I created a content type called "Automobile" and that has the following fields: "Model," "Manufacturer," and "Year." When I go to "Dashboard > Content > Find Content," the search does not offer me controls to "find all automobiles between the year 1990 and 1995 with the model Caravan." How do I configure Drupal to allow such queries?
You have to create a view if you want this control. Like this
This will give you a page with the exposed filters you asked for @ www.mysite.com/automobile.
You can also use the Search API ranges module. Here is a quote about it (from its project page):
... provides widgets for Search API range queries. Currently includes: jQuery UI min/max slider.