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The Magnificent 1990 Cadillac Brougham

An American Standard of excellence…

1990 Brougham 1

…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns”

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Brougham is defined as the most luxurious owner-driven Cadillac sedan. These Flagship models epitomize Cadillac luxury and prestige. The epochal “Standard of the World” was the most desired automobile universally. This luxurious body design by Fleetwood began as distinctive editions built at a highly restricted pace to retain the model’s exclusivity and supremacy. The 1990 Broughams are among the last examples of true American luxury automobiles. For the 1990 model year, the Cadillac Brougham was available with the powerful 5.7 litre V8 engine. The elegant Cadillac Brougham for 1990 gives a magnificent command performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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This formal big-body design was built from 1980 through 1992. It’s big, robust, and stately…and every inch a Cadillac. This is the kind of luxury Americans took for granted. This car is still popular today. Their popularity is due in no small part to their operating efficiency. By burning premium gasoline in the 5.7 litre V8 engine, it gives astounding mpgs on the highway. For a car of its stature…it kicks butt in fuel economy.

Equip these with a set of Michelin All-Season radial tires for maximum mpgs. The most impressing facts about these cars is their low-maintenance requirements…keep the oil changed, fresh premium spark plugs…keep the tires rotated, and fresh air filters and these Broughams will outlast its owner. The key is the 5.7 litre V8 engine. It is weight efficient. In my opinion, this is one of GM’s best V8 engines ever built. It’s the perfect powerplant for an automobile as large as the 1990 Brougham.

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“The only way to travel…is Cadillac-style.” It was the marketing theme for the day. The Cadillac “beauty treatment” freshened the design for the 1990 model year. The front end ensemble includes composite single headlamps and a new grille texture. These headlamps give it a luxurious international flair. The new front bumper wraps all the way around to the fender wells. The bodyside cladding adds substance to the change. It makes the car look totally different from previous versions.

The Premiere vinyl roof treatment transforms it into a more formal look, making the roofline more contemporary. The Brougham is the most distinguished of all Cadillac models. The rear end received new taillamps which are a throwback to classic Cadillacs of the 1960s with the clear lens that glows red at night but turns white when the car is shifted to reverse for back-up lighting. The massive deck is beveled adding sculpture to its design. The bumper impact strips are wider. There will never be another luxury behemoth like the Cadillac Brougham.


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It is the large, rear-wheel drive Cadillac Brougham that will never be forgotten. Some Cadillac owners didn’t like front-wheel drive and the Cadillac Brougham fit their desires. In 1990, it was the largest passenger production automobile in America. It’s old-school luxury. It made more money than the other Cadillac models because its design has been used since 1980. There were no new model start-up costs, and no major re-tooling and die changes. It was freshened to appear completely different from the previous model year. For the 1990 model year 33,741 units were built. It is traditional Cadillac luxury – the kind of luxury that today’s Cadillac puddle-jumpers cannot provide…

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1980 Fleetwood Brougham 1

The 1980 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham

1980 Fleetwood Brougham 2

1977 Sedan deVille

The 1990 Cadillac Broughams are collectible because they are the last of a classic style era of which will never be replicated. The Brougham and the Sedan deVille shared the same bodyshell from 1977 until 1984 when the last of the full-size Sedans deVille made their exit. The Brougham lost its distinctive 60 Special designation for the 1977 model year when Cadillac down-sized the standard models. When the Brougham lost its distinctive bodyshell, it merely became a trim level. Cadillac cut costs using the badge-swapping technique.

1978-1979 Fleetwood Brougham 4

The 1978-1979 Fleetwood Brougham (1978 shown)

1978-1979 Fleetwood Brougham 1

1978-1979 Fleetwood Brougham 2

1978-1979 Fleetwood Brougham 3

It takes the eagle eye to see the relationship from 1977-1979 Fleetwood Brougham and the Sedan deVille models. The only differences were the padded vinyl roof of the Brougham cladding the “B” pillars and a Frenched-in limousine-style rear window, as the Sedan deVille used the painted metal “B” pillars. The 1977-1979 Broughams had stainless-steel rocker moldings.

The last true-Fleetwood crafted Cadillac was built for the 1976 model year. The Fleetwood Series had an individually longer wheelbase and distinctive coachcrafting that separated it from the DeVille/Calais models, and they were built on a dedicated assembly line. The last of the good “Cadillac-built” engines were the 425 CID V8 used from 1977-1979 and the 368 CID used in the 1980 models.

1976 Fleetwood Series 60 Special Brougham 2

1976 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1976 Fleetwood Series 60 Special Brougham 3

This is the last of the traditional Cadillacs

1976 Fleetwood Series 60 Special Brougham 4

This car belonged to “Angel” the wife of Paul Harvey radio commentator

1976 Fleetwood Series 60 Special Brougham 5

1976 Fleetwood Series 60 Special Brougham

1990 Brougham black

The 1990 Brougham was available in two distinctive trim levels. The base Brougham sedan is utterly luxurious, and the Brougham d’Elegance is the epitome of Cadillac luxury and opulence. The base interior is upholstered in standard Prima Vera cloth. It is a handsomely tailored fluted design with the flair of European furniture.

The Brougham d’Elegance is also trimmed in the same luxurious velour but with a different sew-style. The Brougham d’Elegance has a unique sew-style with button-tufted pillow-style seating that would put a limousine to shame. There were a total of 33,741 Cadillac Broughams built for the 1990 model year. The base Brougham sedan had 21,524 units and the Brougham d’Elegance had 12,212 units built.

1990 Brougham white 2

1990 Cadillac Brougham sedan

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1990 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance

1990 Brougham d'Elegance interior 2

The Brougham d’Elegance has all the glitz and glamour. The fancy button tufted interior includes 55/45 6-way dual-power front seats with passenger recliner. Overhead assist handles, power trunk pull down, Twilight Sentinel automatic headlamp system, Illuminated Entry system, and driver and front passenger lighted visor vanity mirrors were standard. Luxurious Tampico carpet and specific model identification further distinguished the Brougham d’Elegance from the base model.

1990 Brougham d'Elegance interior 3

1990 Brougham d'Elegance interior 5

1990 Brougham d'Elegance interior 6

1990 Brougham d'Elegance interior 7

1990 Brougham d'Elegance interior 4

notice the sheer size of this luxury barouche

1990 Brougham d'Elegance interior 8

1990 Brougham interior 1

The base Brougham is luxurious in its own manner. Power windows, power door locks, Electronic Climate Control, Illuminated Entry system, Tilt & Telescopic steering wheel, lamp monitors, and a fully padded vinyl roof with distinctive limousine-style rear window treatment are just a few of the many standard features and accessories. A Cadillac Brougham is first-class luxury…either version chosen.

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1990 Brougham 7

5.7 litre 1

A Cadillac…is a Cadillac – The 5.7 litre V8 engine is best suited for the 1990 Brougham. The standard 5.0 litre isn’t as responsive at the 5.7 litre engine. The Small block L05/LL0 Chevrolet 5.7 litre 16-valve 350 CID naturally aspirated V8 engine with indirect fuel injection makes the 1990 Brougham…MOVE. It cranks 175 hp @ 4,200 rpm with 400 Nm of peak torque @2,000 rpm. The engine is mated to the GM THM-200-4R 4-speed automatic transmission with Overdrive.

Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 10.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 36.6 seconds with a top speed in the 116 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 78 mph in 17.8 seconds. In my opinion, these big-bodied Broughams should have been equipped exclusively with the 5.7 litre 350 CID V8 engine.

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1990 Armbruster Stageway 1

1990 Cadillac Brougham by Armbruster Stageway

1990 Armbruster Stageway 2

The 1990 Brougham’s platform made it the premier choice for professional cars of absolute discretion. Optional packages included the Coachbuilder’s version, the Funeral Coach version, and the Trailer Towing version.

These packages included the 5.7 litre V8 engine with throttle body fuel injection, the heavy-duty THM-700-4R 4-speed transmission with torque converter and Overdrive, heavy-duty cooling system, heavy-duty suspension and a modified propeller shaft with an 8.5” rear axle.

The eminent coachbuilders that converted the 1990 Brougham include Armbruster Stageway, Maloney of Chicago, Superior Coaches of Lima Ohio, and Accubuilt Inc. of Lima Ohio. The 1990 Brougham made excellent stretch limousines, and professional cars because of its size and stature.

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1990 Brougham 12

The beautiful 1990 Brougham is built as body on frame construction. It has the luxury length of 221”, rides upon a long 121.5” wheelbase and is 76.5” in width. The suspension is independent up front with Cadillac’s four-link drive and Superlift electronic level control for the rear suspension. It is equipped with power front discs, rear drums. The braking system is self-adjusting with Bosch II ABS.

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“So much is new in the 1990 Brougham. But its mission is unchanged: to give you classic luxury with Cadillac comfort and convenience.” This was the mission statement from General Motors regarding the Brougham’s restyling. It is the definitive American luxury car. With the distinctive new styling and lavish interiors, the Cadillac Brougham and Brougham d’Elegance are eminently qualified to carry the title of America’s most distinguished full-size luxury sedan.

When the Brougham is equipped with the powerful 5.7 litre V8 engine, it yields unusually spirited performance for an automobile of this stature. The Brougham’s four-door six-passenger comfort and legendary Cadillac elegance refines America’s most successful luxury automobile even further. From the authoritative front end styling…through the graceful sweep of its formal roof…back to the traditionally styled rear end design, the 1990 Cadillac Brougham is an All-American classic. It makes a command performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Special thanks to Matt Garrett and GM Classics for the photos

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1990 Brougham d'Elegance interior 1

1990 Brougham white 1

The 1990 Cadillac Brougham is NotoriousLuxury

5 thoughts on “The Magnificent 1990 Cadillac Brougham Leave a comment

  1. Nice tribute to a great car. My ’90 Brougham w/package B including antelope leather , 5.7 liter w/tow package is a joy to drive. Fair condition and certainly not as nice as your featured vehicle. Total vehicle price on the sticker is $31,284.00

  2. Read the entire article blissfully. I’m on my second 90 Brougham w/5.7. And best of all, it’s a Cadillac.

    • INDEED! Don’t you wish they still made them? I’d give anything if they’d build another “Cadillac” a REAL Cadillac and not the unreasonable facsimile….they make today! The ‘pretend’ Cadillac will never get my $$$$$!!!! And if you notice – the make-believe Cadillacs are nowhere on this site!!!!

    • Hi Mark! Take care of your Brougham Sedan d’Elegance. There will become a time when they will shoot thru the roof appreciating most favorably because….Cadillac will never make another “Standard of the World” for the entire world! They’ve slipped into obscurity. Cadillac engineers keep trying to make the brand a BMW or Mercedes!

      As soon as GM stops riding the coat tails of their competition – they will zoom back to the spotlight. Cadillac needs to remember their heritage and build upon that. The Blackwing and “V” Series cars belong on an ‘Oldsmobile’ not Cadillac. Since there’s no more Oldsmobile, Cadillac needs to think twice about their current situation. Cadillac could very well succumb to the same fate as Olds encountered.

      American luxury cars should be just that: AMERICAN LUXURY. When Cadillac began their trip into obscurity in the mid-1980s – they didn’t realize – American luxury car buyers wanted AMERICAN LUXURY CARS, if they want a BMW or Mercedes, I’m sure they can find their own way to the dealerships. Today’s Cadillac is trying to be way too many things. It’s trying to be a high-performance car, it’s trying to be European, it’s trying desperately to be a luxury brand – it’s trying to be everything EXCEPT a Cadillac!

      OK Cadillac: “To thine own self be true!” Until they learn this valuable lesson – they will continue to disappear into the background never being in the foreground again! One day, Cadillac will lose all of the loyal following it once had when it reigned supreme as the “Standard of the World – “

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