The Cadillac Brougham history is nearly as old the Cadillac name. First launched in 1916, 14 years after the first Cadillac rolled out of a factory, the Brougham was one of the most enduring names in the venerable company's catalog.
A Brougham By Any Other Name...
Cadillac first used the Brougham name in 1916 for their four-door vehicles that could seat as many as seven passengers. Throughout the years, Cadillac used different names for these models, including Fleetwood, Series 10, Series 20, Series 30, Series 60 and Series 60 Special Fleetwood.
In 1949, the two-door pillarless convertible Coupe DeVille was introduced. This was followed by the Sedan DeVille, introduced in 1954. The name Brougham reappeared in 1958 on the Series 70 Fleetwood El Dorado. This Brougham came with quite a large price tag: $13,074, compared with an average of $5,000 for other Cadillac models.
By 1965, Cadillac dropped the word "Series" from its model names. The Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham, Fleetwood El Dorado and the Fleetwood 75 all made their appearance in 1965. The cars used the same body style, except the DeVilles had no pillar between the front and back windows. The DeVilles also had a small window in the sail panel.
In 1987, Cadillac assigned the Fleetwood name to a smaller car and created a new line of Broughams, which were produced until 1993. Many of these cars were converted into limousines.
What Makes a Brougham?
Cadillac was a company known for making big cars, and the Broughams were the biggest of the bunch. When used as part of a different line name, such as a Fleetwood Brougham, the term indicates that the car is the largest and most well-appointed model available.
Later Broughams all have V8 engines, the longest wheel bases of any Cadillac model and automatic transmissions. The Broughams made from 1987 until 1993 were the largest rear-wheel-drive vehicles made by Cadillac.
A rapid drop in sales between 1990 and 1992 sealed the Brougham's fate, as Americans turned their backs on big sedans in favor of economical, zippy Japanese and European compacts. In its heyday, the Brougham was the perfect car to turn into a limousine, or to make an everyday owner feel like he was riding in one.