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.
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!
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.
The 1989-1993 Cadillac sedans have always been a favorite of mine. I drove several when they were late model used cars, and even considered buying one in the late ’90s. The 1985-93 GM C-body was a nice package, with front wheel drive traction, ample interior space, and tidy exterior dimensions. In 1989, the Cadillac De Ville and Fleetwood got some much-needed lengthening to make them more Cadillac-like, and the upper-crust Fleetwood even got fender skirts, for the first time since 1976.
As I type this, I am sitting on my couch due to extreme cold weather here in the Midwest. It was minus 23 degrees this morning and is now about -9. So I got a ‘snow day’ of sorts, though it isn’t snowing, and actually has been sunny all day. But when it’s cold enough outside to freeze a bottle of vodka, it’s prudent to stay inside.
So after making a pot of coffee, working on a C. J. Box novel and watching TV most of the day, I decided to start looking at old cars online. As is my wont.
I ran across a good number of potential writing subjects but this was the one that really pushed my buttons.
Fellow Cadillac fancier and photographic contributor to this fine website, Jayson Coombes, alerted me this weekend to a most excellent example of 1966 Cadillac he spotted online. This gorgeous Fleetwood Series 75 Formal Sedan, painted in Nocturne Blue, if my estimations are correct.
It was originally listed on this website. A true time capsule, with a mere 15,000 miles on the clock. From the pictures, I believe it. Sadly, she’s since been sold, hopefully to a happy new owner. Anyway, I eagerly scrolled through the pictures. Said photos are very well done. I love it when a photographer knows what he’s doing. So many times, too many times, that is not the case.
I’ve always had a thing for early ’50s Cadillacs. When I was in second grade or so, my grandparents got me a hardcover “coffee table” type book called Decade of Dazzle. It was a book on Fifties cars, and one of the featured cars was the 1953 Cadillac Eldorado. Looking supreme in white over red leather, it left an impression on me. And later that same year, out on a trip to the Jewel-Osco with my Aunt Candy, I got a 1/43 scale 1952 Cadillac Series 62 sedan in pink and white. I still have it.
Of course, the 1953 Cadillac was the final iteration of the all-new postwar 1948 Cadillac. It inaugurated the classic Cadillac fishtail fin, and in 1949, the small block V8. In 1950 it was totally restyled, though it still bore a close resemblance to the 1948-49 model.
When in doubt, write up a Brougham. That’s always been my motto. At least, it has since 2012 or so. I’ve always liked the classic Cadillacs and Lincolns and Imperials from the 1950s to the 1970s, but it really came to a head once I started randomly typing about cars I like.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have here one of my favorites, the 1971-76 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. The top-of-the-line owner-driven Cadillac. Luxurious in space, in gadgets, and in power. The best “owner-driven” Cadillac money could buy. Despite the upper-crust European makes seeing increased sales, here in the heartland Cadillac and Lincoln were still the go-to marques for full-sized, uncompromising American luxury.