Rare Rides: A Very Unique Cadillac Brougham Widebody Limousine, From 1990

Today’s Rare Ride started out as a rather ordinary Cadillac Brougham but was thoroughly transformed for some reason by a well-heeled customer into something unusual. I’m a bit at a loss here.

At its base, the Cadillac Brougham was a “new” model for the 1987 model year. It was a confusing time at GM’s most premium brand, as front-drive cars necessarily invaded the lineup, and adopted names once used for larger rear-drive vehicles. The company’s largest rear-drive model through 1986 was the C-body Fleetwood Brougham. In 1985 the DeVille was downsized, became front-drive, and moved to the new C-body platform with other things from Buick and Oldsmobile. The rear-drive C became the rear-drive D, even though nothing changed.

Cadillac needed the Fleetwood name for an upscale “different” version of the C-body, though the name was already in use as a trim package on the basic DeVille. Thus in 1987, the Fleetwood Sixty Special arrived as a stretched C-body, and the full-size D-body offering lost its first name and became Brougham. Keeping up?

Basic options on the Brougham were few and included the d’Elegance trim package and a “Premier” vinyl roof. The d’Elegance was a tufted and extra luxurious carryover from the prior Fleetwood Brougham model. Examples with d’Elegance fitted were identified by rear-seat lamps, nice wood trim, and tufted seating surfaces that were usually coated in very shiny leather. d’Elegance was also available as a package on the Fleetwood front-drive car, for extra confusion.

Brougham was produced initially at Cadillac Assembly in Detroit but moved by 1988 to Arlington, Texas where it would remain through the rest of its tenure. Power arrived via three V8 engines for most examples. Initial power arrived via the Oldsmobile 307 LV2 (5.0L) high output V8. In 1990 a facelift brought with it the optional Chevrolet 350 V8 (5.7L). The following model year, the 307 LV2 was replaced as a base engine by a Chevrolet 305 V8 with fuel injection. Select examples were assembled as commercial chassis cars between 1986 and 1990 and used the Oldsmobile 307 LG8 engine and a TH400 automatic instead of the TH200 used on other Broughams. A 4L60 transmission replaced the TH200 in 1990.

The aforementioned 1990 facelift was the only time the Fleetwood/Brougham changed after 1980. GM changed the Cadillac flagship only because of pressure from the new-for-1990 (and much more modern) Town Car from Lincoln. A new instrument cluster appeared, along with composite headlamps, a new tail lamp design, and “more flush” bumpers replaced the prior Seventies battle bumper look. Brougham finished out its life in 1992 as the larger whale body Fleetwood replaced it at Arlington for a final run from 1993 to 1996.

In 1990 our subject Brougham was built at Arlington and then sent off to Corporate Coachworks in Springfield, Missouri. A Cincinnati buyer wanted a widebody limousine in which to conduct business and travel in utmost luxury, and Corporate Coachworks set to it. The company went out of business in 1991 but spent years creating standard and widebody limos of various marque.

Aft of the B-pillar, the company designed what appears to be a four- or five-inch width extension on either side. This necessitated some window splicing and unique panels. The width extension ran to the end of this Rare Ride, which meant a wider trunk lid, bumpers, and seriously enhanced rear track. As a result, the rear passenger area seats six adults facing one another, with room to spare for TV/VCR setup, credenza, multiple glassware storage cabinets, two ice chests that drain outside the car, and a wall-mount telephone.

The Brougham Big Boy has traveled just 34,000 miles since 1990 and is now for sale via its original owner in the tony Indian Hill area of Cincinnati. This very special limo is yours for $15,000.

[Images: GM, Corporate Coachworks]

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