Merry Christmas to all at RG! Wait a minute Klockau, you may be thinking, why are you writing a post on a day of rest, relaxation, celebration? Easy, I am typing this at approximately 3:35 PM Saturday, December 22nd. This particular Sedan de Ville is about as holiday-hued as you can get, at least this side of a Continental Mark IV Lipstick Luxury Group or Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis Edition, anyway. But I digress! So if you are avoiding relatives or hiding out with the last of the Christmas cookies, here’s something to read.
There’s just something about those old luxury cars-Cadillac, Lincoln and Chrysler. Those of you who’ve been reading my old car posts for a while can generally predict that I’ll probably be going on about some 1960s-1980s U.S. luxury sedan or coupe that most people under 30 will not recognize, nor care about. “Like, that’s old, I love my Prius/Altima/silversilvermist combover! Who cares about that ancient gas guzzling car dude?” Well, I do.
The 1980s were not precisely Cadillac’s decade. While in the 1960s Cadillac, the creme de la creme of General Motors, could do no wrong, in the 1980s it seemed they made misstep after misstep. True, changes had to be made. Fuel economy had to be improved, dimensions reduced, and technology added. But there is no doubt that the first half of the decade was exceedingly painful at Cadillac Motor Division.
Cadillac could do no wrong in the ’50s and ’60s. They consistently outsold both Lincoln and Imperial and were essentially in a class of their own. But as the 1960s progressed into the early 1970s, they perhaps became a victim of their own success. The cars slowly became less special as Cadillac chased ever higher profits. Starting around 1969, Cadillac started skimping on interior materials.
I’ve always had a thing for the 1989-1993 Cadillac Sedan de Ville and Coupe de Ville. They just seemed to be the right car for Cadillac at the time, and although right-sized compared to the yachts of fifteen years prior, still had plenty of luxury and traditional Cadillac cues.
It probably all started when my Grandma Ruby had a mishap with her 1987 Lincoln Continental. Someone hit her car in a parking lot, and though no one was hurt, she had a partially crunched turn signal, cornering lamp and bumper. Fortunately the other party had good insurance, and a Garnet Red 1990 Sedan de Ville was provided to her in the interim, courtesy of Hertz.
I was already into Cadillacs and Lincolns-the Continentals my grandparents had over the years was certainly a contributing factor-but this Sedan de Ville was a revelation! So shiny and new. I was impressed. Garnet, with silver lower cladding, and a dove gray leather interior. Although I was about ten years old at the time, I was all over this car. I was more impressed riding in it and crawling all over it than if it had been a new Corvette or 911. I was a Brougham aficionado from an early age.
(Note: This was written up by a friend of mine, Tom Conti. As he only had a couple of pictures of the subject car (the navy blue Cadillac), I went into ‘the vault’ and found some pictures I took of a similar Coupe de Ville, but in white. -TK) Sometimes, you just need to go for it. I am so happy that my Dad was able to fulfill the last item on his bucket list – owning a Cadillac. He had always wanted to own a Caddy before he died and he finally did. The year was 1989, December to be exact. Dad was in poor health, being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and only six months to live. He owned an ’87 Maxima at the time that he was never really happy with. “It rides too rough” or “it is just too small” were the constant complaints that my Mom and I would get. The latest Motor Trend issue had a very positive write-up on the new Caddies, so of course I had to make it my job to see that Dad read that article. Did I have influence on this purchase? You bet I did!