: 1986 cadillac fleetwood brougham



cadillac kevin
03-29-11, 03:49 PM
The fleetwood brougham is a land yacht in every sense of the word. Its over 18 feet long, has a very large cushy interior, lots of faux wood and chrome, and is made for cruising and long trips. my car is from 1986 and has under 67k on the odometer (actual mileage based on overall condition and amount of original parts)
the drivetrain of the car is adequate. the 307 is not a bad motor, but it is slow as molasses. makes for a good cruiser, but little more. give it some gas and 60 mph comes in 13 seconds flat. 80 mph comes about 5 seconds later. in the meanwhile, you will have burnt through about 2 gallons of gas. the transmission is geared for mileage and low rpm cruising. with a 2.73:1 axle ratio, I got about 15 mpg combined. at WOT, the car becomes incredibly unrefined and loud.
Braking is very good considering the car does not have 4 wheel disc brakes or abs. If properly maintained, the car will be able to stop very quickly. it could stop a bit quicker, but the brakes are adequate for such a large car.

Interior is well appointed. Leather seats, if moisturized, are soft to the touch and are very comfortable, especially on long drives. door panels are vinyl, which is cheaper, but makes for much easier cleaning. having a power adjustable drivers seat makes any trip very comfortable, but the lack of a reclining back (either power or manual) is missed. the seat back is comfortable in its current position, but if you want to lean back, you have to tilt the seat base. the electronic climate control is very nice. controls for the ECC could be located better. trying to adjust the temperature while driving is a pain, since you have to look at the display to view the temperature. heated outside mirrors and rear defroster are very nice in the winter. the stock symphony sound stereo system doesn't sound that bad (considering its a stock stereo from 1986). rear speakers are very good, providing a good amount of bass, but front speakers are nowhere near the same quality as the rear speakers. the tape deck and digital display did not work on my stereo. IMO the delco/bose system of the era blows the symphony sound system out of the water in terms of clarity and lack of distortion. Ample amounts of faux wood grain is very welcome and is the only thing keeping the tan interior from being bland. the standard illuminated entry system is a very nice touch, but only the drivers door handle lights the car, and the lights in the door handles and around the locks do not work.

Exterior of the car is nice, but understated. Paint is a classy sandalwood (tan or cream) but its the 2 tone orange and brown pinstriping and burlwood brown top that make it unique. The locking wire hubcaps are nice, but look like hubcaps. hubcaps like buick's wire hubcaps available on the electra/ lesabre of the era would have been more appropriate for an upscale look. large cornering lights are helpful when turning on a dark road. the telltale lights on the fenders and in the rear window are very helpful in determining what lights are on. overall styling is very classic and is a throwback to the 70's.

Fit and finish on the brougham could have been executed much better. the car looks great until you look close. About 5 gallons of body putty was used to seal everything on the car. Trim screws are mis placed, resulting in sloppy looking chrome trim on the interior and door jambs. the amount of shims on the fenders is truly absurd for a high end luxury car. blue protective plastic sheeting dangles out from behind the chrome on the seats. body fitment is acceptable. the exterior panels are gapped evenly although for a luxury car I would expect smaller gaps. the rear sail panels do not fit at all. the dashboard is gapped perfectly though, as are the front door panels. overall, the fit and finish is something I'd expect on a base caprice, not a $27,000+ luxury sedan but is not bad considering its competition cost 2x as much.

driving the cadillac is like nothing else. you truly have to drive one to know what it feels like. the suspension, although 25 years old and needing replacement, still absorbs pot holes with grace, providing alot more isolation than any car new or old that I have driven. sound deadening in the interior is great. foam in the doors and rubber matted carpet with thick padding keep you isolated from road noise. the exhaust is very faint, providing only a faint blem blem bluhblem that olds motors are known for. steering input is somewhat precise, but don't expect the car to turn on a dime due to its length and curb weight. the car takes winding roads with ease and confidence, but driving a 20ft land yacht like a miata on city streets is not recommended under any circumstances. The ride will be greatly enjoyable and incredibly relaxing as long as you take it slow. it was not made to handle well or accelerate well, and as long as you don't try to make it do either of those things, it will give a smooth and quiet ride.
Exterior 4/5 timeless styling, but some areas need improvement. fit and finish is unacceptable on a $25k+ flagship, but areas can easily be addressed with the $30k saved by not buying a MB.
Interior 4/5 quiet ride, classic styling. mediocre sound system and a long list of standard features. vinyl door panels are a curiosity on the upgraded interior.
drivetrain: 3/5 Vin 9 engine (180 hp) should have been standard. 350 vette motor (200+ hp) should have been optional. motor is leaps and bounds greater in every way than 4100.
Handling 4/5. handling is great under normal driving conditions, but suffers when car is pushed to its limits. ride quality is excellent under normal conditions, but suffers when car is pushed. handles better than a lincoln.
Durability: 5/5. 307 olds motor is a workhorse. most last to 250k. both interior and exterior (save filler panels) stand against time well. repairs are dirt cheap considering car cost $25k+ new.
Overall: 4/5 IMO, better cars can be bought for $25k (like a loaded electra or ninety eight) but lack the status of a cadillac. when compared to the mercedes though, the cadillac is a bargain in every sense of the word.