HAS ORIGINAL FLATHEAD V8, VERY RARE 2 DOOR COUPE LASALLE, RUNS EXCELLENT
The LaSalle was the junior Cadillac, designed to bridge the gap between Buick and Cadillac during the 1930s. By 1939, Buick was moving upscale and Cadillac was preparing the Series 61, so the LaSalle's days were numbered, but not before this handsome opera coupe was built.
Wearing the same sheetmetal as the Buick Special but riding on a slightly larger chassis gives the LaSalle ideal proportions, with a long, pointed hood and rounded trunk that typifies the era. Aerodynamics were making the cars sleeker every year, so the raked windshield and curvaceous fenders are as functional as they are handsome. Only 3531 coupes were built in 1939, which is widely regarded as one of LaSalle's best years in terms of styling. The tall, narrow grille had become a LaSalle trademark by then, and the bullet-shaped headlights were fared into the sides of the hood, creating a very unique look. This one was restored a few years ago and still looks fantastic wearing its Whistler Gray paint over some very well-preserved bodywork that shows tight gaps and excellent finish work. Under the lights in our studio it almost looks green, but the finish is correct and authentic, with just the right shine and no modern metallics to give it away. Pot metal castings make up a majority of the LaSalle's bright details, they are fortunately in excellent condition, including the fine grilles and bullet-shaped hood ornament.
The semi-formal interior will whisk you back to a pre-war era where men all wore fedoras when they went out. Striped broadcloth on the original seat looks like it was lifted right out of a Jimmy Stewart movie and shows virtually zero wear since it was fitted. The sleek dash is painted a contrasting dark tan, with the instruments cleverly hidden in a narrow band under glass, giving the interior a very symmetrical look (that was intentional so right-hand drive vehicles would be easier to build). Secondary controls for the headlights, dash lights, and starter, plus a hand throttle for cold mornings, are lined up under the central grille, which is where the optional AM radio would have lived if this car were so equipped. Two jump seats behind the front seat add enough room for adults on short trips, and you'll be impressed by how neatly upholstered the entire interior truly is. Seat belts were added for safety and the trunk is very neatly finished with correct fabric and a matching full-sized spare.
The only engine available in your LaSalle was a slightly downsized 322 cubic inch version of Cadillac's venerable flathead V8. Smooth, torquey, and virtually indestructible, these excellent engines would go on to power tanks during the war and Cadillacs for another decade. Dressed in olive green engine enamel and surrounded by the top-mounted exhaust manifolds, the engine looks right, starts easily thanks to an electric fuel pump, and runs superbly, cruising easily at modern highway speeds. It's backed by a 3-speed manual gearbox with 3-on-the-tree shifting that's easy to master with a little practice. The suspension is conventional, with a "knee-action" independent front end and a live axle on leaf springs out back, but the ride is surprisingly plus. Four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes are plenty powerful for this relative lightweight, and flashy red steel wheels with hubcaps and trim rings are detailed with a set of BFGoodrich Silvertown wide whites.
Only a handful of these cars are known to still exist, and once you experience the junior Cadillac, you'll understand why GM had to get rid of LaSalle: it's just too good! Call today.
- Cloth Interior
- 3 Speed Manual
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