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Survivor 1990 Cadillac Brougham is a Cheap Car Young People Can Actually Afford
These days, you hear an awful lot about how difficult, neigh, impossible it is for most folks to find an affordable used car. They’ll blame everything from microchip shortages to foreign governments meddling in American politics and all kinds of other bonkers conspiracies. The truth is that cheap used cars are, in fact, still around, and the trick to it all is knowing where to look.

Survivor 1990 Cadillac Brougham is a Cheap Car Young People Can Actually Afford

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Want your proof? Have a look at this 1990 Cadillac Brougham, a car that’s called New York City home for the last three decades. Surprisingly, the car isn’t driven by a crusty older man, but a twenty-something college graduate named Andrew.

Fresh off completing his bachelor’s degree at SUNY Purchase College, the 26-year-old lives in the historic Long Island City neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. In short, this car is the embodiment of late 80s and early 90s New York City on four wheels.

A true old-soul New Yorker, Andrew's first car was a 1973 Buick LeSabre. Before finishing his degree, he drove the car during his final years of undergrad before taking a year-long sabbatical in his mother's native nation, Singapore. The current global health crisis forced him back home to New York, and it was then that he bought this truly survivor-status Cadillac for a measly $2,000 cash.

At first glance, the car is not a looker, that’s for sure. But on further inspection, you begin to appreciate exactly how much of a survivor this old Caddy actually is. The car was looked after to the original owner's credit, as the replacement metal between the rear bumper and the rear bulkhead proves. An all too common spot where these cars love to rust to pieces.

Other items like the various exterior Cadillac emblems and the landau roof lining are pretty worse for wear as well. It also has to be noted that one of the four hubcaps is from a years-matching Chevy Caprice.

Under the hood of this not so little Cadillac is not the 5.0-liter GM small-block engine that generally finds its way big Cadillacs of this vintage. Instead, the optional towing package on this example gets the same 5.7-liter L05 engine found in the same era of Chevrolet/GMC trucks.

Notable examples are the Chevrolet Suburban and the C/10 pickup. In the case of the Brougham, the engine’s hooked up to a butter-smooth four-speed automatic transmission and beefier rear gearing than non towing-package equipped models.

Power ratings were around 175 horsepower in its day, but in truth, power numbers are irrelevant on a car like this. It just needs to start up every time Andrew turns the key, and he swears that he’s never had the car break down even once. However, he did admit that the ten to 12 miles per gallon the thing gets in the city makes him glad his commute to work is only ten minutes long.

The interior of this Brougham almost looks like the inside of an old battleship compared to the high-tech screen-filled interiors we’re used to in luxury cars today. That said, it’d be a crime not to mention how darn cool the green LCD tachometer and the speedometer is. The display happily bounces from number to number as you rumble down the road. It's no modern Lamborghini LCD speedo, that's pretty evident, but it's endlessly charming even so.

Just as it has in most well-worn American cars from around this time, the headliner's started to sag and need to be kept in place with red thumbtacks. Although based on the stories we hear about shoddy build in early 90s GM cars, it almost looks like the job was done right at the factory.

Even if this barge on wheels accelerates slower than a modern econobox, there’s a tremendous sense of occasion every time Andrew puts his foot down. It’s a driving experience unlike anything a car built in the last 20 years can recreate, and one that young adults other than old-souls like Andrew will never get to experience.

If you’re wondering, Andrew doesn’t plan to sell his car anytime soon. But what his car proves more than anything, it’s that the used car shortage is not as black and white as it might seem, and there really are cheap used cars for sale in America today.The problem comes in what cars the average consumer chooses to accept.

If you desperately need four wheels to get to and from work as a young hustler as Andrew does, we suggest you broaden your horizons. You might even wind up enjoying what you pick out.

 
 
 
 
 

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