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LaSalle: A French Name With An All-American Heritage

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LaSalle was initially conceived as a baby Cadillac with an enhanced style, but eventually rolled out as a more youthful companion to the Cadillac from 1927 to 1940. The La Salle was special for many reasons, a few being:

Youthful Design and Concept
LaSalle was born on March 5, 1927 with a more youthful design than its older companion. It came to establish itself as a totally different brand, with completely new features and a unique style, which was designed by Harley Earl in contemporary Art Deco style.

Competitive Pricing
LaSalle was envisaged to fill the price gap between the Buick and the Cadillac. Deemed to be the first ‘stylist’s car’ to go into mass production, it was priced lower than the Cadillac.

Compact and Colorful
This classic car was also smaller than the Cadillac. Acclaimed to be one of the trendiest automobiles in America, it was the first in the series of smaller but maneuverable luxury cars. LaSalle was also the first to apply DuPont Chemical Company’s fast drying polychromatic duco finishes on automobiles, producing a spectacular array of colors.

The Different LaSalle Models and Their Unique Features
The 1934 LaSalle model, interestingly, looked more like an Oldsmobile than a Cadillac. It was in this model that hydraulic brakes were first introduced.

However the most remarkable member of the series, and extremely modern in its disposition, the 1937 LaSalle owed much of its appearance to its contemporary Cadillac. It was introduced in November 1936. The Series 50 LaSalle was built on the same 124 wheelbase as that of the lowest priced Cadillac Series 60 with the same “monobloc” 322- V-8 engine. The bumper was single piece and came with an all-steel body. The striking features included a new die cast grill with egg crate pattern. The front fenders had a crease along the top and the bumper bore the LaSalle insignia, making it even more stylish and flashy. 

This model clinched a sales record of 32,000 units in the same year. This sales momentum steered LaSalle clear through 1940, bequeathing a total of 205,179 LaSalles to automobile savvy Americans during its life span of 14 years. Adding a feather to its cap, a LaSalle Convertible was selected in 1937 to whet its speed at the Indianapolis 500 race.

The 37-50 LaSalle had four models, in two-door and four-door sedans, convertible sedans, convertible coupes and sports coupes. The last of the LaSalle members came out in 1940 and by 1941 the name had been laid to rest.  

In 2009 a LaSalle sports coupe was sold for $26,000 at the Houston Classic Auction, and in 2012 a 1937 LaSalle Series 50 Convertible Coupe was sold for $43,700 at the Quail Lodge Sale in Carmel.

Thinking of expanding your collection with a LaSalle? LaSalle’s are a fantastic investment and excellent additions to any collection. To protect your valuable investment, give us a call today for a free collector car insurance quote. Classic Auto Insurance can help you take care of and maintain your classic cars with our customized classic car insurance policies.


About the Author

is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.

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