Cadillac LaSalle

Built by Cadillac to Cadillac standards, the LaSalle soon emerged as trend setting automobile within GM, and Earl was placed in charge of overseeing the design of all GM vehicles.

LaSalles were offered in a full-range of body styles, including Fisher and Fleetwood built custom body designs. The roadster could also be ordered in two tone color combinations at a time when dark colors like black and navy blue were still the most familiar colors produced by manufacturers. Earl’s design even included a nod to the inspirational Hispano-Suiza with the marque’s circled trademark “LaS” cast into the horizontal tie bar between the front lights.

Riding wheelbases ranging between 128” and 134”, LaSalles of this era were equipped with Cadillac’s “Ninety Degree V-8” which made the car fast, while its smaller size made it sportier and more agile.

On June 20, 1927, a LaSalle driven by Willard Rader (along with Gus Bell) on the track at GM’s Milford proving ground achieved 952 miles, averaging 95.2 mph with only seven minutes given over to refueling and tire changes. In comparison, the average speed at that years Indianapolis 500 was 97.5 mph. The test at Milford would have continued, however a problem in the oil system drew the test to an early close approaching the 9:45 mark.

However the depression, combined with LaSalle’s stalling sales numbers caused Cadillac to rethink its companion make. Both Buick and Oldsmobile had eliminated the Marquette and Viking in their second model year in 1930. Cadillac also saw sales of its cars losing ground as confirmed Cadillac buyers tried to trim pennies by buying the less expensive LaSalle. LaSalle sales also were falling, from a high of 22,691 models in 1929 to a low of 3,290 in 1932.

Source: Wikipedia, 2011

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