View Full Version : Need advice....worth keeping?

04-12-09, 06:52 PM
Hi All,

I'm in a bit of a bind here, and can't make up my mind what to do with my car. Thought I'd put it out there to fellow Cadilladdicts.

As I've posted before, I bought my first Cadillac back in September. It's a 1992 Brougham D'Elegance, and it has 184000 kilometres on it. I paid $2700 Canadian for it. I had to put on new front brakes (calipers & all), a new catalytic converter, and I had the a/c converted to the new coolant system. All told I put in $1300.00, so I have $4000.00 in it. At this point it needs a tune up and front and rear shocks to get it where I want it mechanically.
The car runs great, but it is 17 years old and needs some work. It has rust on the front left hood, under the trunk lid, and along the trim line on the rear passenger door, and a the paint over both rear wheel well 'fender skirt' areas is spiderwebbing from rust underneath. It doesn't look THAT bad at this point, but it definitely needs to be painted. I've had several quotes on paint ranging from $4000 to $7000.00 Canadian to paint the entire car. I had another body shop who quoted me $6000.00 to paint the entire car, but he did say that he could "make it look respectable" for $2000.00 which would just involve taking out the rust and repainting the isolated areas, as he claims he can match the paint. I was skeptical about that last option. I had actually decided that I would have the car painted for the $4000.00 as I had a good feeling about that body shop, and I thought yeah, it's expensive but I plan on keeping the car.

I've just come across a car locally, a 1991 Brougham D'Elegance with 10k kilometres LESS than mine, and no rust aside from a tiny patch under the right rear passenger door handle. It's for sale at $3200.00, and is actually sitting in a local body shop. I took it for a ride, and it was amazing. Smooth running, quiet, steady. I thought my car ran nice, but this makes it seem like an old jalopy. It has a gorgeous leather interior, has the original spoke rims. It was in an accident a couple of years ago, had the driver's rear quarterpanel smacked, which has been repaired, but it needs new trim. Easy squeezy, can transplant the trim off of mine onto it. I told the owner I'd give him his asking price, and said I'd pay him to transfer the trim. That was Good Friday....this kid said it was his father's car, the father was out of the country for a couple of weeks, and he'd get back to me. That raised some flags with me, but whatever. I have decided that I will buy that car if it's available, and sell my car after taking off the parts I want. Let's face it, it would be stupid to spend 4 grand painting my car when I can buy a better one for $800.00 less.

I have a feeling that this guy is just screwing around, and my gut is telling me that he has no intention of selling the car. Here's my question....should I continue putting money into the car I have, or should I just play with it for awhile and keep hunting for one that's better? I haven't seen that many of them in my area (Toronto) at all. For you guys down in the USA, are there that many of them around down there? What would be your top dollar for a daily driver? I'm not looking to buy a car to keep it in the garage all the time, I want to have fun with it.

Am I making myself clear?

04-12-09, 07:01 PM
If you can get out of your current Brougham without losing too much, go for it! It is a buyers market right now and you can find some nice examples for under $4K.

04-13-09, 01:42 AM
My only concern would be that you already know the issues with your car. Are you willing to take on a different car with potential unknown issues that may or may not exceed those of the car you already have? These cars are all over the place down here, especially out west here in CA, and they're only really popular with the lowrider crowd, so they're not particularly expensive.

04-16-09, 12:40 PM
If you are considering the one at the body shop... make sure its a quality job on the 1/4 panel. Wavy body panels, orange peel, non matching paint etc... Also look under the car to make sure none of the frame is messed up. I work at an auto auction, and you would be surprised about what some repair shops call "quality". I bought mine, and one of the doors were repainted. The p/o told me about it, but looked fine. Only in a certain light at the right angle you can tell the white is a bit brighter. This bothers me, but not enough to get it redone.

04-18-09, 02:55 AM
Making a decision here comes down to really looking at the other car. Sometimes it comes down to a "better the devil you know" situation. These cars certainly are relatively rare in Toronto. I've seen only one total peach and some that have really NOT been looked after. On the face of it buying this car, swopping the trim and then selling the other one seems like a good idea, but you must ensure (like others have said) that it's all good underneath.

Seems you got a decent deal with your original car. I paid CDN $5500 from a dealer back in October 2007 for my 1991 Brougham 5.7. It had around 140k on it then.

Everyone here said "buy it, buy it now" based on photos I took on the sales lot.

Picture taken the day after I bought her (after 4 hours of cleaning and polishing)



04-18-09, 11:37 PM
That is a truely majestic automobile, sir.

04-22-09, 04:50 PM
Truly gorgeous :highfive:

05-04-09, 06:06 PM
Well here's my update.

Finally heard back from the guy, and took the car for a ride...sweet ride, so smooth & quiet.

I took the 91 Brougham to my mechanic today, and he gave it the thumbs up 'on the whole.' It needs rear shocks, rear brakes, front brake flex hoses (left and right) and an idler arm. All of these are, according to the mechanic, just maintenance issues. He said the underside of the car looked brand new, as it had always been oiled, etc.

As I was taking the car up the hill to the mechanic, it lurched/lost power a couple of times for a second or two. I wondered what the heck was going on, and mentioned it to the mechanic. He didn't notice anything when he test drove it.

After leaving the mechanic I made it about four blocks before it started doing it again, then the friggin thing died in the middle of a really busy street...I managed to coast it into a parking lot. I called the seller "come pick up your car."

Can you imagine how stupid I felt when he pointed out that it had run out of GAS??? LOL.

Anyway....the total cost to safety the 91 would be $1359.58, so on top of the $3200.00 pricetag, $4559.58. I balked at that at first, then took my 92 to the mechanic to have him look underneath...I wanted to see if there were any holes, as I had noticed some moisture on the front passenger floor with no apparent source. Turns out there were no holes in the floor, but the windshield is likely leaking. My car needs some work, mechanic said the brake lines will need to be replace in a year or two, and there's an exhaust pipe that's starting to split (hence the rumble).

All in all, my mechanic said that my car was fine, but the other car was fantastic, and he'd definitely choose it over mine. While I don't NEED the car, I think that if I want to drive a Cadillac (and I absolutely do), the 91 is the car to have. I'm not handy enough to do the required work on the 92.

SO, if all goes as planned, I'll pick up the 91 on Friday, and you'll have some pics next week!

Anybody wanna buy a 92?!?!