1931 LASALLE 345A TWO-DOOR COUPE WITH 1926 ECCLES CARAVAN
Registration No. MSU 565
Chassis No. 906633
Engine No. 906633
Grey with black wings and grey interior, maroon caravan.
Engine; Cadillac V8, 5,997cc giving 95bhp at 3,000rpm; Gearbox; three speed synchromesh; Brakes; four wheel mechanical drum; Suspension; leaf springs front and rear. Left hand drive.
The name LaSalle came from an early French explorer of Illinois and was chosen as a companion to the Cadillac range of motor vehicles who were similarly named after another French explorer who discovered Detroit. The LaSalle was introduced in 1927 by GM's Cadillac Division as a smaller and less expensive running-mate for the Cadillac. It was concieved by Harley J. Earl and was the first completely "styled" car. It was a great success, becoming one of the benchmark cars in American automotive history. The engine used was the side valve V8 of 5-litre capacity and by 1929 in line with the Cadillac range, the LaSalle was the first car to have a synchromesh gearbox. Other new features included the fitting of safety glass and chrome plating.
In 1927 to prove that the new LaSalle could hold its own in terms of performance, a stripped down stock model was driven for 951 miles at an average of 95.3mph which was only a couple of miles an hour less than the winning Duesenberg achieved at Indianapolis the month before.
The 1931 LaSalle was designated the series 354A and had an engine capacity of just under 6-litres. This example was imported from the USA in 1988 where it had been restored in the early 1980s. The owner reports that it has been a most reliable touring car and has appeared at many events here, usually towing the 1926 Eccles. This early touring caravan was discovered in a Wiltshire barn and in 1988 underwent a full restoration. Much of the interior was repaired and the medium oak repolished. Upholstery (tapestry) and flooring made in the period style were renewed. It comes with its correct Rippindales cooker. The only non original features are a pumped water system and a stainless steel sink which is hidden in a wooden cabinet. The Eccles sleeps four with one double bed and a bunk.
This is perhaps a unique combination, but the two are highly suited to each other, being a similar age and the LaSalle having enough power to comfortably pull the Eccles. It certainly is a welcome attraction at classic car meetings and offers the new owner the chance to experience post vintage motoring and nostalgia night and day!