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86 DeVille (RIP), 89 Brougham D'Elegance, 95 FWB
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Discussion Starter #1
I made a couple of threads earlier asking for input on a 91 Brougham I was kinda sorta thinking I might buy. I figure I may as well post the link to the ad and get some more impressions, and I'll tell you why I haven't bought it already.

http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/ctd/3517562222.html

So, most of what he says about the car is true. It is actually a two owner vehicle. He bought it from the original owner in 2011, and hasn't driven it much. The car starts right up, runs and drives like a dream. The paint is gorgeous, the chrome is immaculate, the interior is essentially like new (minus the old people smell).

The reason(s) I haven't jumped on it are the few "imperfections" in the paint that he mentioned are actually body damage. One is a small ding on the driver door. Another is a dent in the surface of the trunk where it was slammed shut on grandpa's wheelchair. There's also a pretty big dent in the rear passenger side door where it was opened up into a pole or something. I'm not an autobody guy, but I'd say about 500-700 dollars in bodywork. The real reason I went to see the car, but walked away without a purchase... there is a significant amount of rust underneath. Sure the car was only driven 48,000 miles, but some of those were clearly New England Winter miles, and the underside of the car was never coated or cared for, from the looks of it. In most places, it's surface rust, but in others, it's starting to really build up, especially on the rear suspension and body mounts. Even the fenders over the rear wheels have the beginning of rust under the paint. No bubbling yet, but you can see where the paint will start to flake as soon as it is given the chance. This particularly bothers me, because the fenders on my 89 didn't show any rust bubbling until it was at 180,000 miles.

I'm losing my Caddy to frame rot as we speak, so I am extremely wary of rust, no matter what stage it is in. The seller does not want to come down on the price. I tried to get him down, and he's apparently turned away other buyers who have low-balled him as well. The bodywork doesn't bother me, honestly, it's all the rust. I just hate to turn my back on such a beautiful, low-mile car, otherwise.

Opinions?
 

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chevy 350 powered 86 FWB, 00 safari h.t. 66 toro, 83 lesabre
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For 6k, I would pass. It's a really nice car, but it does have some glaring issues, mainly that passengers rear door and the rust. If there is rust on the body, I would pass (I'd have to see pics of it first). For 6k I would expect an underside you could eat off of, not one that's rusty.
 

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2014 ELR
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Pass. It will always be a rusty car. Unless you are buying it to drive all year round, and hoping to get 2-5 years out of it before the rust takes it over. Put your time and effort into searching ads in south Florida, etc.
 

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1979 Sedan deVille d'Elegance
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4,153 Posts
Look in the west or southwest USA too, the climate out there is the most favorable to the long term preservation of these cars.
 

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2014 ELR
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Southern stuff never ceases to amaze me. I just bought a 65 Chevy pickup out of Arkansas that still has original paint.
 

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1980 Eldorado, 1974 Talisman, 2004 Volvo C70, 1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance
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It is a beautiful car, I can see why it pains you to pass on it. It would be great to get a car of that vintage with such low miles.
However....you are my hero for doing so. I would not have been able to make such a wise and mature decision. One look at those wire wheels and I would turn into a 3 year old and throw a tantrum if the owner didn't let me pay asking price and leave with it. :crybaby:
There are other low mile ones out there without the rust. It would be better in the long run to overpay if need be to get the right one. Frames and welding aren't cheap, and once it starts it never stops. I would rather buy a 150,000 mile rust free car than one that needs rust work and is low miles. At least the money spent repairing high mile problems can be upgrades. Engine re-build with a little extra boost, better than stock suspension or shocks, dual exhaust, and the like. Can't really upgrade frames and fenders.:yawn:

Good choice!:thumbsup:
 

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1981Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham D'Elegance Coupe m
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392 Posts
I like the car as well. but would be asking why the premium price on it. Would he be more flexible if it was taken for an inspection and then shown the report?? Just a thought.
 

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86 DeVille (RIP), 89 Brougham D'Elegance, 95 FWB
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Discussion Starter #8
Well, the seller was no slouch when it came to cars. We didn't talk about it much, but I think he either repaired or sold cars for a living, or both. He also new a lot about Cadillacs, as we spent most of the test drive conversing about them. I must stress again how absolutely gorgeous the car was in person. Mechanically flawless, and the seller knows this. In some aspects, a truly showroom-quality auto, and worth the 6,000. Even if it was taken for an inspection, I don't think any mechanic would say the rust was a detriment to the car at this point, it's still structurally sound. But if you're buying the car as a Cadillac enthusiast that wants to care for it, the rust is a wild card that you don't really want to play with. If you're just looking for a nice car for a daily driver, the rust wouldn't matter. Then again, you probably wouldn't be looking for a 22-year-old, 6,000 dollar car.

I mean, my 89 was in far worse shape when I bought it, and it's taken 8 years to really start to deteriorate, despite my efforts. Had I known 8 years ago what I know now, I would have walked away, but then, I only paid 1000 for my 89, and it has been a steadfast, reliable companion.
 

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1986 Fleetwood Brougham
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131 Posts
I agree with Kevin you should be able to eat off of the underside for $6k. If you repair those panels it won't have original paint anymore which is something else I'd expect for $6k.

Since you are willing to pay a fair price to get a nice car, I would make rust-free a "must" item and set an upper limit for mileage. Up to maybe 70k if well cared for, a bit more if you aren't going to drive the car much. Compromise on d'elegance and/or color to meet your price point. Or trade off a repainted fender or say a less than perfect vinyl top (can be replaced) for price or getting d'elegance or your favorite color.

If you are going to pay more than $4k other musts, at least if it were my money...

* No worn, cracked or faded interior trim, knobs or carpet. It's too hard to make right with the limited trim part availability out there. Replacement carpet doesn't look like original.

* No full repaint. Even if it's not to hide neglect or body damage, repaints never look as nice as original unless you spend $5k+ on a car the size of the FWB.

* No accident repair. Get a CARFAX.

I'm not familiar with what's normal for undercarriage condition on low mileage cars back east so if they are "all that way" I would consider expanding your search to the west and south, or just be prepared to wait longer.

Here's a nice one that I would look at if I didn't already have a FWB. It's odd though it was "sold" at $4,500 and then came back to auction.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1986-Cadillac-Fleetwood-Brougham-Delegance-41000-original-miles-xlnt-condition-/150984824314?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item23276595fa#ht_500wt_1064
 

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86 DeVille (RIP), 89 Brougham D'Elegance, 95 FWB
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Discussion Starter #10
As wary as I am of buying a car with rust, I'm even MORE wary of buying a car I can't see/drive in person first. Both my brother and sister bought cars from below the Mason-Dixon line, and both were more trouble than they were worth. That 86 looks nice, though. My 89 is black with a red interior, but I've always wanted black on black.

I'm waiting until Wednesday. It will have been a week since I saw the car, so I'm going to call the guy and try to haggle him down. I'll put in the time and effort to fight the rust if I can get the car for a more reasonable price. If he's sold it to someone else for 6k in the meantime, well... more power to him, I guess.
 

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1986 Fleetwood Brougham
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LOL of course you have to see the car first Giovanni. For sure you will find more rust free ones in the west and south but I know it's a hassle and expense to check them out first. I admit we are spoiled out here.

If it was just surface rust under there that might be OK but more than that shouldn't be anywhere near $6k. That's a great color though, maybe the best of all on the 90s.
 

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86 DeVille (RIP), 89 Brougham D'Elegance, 95 FWB
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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, gotta agree about the color. I was never particularly a fan of the 90s restyling until I saw it in the dark gray. Get the windows tinted and it'll look pretty slick.

From what he said, he made it sound like he turned away everyone who tried to haggle, but eventually he's going to realize he has to drop the price. I just hope I'm the one he drops it for.
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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If it's just surface rust I wouldn't worry. If you're not going to winter drive it it's not going to take forever get worse, and if you are any car is going to rust. If that was the only problem I'd say go for it because it's near you, it's a D'Elegance and they are harder to find, it's got the wire wheels that are rare. But add in the other problems asin the dents and it's not worth it for the price they're asking. I'd be more around $4k for it.

That being said for $6K I wouldn't exactly expect it to be perfect either.
 

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86 DeVille (RIP), 89 Brougham D'Elegance, 95 FWB
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Discussion Starter #14
Some of it is definitely not surface rust. Most is, but some has progressed. The rust on the rear fenders bothers me most. When I pointed it out, he said "that happens to all of these cars", but my issue is that it didn't happen on mine until just recently, and my 89 was never garaged. Elderly owners may be easy on a car, but they are also kind of neglectful.

Yeah, I definitely have to take the d'Elegance and the wire wheels into consideration with the price.
 

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chevy 350 powered 86 FWB, 00 safari h.t. 66 toro, 83 lesabre
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Cadillac Giovanni said:
Some of it is definitely not surface rust. Most is, but some has progressed. The rust on the rear fenders bothers me most. When I pointed it out, he said "that happens to all of these cars", but my issue is that it didn't happen on mine until just recently, and my 89 was never garaged. Elderly owners may be easy on a car, but they are also kind of neglectful.

Yeah, I definitely have to take the d'Elegance and the wire wheels into consideration with the price.
Rear fender rust? Where on the rear fenders? Mine (and most of the ones I've seen) have very light surface rust at the bottom where the quarter and trunk meet, but not anywhere else. I just saw a 90 in the junkyard today where the quarters had rust holes under and around the plastic cladding and the bottom inch of the quarters were rotted through (looked ok at first glance, but my fingers went through the metal at the bottom of the quarters). The 90-92s (at least here) seem prone to rust halfway up the car for some reason (which coincide with some nasty underbody rust/ rust through on the non-undercoated cars I've seen in the junkyards)
 

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86 DeVille (RIP), 89 Brougham D'Elegance, 95 FWB
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Discussion Starter #16
Right along the chrome trim over the rear wheels, where it flares out. It started on my 89 a couple of years ago. The one for sale doesn't have any visible rust, but the paint is starting to deform in the way that you can tell rust will soon be bubbling up underneath. The wheel and trim will have to be removed the body will have to be sanded down, inside and out, then repainted.
 

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1988 Cadillac Brougham
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That Caddy is definitely a beaut. As for the rust, I don't know about the trim, but for spots on your bumper, can't you just take some steel wool to it?
 

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chevy 350 powered 86 FWB, 00 safari h.t. 66 toro, 83 lesabre
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bornonthebayou said:
That Caddy is definitely a beaut. As for the rust, I don't know about the trim, but for spots on your bumper, can't you just take some steel wool to it?
No, because the rust is coming through from the backside. Steel wool will make it look nicer until the metal behind the chrome falls off and the bumper ends up with a hole in it.
 
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