LaSalle Classic Cars for Sale
Named after the French explorer Robert De La Salle, the luxury automobile brand LaSalle was produced and marketed by General Motors Cadillac division between 1927 and 1940.
The History of LaSalle
The first LaSalle, designed by Henry Earl, went on sale in 1927. The vehicle was, at the time, unlike anything else being produced by American manufacturers with its smaller elegant design based upon the Hispano-Suiza and tri-tone colour combinations. The LaSalle was promoted using a European theme in its showroom posters in an effort to show it as a fashionable model with an international feel.
The 1927 LaSalle lineup, known as Series 303 featured a total of eleven models, five of which were built on a 125-inch wheelbase and six at a larger 134-inch wheelbase. Equipped with a Cadillac Ninety Degree V-8 engine, the LaSalle was also very fast for its time, easily achieving 70mph, with one achieving an average speed of 97.5mph at the 1927 Indianapolis 500. All of this meant that the car was enthusiastically received and Henry Earl was offered a job a the head of a new GM department called the “Art and Colour Section”
By 1929 the larger wheelbase models were proving to be much more popular than their smaller counterparts, and in 1930, the shorter LaSalle Chassis was discontinued with all models in that years 340 Series using the larger wheelbase. When series 345A launched in 1931, the car now started to closely resemble a Cadillac, with the only real differences being the trim, bowl-shaped headlamps and nameplate.
As the great depression hit America and the economy suffered, sales of the LaSalle began to stall, falling from a high of 22,691 sales in 1929 to a low of 3,290 in 1932. There were only minor alterations made in 1933, but in 1934 Henry Earl restyled once again the La Salle including a number of cost-cutting measures. This allowed the new Series 350 to have $650 trimmed from its base prices. The new style and lower price more than doubled the previous years sales, but unfortunately, sales were still below company expectations.
The End of the LaSalle
Production continued for the rest of the 30’s, but with the deep recession and sales down throughout the whole motor industry, the LaSalle remained largely unchanged until in 1939 it received a whole new body shell and a return to a shorter wheelbase. Sales rose to 22,000 but for a company the size of GM this was still considered below par and the company stopped producing the car in 1940.