“Owning a Cadillac is a satisfying experience.”
For 1986, Cadillac transitioned the Fleetwood Brougham from the Cadillac-built HT-4100 130 bhp 4.1 liter/249 ci V8 with fuel injection to the Oldsmobile-built 140 bhp 5.0 liter/307 ci V8 with a Rochester four-barrel carburetor. Production for the model year started late—it didn’t get going until February 1986.
The only powertrain available mated the aforementioned V8 to a four-speed automatic transmission. Mileage was rated at 18 city/25 highway by the standards of the day (16/23 by today’s standards). With a 20.7-gallon fuel tank, a Fleetwood Brougham buyer could expect a range of between 365 and 400 miles with a 10% reserve. The target market didn’t really care about performance, but the 0-60 time was a little under 13 seconds.
Standard exterior equipment on the $21,265 Fleetwood Brougham (about $48,900 in today’s dollars or about what a base 2019 Cadillac CT6 sedan goes for) included Soft Ray tinted glass and a full padded roof treatment. Mechanical equipment included rear-wheel-drive, power front disc/rear drum brakes, and P215/75R15 steel-belted all-season radial whitewall tires (a size still readily available, including in whitewall) on 15-inch wheels. Inside, an illuminated entry system, power door locks, power windows, electronic climate control, and dual comfort 55/45 heather cloth seats with six-way power adjuster for the driver were all included in these comfortably equipped cars.
Upgrading to the Sedan d’Elegance added adjustable rear seat reading lamps, controlled cycle wipers, tufted pillow-style seating areas, a six-way power seat and manual recliner for the front passenger, and an AM/FM stereo radio with power antenna.
Among the many exterior and mechanical options were the electrically powered Astroroof ($1,255), electronic level control ($203), and wire wheels ($860 to $940). Inside, Twilight Sentinel ($85), automatic door locks ($170), a power trunk lid release ($40), and a driver’s side memory seat ($215) were available.
The 1986 Fleetwood Brougham sold decently, especially considering the short year—49,115 examples went out the door. By 1986, these cars had evolved into stately evocations of another age. No longer an expression of anything reasonably current in the automotive world, they still received surprising respect. In 1987, the name was shortened to just Brougham, but Cadillac would sell the same basic model through the 1992 model year with only one notable update in 1990.
Folks are collecting these rear-wheel-drive eighties Cadillacs, but values do not approach those of Fleetwoods from previous decades. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1986 Fleetwood Brougham sedan in #1/Concours condition is a painfully low $8,000, with a more normal number #3/Good condition car going for $4,200. Eighties Fleetwood Broughams and their ilk are regularly featured in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors—as I write this in February 2019, there’s a Cotillion White 1986 with burgundy velour seats and 44,000 miles available on Hemmings for $11,000.
Make mine Autumn Maple Firemist, please.