Two Sundays ago I attended the twice-a-year model car/promo/kit swap meet and show in Countryside, IL, in suburban Chicagoland. As usual, I brought plenty of cash. As usual, I spent a lot of it. I got several nice Cadillac promos. One of them was this dark red 1966 Cadillac Coupe de Ville promo, which I got from my buddy Jim Smith. And all was well-until last night.
Today’s classic Cadillac is owned by Bryan Wood of Chicagoland, and a fellow member of The American Brougham Society. No, not the group with the guy with the VW with the standup hood ornament, the one run by “That Hartford Guy” who owns a 1961 Cadillac Sedan de Ville and 1977 Lincoln Continental Town Coupe. Which reminds me, I should write his cars up too. Well! Some other time. Today, let’s keep the digressions to a minimum, haha.
I’ve always loved triple yellow Cadillacs. And in its various guises from approximately the late ’60s to the early ’90s, it was always a classy color, in your author’s opinion. The matching pastel yellow leather interior was not always available each year, but it usually was. You’ve got to have the matching yellow leather and top for the full effect, you see. As a friend of mine once told me, you can’t drive a triple yellow Cadillac and not feel good. They’re so bright and cheerful!
So I was instantly infatuated this past Thursday morning when another Cadillac-obsessed friend, Ron Schweitzer, sent me a link to this fine Colonial Yellow 1980 Fleetwood Brougham. As Frank Costanza once said, hoochie mama!
Here it is, the last Sedan de Ville. Well, for all intents and purposes. As I’m sure you’ve heard, production of the Cadillac XTS, which replaced the Northstar V8 powered 2007-2011 DTS, is ending sometime in October of this year.
And it will end close to thirty-five years of production of full-sized, front wheel drive Cadillacs. Most people won’t notice, most people would prefer an XT5 or XT4, if they’re shopping Cadillacs at all. But I’ll notice. I liked these cars. And I’ll miss them when they’re gone.
When the XTS first appeared as a 2013 model, I thought it was a nice car. From its swept-back, almost fastback-like rear end, it reminded me a bit of the neoclassical 1980-85 Cadillac Seville, Bill Mitchell’s swan song at General Motors. I even tested a 2014 for the old website, and enjoyed it very much. Over the intervening five years, I half kept an eye on XTS certified pre-owned trade-ins at McLaughlin Cadillac, in case they get one in in pearl white or ruby red with the creme leather interior. So far, the right one hasn’t appeared. But I remain vigilant.
So, if you read Parts I and II of my Ettleson Cadillac car show posts, you’ll know I was in Chicagoland about a month ago. I always take Interstate 80, and if they are still open when I pass by on the way home, I always stop by the Peru Antique Mall, clearly visible from 80 itself, in Peru, IL. When I attended the Shirey Cadillac show on Memorial Day weekend, I discovered and bought a 1971 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado dealer promo there.
At that time, there was also a gold 1969 Fleetwood Eldorado promo sitting right next to it in the showcase.
But I picked the ’71 as it was missing only its stand-up hood ornament, while the ’69 had both taillights absent.
You knew it was going to happen. I took approximately 335 pictures at this show, so I was pretty sure one round wasn’t going to do it!
And although the earlier post on this event was all Cadillac, all the time, Buick owners were also invited to bring their cars, so we’ll see a few of Flint’s finest for this round. Enjoy the ride!
I’ve always loved Cadillacs. It goes way back. As a kid, watching Magnum, P.I. and various and sundry 1970s movies like The Enforcer and Magnum Force, I was more interested in the bad guys’ Cadillacs chasing Magnum or being followed by Harry Callahan in his Custom 500. Starting with its inception in 1902 and continuing more or less through the Sixties, Cadillac produced well-built, well-finished, impressive–and expensive–cars.
Inside and out, wherever you looked you saw chromed, die-cast metal, leather, fine fabrics and extensive gadgetry. Smooth, quiet, powerful. That was Cadillac. Increasing safety regulations, increasing sales of Cadillacs (and the need to speed up production accordingly) meant that some of that very visible quality and integrity went down, just a little bit. But in 1970, Cadillacs still looked good, and provided proper motivation if one felt the need to mat the accelerator pedal.
The 1970 Cadillacs were mildly restyled versions of the 1969 models. In my opinion, the 1970 Cadillac is that uncommon event when a facelift actually winds up looking better than the original version.
On June 22nd, I once more pointed the Cartier towards Chicagoland and yet another Cadillac show. This time, it was Ettleson Cadillac in Hodgkins, within sight of the Holiday Inn in Countryside we stayed at in the ’90s when my parents used to take us to the Chicago Auto Show.
Yes, I’d just been there a month prior, at the Shirey Cadillac show in Oak Lawn (covered here). But there are only two really good ’70s luxocruiser shows in the greater Chicago area, and these two are it. And unlike last month, my cochlear implant behaved itself and made no untoward noises that I mistook for weird car sounds. So much the better.
I arrived around 11:15, and quickly spotted Ron Schweitzer and Mike Risatti. Mike brought his 1960 Sedan de Ville, affectionately named Estelle, to the show. I had heard of the car, and seen pictures online, but this day was the first time I’d seen her in person. And she was sharp!
Mike added the Fleetwood wheel covers, technically incorrect, but they are correct for the model year. And they look great! The Aleutian Gray metallic paint paired with the dove gray interior was especially classy.
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!
I’ve been wanting to try out a Cadillac CT6 ever since it was first announced and large, plush sedans started rolling into the inventory at McLaughlin Cadillac. They looked good, and combined with the also reintroduced Lincoln Continental, it seemed both remaining U.S. luxury makes once again had a proper flagship.
Oh sure, for many, the current flagships are the Escalade and the Navigator, but as a big fan of 1950s-1970s Cadillacs, Lincolns and Imperials, I have always, and will always, associate the top models with the vintage Fleetwood Broughams, Continentals and Town Cars, rather than anything truck-based.
Since both cars came onto the market, I’ve thought a modern ‘King of the Hill’ article would be pretty cool. For those too young to remember or not as into Brougham-era luxury as your author, back in the ’70s Motor Trend did several articles comparing the Cadillac Eldorado to the Continental Mark III, and later Mark IV.