1990 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Brougham LS: Capricious excess
Here we go again! I finish up a post on a classic ’60s Porsche, and then, an hour later, I spy this gorgeous example of early ’90s domestic luxury on one of my preferred Facebook groups, Finding Future Classic Cars.
It is the finest full-size Chevrolet you could have purchased in 1990: The Caprice Classic Brougham LS. Going even beyond the plush Caprice Classic Brougham, the Brougham LS added a Cadillac-like padded landau top with “LS” monograms in each opera window.
I’ve always loved these, and my affection extends to the entire 1977–90 Caprice line. They were common to my 1980s childhood—on the road, in my neighborhood, and on TV. The Brougham LS itself first appeared in 1986 as a mid-year addition.
Caprices were always pretty plush, right from the beginning in ’65, when the nameplate was a luxury trim level on the Impala Sport Sedan, a four-door pillarless hardtop. But the capo di tutti capi of Caprices was and has always been, in my humble opinion, the Brougham LS.
Yes, it was Maximum Brougham. It had it all: opera windows, wire wheel covers, ample chrome trim, V-8, whitewalls, leather or velour seating, and many other Broughamesque features. Furthermore, there was no mistaking this large, luxurious Chevrolet for the slightly less-flossy Caprice Classic Brougham, due to its exclusive Landau coach roof.
Inside, the Brougham LS was basically the same as the non-LS Brougham, but that was hardly a problem for luxury lovers. Features included plush, floating-pillow-styled seating, 20 oz carpeting, 55/45 divided front seat, and courtesy lamps galore. Velour was standard (of course it was!) and leather came optional.
This very nice example, from 1990, the final year of the “boxy” Caprice, was particularly fetching to your author, resplendent in dark metallic blue paint with a matching top and velour interior. The listing has since expired, but when I began this piece, it was available on Craigslist, in Lake Tapps, Washington, for five bucks south of nine grand with 98K miles on the clock.
As with the earlier 1971–76 Caprices, these cars are particularly popular with customizers, so a nice showroom-new example like this one isn’t the easiest thing isn’t easy to locate. I love it.
Unfortunately, I already have two Lincolns to feed, so I had to pass. That didn’t stop me from gawking at all the photos of this excellent example—or sharing it with all you fine folks, though.
The Caprice itself would depart after an extended 1996 model year, the huge B-body GM plant in Texas being repurposed to build the new, red-hot four-door Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon.
While there was always a luxury Caprice—right to the end, with extra chrome and plusher interiors—they never quite seemed as impressive as the 1977–90 Caprices; of course, as a land-yacht nut, I liked those cars too.
Today, full size pickups and crossovers have pushed the traditional full-sized American car out to pasture, likely for good. However, cars like this navy Caprice show us what once was. For those particularly taken with this generation of big Chevrolet, know that many fine examples, like this one, are still out there!