Cadillac show in Oak Lawn, Illinois (convenient to the City of Chicago).

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1982 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham – Where Were You in ’82?

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.

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Automobilia Familia: Or, I Was A Brougham-Era Lot Boy

Today’s post is by none other than my uncle, Dave Klockau. This was previously published over at the old site I used to write for. TK

My uncle, in his natural environment.

In the late 1800s a sailor in the German Navy by the name of Wilhelm Johann Klockau, decided to jump ship in New York harbor and made his way to Rock Island, IL where he got a job as a blacksmith. His family trade in Germany was coach building. He later bought the carriage shop he worked at which eventually became the Klockau Garage. He was my Great Grand Daddy gear head, so we have him to thank for our family affliction.

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