LaSalle Convertible Sedan

René Robert Cavelier was a restless spirit who arrived in the New World 17 years before Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac. Later titled de La Salle, this name was appropriated for Cadillac’s companion brand, which was introduced for 1927. An all-new design by Harley Earl, the LaSalle remains the first production automobile designed from the outset by a car stylist. While tremendously popular upon its introduction, LaSalle sales fell in the early 1930s. Nonetheless, it outsold the “senior” Cadillac line, and thanks to another styling triumph in 1934 by Harley Earl, as well as a host of improvements including a new chassis, a new V8 engine, hydraulic brakes and an independent front suspension, LaSalle carried the Cadillac Division through the Depression. Sadly, after 1940 model year, the highly regarded LaSalle marque was discontinued in favor of the Cadillac Series 61, the thinking being that it was now competing directly with Cadillac for buyers.

Just 75 examples of the handsome and distinctive five-passenger Convertible Sedan, Series 52 were produced for 1940, and today it is believed that less than ten remain in existence. The very attractive example offered here was originally sold in August 1940 to a baroness who was a resident of Vermont. She retained the car until 1960 before it passed through two more owners and finally joined a Michigan-based private collection in 1975.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Shotwell Gustafson Pavilion at Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester, Michigan.

130 bhp, 322 cu. in. V8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, “Knee-Action” independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123"

Source: RM Auctions

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