: Looking at retiring the Daily Driver, what to replace it with?



eldorado99
01-31-07, 11:35 PM
I have been driving a 1984 Ford LTD since I started driving (3 years ago), and it finally looks as though its throwing in the towel and I may have to replace it. Naturally I want a Cadillac (Or a Lincoln Town Car), the only reason I got the Ford in the first place was because it was free. Anyway I would like to hear everyones' opinions on what Caddy of any age or model would best suit my needs. I know what I think would be the best candidate, but I'd like to hear yours.

My criteria:

Mileage. I don't need a car to be great on gas, but I don't want to feel like I'm spending the annual fuel budget of the US army when I fill up either. I do this enough with my '70.

Comfort. This is always my second priority when choosing a daily driver. I'm going to spend a lot of time in this car, so it should be comfortable.

Styling. Because of what "good" styling often entails for me (extra large), this priority has to be neglected somewhat in the daily driver category. However, I'd still like to try to get a nicer looking car if possible. Also, I tend to favour 2-door cars more than 4-door.

Power. Not an issue for me. Obviously more power is nicer, but any Cadillac or Lincoln is going to have more power than my old LTD, and even it had enough power for me.

Handling. Also not an issue, I'm used to handling my large barge Caddy, and good handling is not something I care about. I'd rather have a cushy ride.

Budget. I would like to spend about 3K.

I put this post in this forum because I'm generally considering a RWD 19xx-1985 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham, but any other suggestions are welcome.

Adam
02-01-07, 12:18 AM
hmmm, that is a good question. it all depends what you can afford and your personal tastes. a good daily driver would be a Seville, or an Eldorado. if you can afford one, a CTS is an awesome daily. my 95 Fleetwood Brougham is my weekend cruiser. she only goes out 2 days a week. the CTS is out the rest of the time. its one of the coolest looking cars on the road and gets real good gas mileage. when i first started looking though, i was looking at an Eldo or a Seville. i dont think Fleetwoods are good daily drivers.

missed the budget part. hmmm, guess you are stuck with a TC. Fleetwoods cost more than 3k. you may get a 93 Fleetwood for 3k...

Benzilla
02-01-07, 12:25 AM
Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't use any car I paid 3k for as my daily. That is unless you got a killer deal on a low miles Brougham or Town car.

eldorado99
02-01-07, 01:03 AM
Well I could spend more than 3K if I feel it is justified, I just have a term deposit for 3.2K in the bank I was hoping to use for this. If I need to though I can dip into my main funds. I don't do the financing thing just because of personal preference though.

ShadowLvr400
02-01-07, 05:03 PM
You might look at the last years of the Chevrolet Caprice. The 4.3 V8 version is pretty nice on mileage, but down on power. The 5.7L V8 makes for a rather fast big car. Parts are VERY cheap for it, and the ride's quite nice. Plus, if you decide to, you can turn either from daily driver into a good custom street rod.

Destroyer
02-01-07, 05:14 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't use any car I paid 3k for as my daily. That is unless you got a killer deal on a low miles Brougham or Town car.Why not?. To me a daily driver should be the beater and not the "good" car thats saved for nice days. A $3k car can be a very reliable daily driver. My '91 Fleetwood is my reliable daily driver and I dont have much more than $3k into it.

Benzilla
02-01-07, 05:24 PM
That's why I said except a low miles Brougham or Town car, their the exception. Usually however, I want to know my daily can take me anywhere without worrying if it will make it. This is mostly talking to the people who buy early '90s accords and such I guess. But unless I got a great deal on a caddy in great condition, I'd usually want something late nineties or newer, and you can't get a lot of newer cars for under 5 or 6k.

Destroyer
02-01-07, 07:10 PM
That's why I said except a low miles Brougham or Town car, their the exception. Usually however, I want to know my daily can take me anywhere without worrying if it will make it. This is mostly talking to the people who buy early '90s accords and such I guess. But unless I got a great deal on a caddy in great condition, I'd usually want something late nineties or newer, and you can't get a lot of newer cars for under 5 or 6k.I see what you are saying and I have tried that. I bought 2 new Camrys back in '00. One for me and one for the wife. Hated them and wont go that route again. I actually like driving older RWD GM cars. I find them to be very reliable and cheap to fix. I like keeping em simple which is one of the reasons I removed the fuel injection from my Brougham and put a carb on it. No emissions stuff, no catalytic converter, no computer, no sensors. Any problem I encounter with the drivetrain will be mechanical and we all know a small block Chevy goes a long time before it asks for anything. Works for me.

Benzilla
02-01-07, 11:06 PM
I agree completely about keeping it simple, and loving to drive RWD caddies, right now my '90 Brougham serves mostly as my daily. I haven't had a problem it two years and I'd trust it on a trip to California and back.

It's just that, I'm a little hesitant now after being screwed over by a certain '84 Cutlass Supreme. It had been in the family since new, I got it in 2001 with 110,000 on it. It was in the shop all the time, always something. in 2003 with 120,000 the engine threw a rod. New jasper engine, never ran right, leaks like a bitch. Then the brakes went. Now it sits in the garage, waiting for me to decide what to do with it. I only bought the damn thing because I remembered riding in it when I was little, and I loved the old boat. Ever since then I've been a little leery about older cars as dailys. I suppose I trust a Cadillac though. My next daily will likely be a '99 Suburban.

Destroyer
02-01-07, 11:34 PM
I agree completely about keeping it simple, and loving to drive RWD caddies, right now my '90 Brougham serves mostly as my daily. I haven't had a problem it two years and I'd trust it on a trip to California and back.

It's just that, I'm a little hesitant now after being screwed over by a certain '84 Cutlass Supreme. It had been in the family since new, I got it in 2001 with 110,000 on it. It was in the shop all the time, always something. in 2003 with 120,000 the engine threw a rod. New jasper engine, never ran right, leaks like a bitch. Then the brakes went. Now it sits in the garage, waiting for me to decide what to do with it. I only bought the damn thing because I remembered riding in it when I was little, and I loved the old boat. Ever since then I've been a little leery about older cars as dailys. I suppose I trust a Cadillac though. My next daily will likely be a '99 Suburban.I have a little ritual that I go through with old cars when I get them usually. I replace the drivetrains. I do it myself in my garage. Hell, I can get a remanufactured small block Chevy and trans for under $1300 and it will last much longer than I will keep the car. About 7 years ago I bought a mint condition '84 Cutlass for $1800 with a V6. It only had 60k original miles and it was as new. After a year it needed freeze plugs, I could have fixed it but bought a remanufactured 350 from the auto parts store and a remanufactured th350 trans instead for real cheap, got the pulleys/radiator, etc from the junkyard and installed it. Had the car a few years, racked on 40k or so miles and sold it for $3k which is about what I put into it and it still ran great. Thats just one of the cars I did this too (there were many). Most recently as you know I modified my '91 Brougham. I bought the freshly rebuilt '87 Iroc 350 from a friend for $250 cause he was moving to NJ from FL and needed to sell it, put maybe another $600 or so in performance parts and exhaust and voila, its a hell of a reliable car thats actually pretty damn quick for its size and I beat on it alot, I just love racing the ricers that think they can just pass me cause they are expecting a greyhead to be driving it. I can afford almost any car I want for a daily driver but I LOVE full frame RWD GM cars and am really comfortable working on them. I think I'll always have a good ole GM RWD car around even if its not a Caddy but I do love the lines of the older Fleetwoods like yours and mine. Here's a few pics of my old '84 Cutlass:

Benzilla
02-01-07, 11:49 PM
That's a beautiful Cutlass.

The whole thing was a learning experience for me, if I was more of a handyman like you I would have put in a 350. But that's just the thing, most people looking for a daily driver aren't mechanics, and just buy something for 3k and hope it will get them from A to B then get pissed when something goes wrong. So for the regular person, I'd think it would be better to get something newer(if boring) and not having to think about it. That's what I'm saying.

Damn I love that Cutlass!

Destroyer
02-02-07, 12:09 AM
That's a beautiful Cutlass.

The whole thing was a learning experience for me, if I was more of a handyman like you I would have put in a 350. But that's just the thing, most people looking for a daily driver aren't mechanics, and just buy something for 3k and hope it will get them from A to B then get pissed when something goes wrong. So for the regular person, I'd think it would be better to get something newer(if boring) and not having to think about it. That's what I'm saying.

Damn I love that Cutlass!I dont consider myself a mechanic or a handyman but I do wish everyone knew how easy this stuff is to do. I do lose track of the fact that not everyone thinks like I do or is willing to take the time and make a reliable and quick daily driver like I do though. Anyway, since you like that old Cutlass (wish I didn't sell it cause cars that clean are hard to come by) I'll put up a few more pics.

Benzilla
02-02-07, 02:11 AM
C-L-A-S-S-Y!



Here's a quick shot of mine.

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c40/Cadillac_guy/100_01322.jpg

Hammondsix
02-02-07, 09:32 AM
It swarms with low milage grand marquis, crown vic, RM and caprices down in florida. Find a good mid-90, one owner, garaged car with around 30-40k miles and you will have a NICE daily driver.

gdorell
02-02-07, 05:02 PM
good deals are out there....i just bought an 89 brougham with 60k mi. for $800. i gave it a good tune-up and currently use it as my daily driver. and i absolutely love the thing.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-02-07, 10:29 PM
Hmmmmm..... '90-92 Brougham I'd say, it meets all the criteria except I think it's a bit large and rare to use as a daily driver. Otherwise a 4.9L Cadillac of any sort...they're comfortable, reliable (not mine so much, but I think it's a bit of a fluke in some aspects), good daily drivers, not too big, and you can find many for under $3000. Actually, you'd have to work pretty hard to find one for much over $3000 nowadays.

Plus, they're FWD, which is amazing in snow, and insurance is cheap..but parts are not, and they're kinda complicated and when compared to some cars, they can be tough to work on.

mharker
02-02-07, 10:50 PM
Man I like that Cutlass too. Promised myself as my "collection" grows someday I will have another mid 80s Regal V8.

Back to the point. eldo99 don't rule out Roadmasters. My DD is a 96 LT1 Roadmaster and it only had 50,000 miles on it when I got it. Paid a lot more than $3K mind you, but there are lots of nice high-milers out there that people can't sell. Drive one... they are remarkably fast.

I agree with the earlier post you won't find a nice LT1 Fleetwood for that money. People are starting to realize they are worth something. RMs get ignored though and lots of deals out there. You don't have to go to Florida either. Mine was here in Ontario but it wintered in FLA!

Gwokable
02-03-07, 02:44 PM
I'd probably be looking at a 1990-93 seville or deville, 2d. Small, fast, sporty, good gas mileage, very fuel efficient, and easy to mod.

Jed95fwb
02-06-07, 03:23 PM
This is a very interesting question. My daily driver is my 1995 Fleetwood Brougham. It is without a doubt the best car ever made and probably the best that will be made, if the Big 3 don't come to their senses. They are also pricey because of that. I would recommend the Roadmaster sedan. It's not as comfortable in the back as a Fleetwood, but they are a lot less expensive and if they are optioned out nicely, it is as nice as the Fleetwood inside. I've seen cars with under 100k on the internet in the $3,000-$4,000 range. In NY, it seems like the wagons are at a much higher price level, because of the added utility and the "last wagon" status. Remember to look at cars that are a little pricier, because you can usually get them down to what you want to pay if there's not too big of a difference. The other thing to remember is that the Roadmaster was made from 1991-96, so you have two extra years, to find a nice one and if you don't care as much about performance, the LO5 350 is a good engine. If you understand RWD, it will take care of you. A little practice in a snowy parking lot will make you unstoppable without the unreliability of exposed FWD components. The Caprice is a popular tuner car, meaning they are expensive here and usually beaten to hell. The Buick is a stealth retiree-looking hot rod with better options for less money.

The reason I would suggest it above an 80's 5.0 Brougham is the superior transmission on the bathtub body style. I would much rather have a 4L60 than a 200 4R. The fuel injection on these GM cars is extremely reliable from my experience. It may not run as well as a properly tuned carburetor in the optimal conditions for which it was tuned, but it WILL start up unfailingly and run consistently. Unless you ARE a mechanic, I would stick with Fuel Injection.

Reliability is the reason I wouldn't consider those FWD Devilles. I know people love em and they're fast, but I have witnessed problems firsthand on these Caddy aluminum engines (4.1, 4.9, 4.6 Northstar) and you would definitely want to check the transmission that it came with, making sure it has at least a 4T60E, not a 4T40E.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-06-07, 09:04 PM
Roadmaster is a great choice too, powerful, extremely reliable, simple, but not as rare or as respected as a Fleetwood.

96Fleetwood
02-06-07, 10:35 PM
Roadmaster is a great choice.. just look what you can turn it into!! :)

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n259/Roadmonster_2006/carparpics6.jpg

Benzilla
02-07-07, 09:46 AM
Wow! that's the most badass Roadmaster I've ever seen. I didn't even know they could look like that.

96Fleetwood
02-07-07, 10:06 AM
Wow! that's the most badass Roadmaster I've ever seen. I didn't even know they could look like that.

Check out his webpage, his car is a show winner and one of my idols :thumbsup:

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/732699/1