Luxury Sleeper: Supercharged 1991 Cadillac Brougham

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It is no secret that we all here at Barn Finds hold a special place in our little black hearts for luxury barges.  The floating on marshmallow creme ride and having your own zip code are two experiences we highly suggest you enjoy.  The one negative they all share is tepid straight-line performance.  Well, except for this one.  Take a look at this 1991 Cadillac Brougham for sale on craigslist in Ocala, Florida.  Would having a supercharged crate motor under the hood justify paying the $21,000 asking price for this luxury sleeper?  Thanks to Tony P. for the tip!

Cadillac came out with a downsized deVille in 1977.  Downsized is a relative term when it comes to seventies Cadillacs.  The car was a hit with the demographic that loved traditional, front-engine, rear-wheel drive luxury cars with formal styling, plenty of space, and a smooth ride.  It started out with a 425 cubic inch Cadillac V-8, but GM decided to install such unremarkable powerplants as a Buick 252 cubic inch V-6, a diesel V-8, and the later 4.1-liter Cadillac V-8 designed for front-wheel drive Cadillacs.  There were a few other engines offered, but those were even more unremarkable.

When the front-wheel drive de Villes came out in 1984, there was still considerable demand for the older model.  After a very confusing period where Cadillac shuffled names around almost yearly, the model emerged in 1987 as the Brougham.  This traditional, body-on-frame Cadillac lasted until 1992 when it was replaced with a Chevrolet Caprice-based successor.  During this time, the vehicle was powered by small-block Chevrolet V-8s.

This is where this car gets interesting.  The seller found this well-cared-for Cadillac and saw that there was a lot of room for an aggressive expansion of horsepower under the hood.  Chevrolet has made several important upgrades to the small-block Chevrolet engine over the past few decades.  Considering that this Cadillac left the factory with a small block, why wouldn’t a newer version of the engine fit without issue?  If you are going to have a Chevy-powered Caddy, why not add some pep to its step?

So, the modifications began.  A new L31 crate motor served as the foundation.  From there, an FI Tech fuel injection is slapped on.  Topping it off is an Edelbrock supercharger.  The 7004R automatic transmission has been rebuilt, beefed up, and fitted with a 2,400-stall torque converter.  Short headers and custom dual exhaust do their part in getting rid of all that burned fuel.  A high-volume fuel pump was fitted to keep that feeding going uninterrupted.

The car itself has just 90,000 miles on the odometer.  A new vinyl top has been fitted but it needed little else.  The leather interior is in very good condition.  The paint is also in great shape and all the bright work is present as well.  A custom hood scoop designed to feed the cold air induction for the supercharger has been installed.  If you like the sleeper look, the original hood is available with the sale.

It is great to see someone take that next step in making one of these rear-wheel-drive Cadillacs a performance machine.  They are great road cars, but the power plants left a lot to be desired.  This fixes the problem with a vengeance.

Have you ever owned a big Caddy?  What was the experience like?  Please share your adventures in the comments.

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  1. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    Fun factor-89%.
    Replace the suspension, brakes etc. with something equal to the engine and raise that factor to 100%.
    Sleeper, indeed!!!

    Like 18
    • Bud Lee

      They could have done much worse. I wouldn’t buy it, but I’ll give it a 👍.

      Like 10
  2. Oldog4tz Oldog4tz

    Imagine the blowback taking this puppy to the California DMV.

    Like 11
    • John EderMember

      Don’t bother- they will send you to the “you’ve got to be kidding” window (I think that it’s #13- the one with the trap door in front of it). I have made several visits to that window during the years that I lived in California. It never ended well.

      I think that a funeral home with a sense of humor should buy this as their “family car”. Funeral director: “Yeah, we always beat the hearse to the cemetery.”

      Like 4
  3. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    It’s a true sleeper.. I would not mine owning this. It’s perfect for me. My old age and white hair and some teenagers at the light with there BMW. What a surprise to them when I smoke them off the light and they see my taillights!! 😂😂

    Like 28
    • PAW

      The teeangers would die out of laughter when you would try to out accelerate with this their 320 diesel.

      400ish HP does not make this fast in any way

      Like 0
  4. BA

    Worthwhile engine upgrades for sure! I wonder what rear end is in it? There is no doubt a blower puts the power down ! If I had the need you bet I would be kicking the tires since it not far from here.

    Like 3
    • Zen

      I was thinking the same thing, this engine and tranny would not be the weakest link, the rear end would. Beat on it a little too much, and that car is coming home on a flatbed. I wouldn’t have gone so far with a car like this. Just minor things to get a little more power out of the original engine would make these fine riding cars more of a pleasure to own. I had one with the d’Elegance package, which was pillow-top seats. Too bad they don’t make ’em like that anymore.

      Like 0
    • ACZ

      The rear is the 8 1/2 corporate GM. Ratio ?? A guess would be somewhere around a 2.56. If you’re going to put some power under the hood with an overdrive, that should be changed to about a 3.42.

      Like 0
  5. Tony Primo

    I would sacrifice a few horsepower and reinstall the stock hood for the full sleeper effect.

    Like 16
  6. Maggy

    I’ve never seen or heard of a sbc being installed in a 87 caddy from the factory. 307 olds yes.Car is really cool.I’d park it my garage no problem.Depending on the gear I bet this boat runs high to mid 12’s.If this car was done right and as solid underneath as it is up top It’s worth it.I didn’t like the hood at first but with everything else so stock looking I’d leave it.

    Like 4
  7. FrankDMember

    Interesting built! Just needs a 60 year old lady with white hair and a lead foot.

    Like 7
    • SubGothius

      …from Pasadena? 😉

      (Fine, she had a Super Stock Dodge, but she coulda upgraded to this later.)

      Like 3
    • Sam

      My mom’s 85 and wheels a XTERRA around Pa. with Purple hair. Her B-DAY is coming up. Might think about this

      Like 2
  8. Rumpledoorskin

    I could do without the nostril poking out of the hood. Otherwise I love the concept. I’d keep the stock suspension and wheels so that the ride would be comfortable.

    Like 1
  9. ACZ

    I’d like to build one of these, but with an LS instead.

    Like 2
  10. Norman "Pete" McGill

    I bought a 65 off the showroom floor for $6400 minus my trade. It was a pukey green color and was a four door sedan. Being a traveling salesman for Ga. and Ala. I covered 50k miles a year and decided I’d try this brand car for awhile to see how bad it could be owning a luxury car compared to the Pontiac’s and other throw away cars I’d been buying. Boy, was I surprised. The Caddy had a huge trunk into which I could easily store my sample line, the back seat held tons of literature, brief cases and my luggage with hangers for my cloths on each side of the cabin roof and a rod across the whole back area to accommodate anything on a hanger. The front seat held my butt in absolute comfort for mile after mile of city,town and village driving on all sorts of roads and back country paths. It also held a portable TV which plugged into the cigar lighter and a loaded, double barreled shotgun clamped to the dash with the barrels sticking up so the cops could see it. The South was still in the “equal rights” frame of mind and although I never had to use the shotgun nor was I ever stopped because of it, I carried it anyway just in case. There must have been a certain aura about the car because everywhere I went people moved to let me through and when I stopped over night in Atlanta or Montgomery or Birmingham the car was parked for me in a secured parking garage and I never had a problem with anyone breaking into the car. Even the shotgun was never molested or stolen. I have no idea what engine was under the hood but the car would travel at a hundred or forty five and was a perfect lady all the time. I kept the oil changed and anything else that a dealer would recommend and changed tires twice a year to be on the safe side and the car never once broke down on me. With the velvet smooth ride and the perfect shifting the ride was as comfortable as riding a recliner in your living room. I averaged 22 mpg consistently and that was equal to anything else I ever drove on the road except the Rambler wagon I first started out with and that only got 25 mpg so the Caddy was a far better deal than anything else for me in my job. I put 76k miles on that car in two years and never spent a nickle on anything other than normal maintenance items and that was also comparable to my other cars.It was the only car I kept for over a year and I never regretted it one bit. I’d buy another one but I would never buy a new one.

    Like 14
  11. John EderMember

    Was the shotgun’s purpose to promote or prevent “equal rights”?

    Like 4

    My daughter was conceived in the back seat of a 1970 sedan de’ville.

    Like 2
    • Norman "Pete" McGill

      Buicks work too. Ha!

      Like 0
  13. Norman "Pete" McGill

    Hi John.Interesting question. One time I was staying at the Piedmont Hotel downtown Atlanta on Peachtree St and I came down from my room to go make some calls when Jimmy, the bellhop/doorman called me over to his desk in the lobby. He told me that the garage would not send my car over because of the ruccus going on across the street from the hotel. When I asked him what was going on he led me to the bar/lounge in the far corner of the room and let me look out the venitian blinds for a short time.I saw Leb’s Delicatessen across the street and the KKK in all their glory and get up, marching along the sidewalk in front of the hotel,across Lucky Street to Leb’s and up the sidewalk there then back across the street to the hotel. If you’ve never seen the KKK in all their hoods and gowns seriously marching along a street then you don’t know what scary is. These guys would put the fear of God into anyone never mind the suspicious black people of the time. I looked at Jimmy and decided to forego the car delivery for now and went back to watching out the window,at my own risk I was told, to see what the KKK would do next. I had never seen such actions before and I knew it was important and didn’t want to miss any of the show.
    After a few minutes of marching around the sidewalks I saw several Atlanta Police cars pull up blocking the side streets and then a paddy wagon entered the center of the intersection and like magic every one of those KKK guys disappeared. They just vanished in broad day light and I never saw them again. Meantime the cops were dragging black people out of Leb’s, where they had been staging a sit-in for not being served and tossing them on the ground at the back of the paddy wagon. Other cops picked them up like sacks of potatoes and THREW them into the back of the paddy wagon. I was absolutely traumatized (I came from Massachusetts) at the sight and have never personally seen such actions since although this went on all over the South for several years. Pretty soon the cops locked the back of the paddy wagon (truck) and off they went with their cargo of prisoners. Suddenly it was all over and the street returned to it’s normally quiet state. I didn’t go out to make any calls that day because I was so shocked at what I had seen. Since I then belonged to the Georgia National Guard I went up to my room and called the CO at the Armory and asked if there was going to be a call up of the Guard for this. He assured me that this would not happen and he seemed to know all about it so I just gave the CQ my contacts and forgot about the Guard for the time being.
    Oh yes, the shotgun. I had no oar in any of the equal rights waters anywhere except what might be required from the National Guard. The shot gun was strictly for personal protection just like the 12g pump that is within arms reach right now. I listened to the radio all the time and did not venture anywhere near any protests or marches. I just happened to be at the Piedmont at the time and saw this happening. Funny thing was that the Playboy Club was just down the street and there I saw Martin Luther King one night shortly after this, with two of the biggest body guards you ever saw, entering the club to take his stand for there being no blacks allowed in the Club. I didn’t have a chance to talk to him so the subject of Leb’s didn’t come up.

    Like 7
    • Rumpledoorskin

      Thank you for sharing that story. Our cars are there for us when our lives happen and seeing a similar one jogs our memories to events that happened around us when we owned it.

      Like 1
  14. Roland

    I seem to remember from reading the Direct Connection manual in the late 1970s that you need 30 sq inches of opening facing forward for a hood scoop to be effective. The one on this Caddy seems a lot smaller than 30 sq in.

    Like 1
  15. CenturyTurbo Coupe

    Cadillac used Oldsmobile 307’s in these for obvious reasons.

    Like 0
    • ACZ

      Not all. They came with a 305 Chevy or a 350 Chevy in the last two years of this body style.

      Like 2
  16. DN

    Definitely the most mundane colors imaginable, for the most effective stealth effect.

    Like 0

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