1939 LASALLE COUPE
COACHWORK BY FISHER
Chassis No. 2304428
Tan with beige broadcloth interior
Engine: eight cylinder L-head, 322ci, 125bhp at 3,400rpm; Gearbox: three-speed manual; Suspension: leaf springs all around; Brakes: hydraulic drums all around. Left hand drive.
First introduced on March 5, 1927, the LaSalle motor car was met with enthusiasm by the American public. General Motors introduced its new car to fill the price gap between Buick and Cadillac. Moderately priced at around $3,000, the new LaSalles were aimed at customers looking for a car slightly less conservative than a Cadillac, yet built with the same high standards of manufacturing. The first cars were billed by General Motors as a Companion Car to Cadillac and the LaSalles boasted Cadillac quality and dependability in a smaller package and at a lower price. Styling stood equal to function in the design. The new LaSalle cars did well in their early years, boosting GM sales significantly and regaining the GM market share from American competitors like Packard and Lincoln.
When the Great Depression hit, the LaSalle's days as a promising new manufacturing division quickly became numbered. Essentially, this was due to the relatively short company history, as they were unable to fully develop the LaSalle name and, even more importantly, a client base. Nevertheless, LaSalle cars continued to be produced; the quality of production though had fallen considerably. Not to be defeated by their competitors, General Motors made one last attempt to salvage the company and in the late 1930s they introduced a well built, powerful and affordably priced line of LaSalles in hopes of rescuing the ailing company. Unfortunately, the damage had been done and the LaSalle division would never fully recover. They were forced to close shop toward the end of 1940. In the last two years of LaSalle production the company managed to build some very attractive cars. For the 1939 model year the company employed an aerodynamic and longer grille complete with the LaSalle script across the front. The new grille was joined by two lower curved side grilles, while the teardrop style headlights became incorporated into the body. Though the exterior of the car had been dramatically improved from its predecessor, the engine mechanics were essentially left unchanged as the eight cylinder, 322ci. motor provided ample power for most potential owners.
The 1939 LaSalle on offer here is a very presentable example. The exterior paint shows well however some spidering is evident. The interior is in respectable condition and the broadcloth upholstery appears to have been replaced some time ago. The dashboard and instruments appear to be all original and there is a lovely period windshield mounted compass. The LaSalle also features whitewall tires with red rims and stylish rear fender skirts. The engine bay and motor are in original condition, however, we understand that the car was recently serviced and the motor ran smoothly. In the swansong year of LaSalle, the American automaker created a lovely, stylishly deco car that is fondly appreciated and supported through club activities and vintage touring events.