: 1987 Cadillac Brougham

01-20-05, 10:26 PM
Standard 1987 Brougham, not d'Elegance model

121 inch wheelbase, 76 in wide, 221 in long
Body/appearance: The Classic 1980-1989 trim: quad rather than composite headlights, peaked hood with standup chrome hood ornament, chrome bumpers. Silver nameplating with "Brougham" script on sides. Angular, clean lines define the corners of the car and make it appear even bigger than it is, especially with my Cotillion White model. Trunk is large, though not deep, rendering it smaller in cubic foot space than the Ford/Mercury/Lincolns of similar years but more easily accessible. Heated mirrors are helpful in cold weather, the mirrors themselves are smaller than on modern cars but perfectly adequate. Windshield wipers have chrome or aluminum holders and are the old-fashioned, easy-to-change-the-blades-kind. Only one complaint, the plastic connectors between the chrome moldings of the rear tail-lights and the body itself are tacky looking, fade easily, and dirty easily. One wonders why Cadillac designed them this way. The car continues to look massive, 'important' and 'expensive' even after 18 years.

Inside: My particular model has white leather with red dashboard and carpeting...very 1950s. It is not the pillowed d'Elegance leather discussed in DopeStar's review of his '89, but is nevertheless extraordinarily comfortable. It has the Cadillac crest woven into it. Behind the front seats are convenient storage pouches for road atlases or magazines to entertain rear passengers. Instrumentation is a mix of chrome and plastic, the one cheap instrument is the emergency flasher switch, however, this should not need to be used frequently. 80s style wood trim is present but is not all over the place. The doors are interspersed with little Cadillac crests. The car also has numerous opera lights. Seatbelts are three point over the shoulder in front (except a lap belt in the center) but are all lap belts in the rear, the last model year in which this was the case.

Comfort/Convenience: Driving position is good and is easy to adjust with the 6 way power seats in front. The tilt/telescope steering wheel should accomodate most drivers. Visibility is fine over the long front hood, with the ornament a useful centering device and a constant reminder that you are driving a grand, once-expensive car. The little lamps on the corners of the hood are nice at night as guides for the edges of the car. Twilight sentinel, a timer that leaves the lights on, is great for getting to your door across a dark driveway or turning on automatically on the road. Rear visibility might appear to be hampered by the limousine-style formal rear window, but if you adjust your sideview mirrors accordingly you will find this is not the case. Controls and buttons are pretty straightforward and easy to understand. The cruise control 'set' button on the turnsignal lever requires a firm press to engage. The wiper switch can be a little annoying to reach while driving but the wipers and sprayer themselves work well. Electronic climate control is excellent and speedy in warming up or cooling down, however, the buttons are little bit small and low. The remote trunk switch is in the glove compartment, kind of annoying, but it works fine. The sound system, a Delco-Bose, has exceptionally good sound for an 18 year old system.

Driving experience: The Oldsmobile 307 V8 that powers the Brougham is smooth but lethargic. I roughly clocked 0-60 up a slight grade at 14 sec. The slowness, though, preserves gas: you can still keep up with right-lane traffic and get 19-22 mpg if you stay in overdrive on the highway. Despite being slow, the engine is more responsive when passing on the freeway and is very quiet. The transmission shifts very smoothly. Ride quality depends on your taste. If you enjoy the cloudlike ride of old-fashioned American luxury cars, the 1987 Brougham fits the bill. It is pillowy-soft and filters out just about every bump. If you like what is now called "roadability" and "steering feel" this car is not for you. Turning radius is large, parking can be a challenge. This is a luxury car, not a performance vehicle, and buyers should not expect otherwise.

Summing up: A great buy for under $5000. Cheap parts, majestic appearance and fabulous old-style ride make for a car that turns heads and makes you feel like a V.I.P. whenever you're behind the wheel.

08-03-05, 04:49 PM
Thanks for this review. I've driven an 1987 Brougham since I was a teenager and it's still my favourite car. I've never cared for the sports cars and stiff steering where you feel every pebble in the road. Just a nice, confortable drive that makes getting from A to B an enjoyable experience.

09-20-05, 10:37 PM
Great review, am enjoying my 92 brougham d'elegance also, like driving the large car have someone wanting to buy it everytime I take it out, cant part with it just yet. Good to know there are really serious cadillac owners out there. firemist

09-21-05, 12:10 AM
are these cars hard to control over roads that arent very smooth?

10-07-05, 08:04 PM
i drove one today, and completely agree with the writer of this review. A grand car, extremely luxurious in a classical sense, very grand, large and very very american. But its very lethargic. This car NEEDS the 350!!!

02-17-07, 11:29 PM
that was rather beautiful on a personal level. its nice when you can compliment your own car while at the same time complimenting everyone else with that car. i have Cotillion White as well, and it does look rather huge (partially because it is, but i see what youre talkin about with it looking bigger than it is. it looks like it weights over 6000 lbs instead of "only" 5000. you got any pictures of that thing up in the gallery? id like to take a look at this thing.

02-21-07, 03:21 PM
Well, he posted this 2 years ago, so I'm not sure he'll get back with you on that...

03-10-07, 09:19 PM
Just bought an '88 Brougham with 65K on the clock. It is slow by today's comparisons but, you can't beat the thumbs up and gawkers who just look. It is Glacier Blue and all there.

So far no probs except the opera lights do not work. Any suggestions?

03-20-07, 07:12 PM
Motorboat, where do you live?

05-27-07, 01:16 AM
Comfort, comfort, comfort.

Reliability, cheap parts, good gas mileage unless you are going uphill.

Gasmatic shocks = $19. Rear air shocks = $80 or less each.

Ignition and coil = under $100 combined.

75 series tires = very reasonable.

Not many computers. You can work on it youself.

I wish I had my 87 back. 32k miles. Ex-daughter in law took it.

03-07-08, 02:02 PM
I have an 87 Brougham my brother gave me. I need to do the brakes, but can't get the wheel covers off. Got the center out, but how do you finish the job and get to the "guts". HELP!!

03-07-08, 02:06 PM
I have an 87 Brougham my brother gave me. I need to do the brakes, but can't get the wheel covers off. the centers I can get off, but not the rest. HELP!!!

03-08-08, 09:53 AM
Here's a hint...

....maybe you should post your question in the "Technical" forum for brakes -- or the "RWD" Deville/Brougham forum -- instead of digging up a completely unrelated "Review" thread that's been dead for a year.

03-18-08, 07:37 PM
you need the key to take the lock off of the middle of the wheel cover

05-01-11, 03:12 PM
I have an 87 Brougham my brother gave me. I need to do the brakes, but can't get the wheel covers off. the centers I can get off, but not the rest. HELP!!!

That's a bummer! Some wheel covers needs a lot of muscle to get removed, I usually use a flat screw to pry it out it works well with me.

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04-01-13, 01:41 AM
I just got a 1987 Fleetwood Brougham velor interior tan with tan exterior and like new Michelins. CB Radio and evrything in the car works with the exception of the radio antenna which is in the up position and the battery I had to replace due to dead cells. The power release button in the glove box only works if the ignition is turned to the on position. Driver foor lock control button unlocks the doors sometimes. Good ride and smooth on the highway. Cruises ay highway speeds well and it is actually going faster than it feels so have to back it down. This is a one owner car with 64,447 origonal miles on it. The next scheduled oil change is 68,450 miles. How hard would it be to get keyless entry added?

01-13-14, 06:16 AM
I purchased a 1987 Cadillac Brougham from Jim Hailey last July and I love it...I've put 4000 miles on it and only 1 quart of oil...perfect...176778