Lasalle Custom Coupe

Rodders have been working on 1930s Fords for so long that the supply of good sheet metal is nearly exhausted. The result has been fiberglass replicas, for those who simply must have a Deuce or an Adventure in non-Ford sheet metal. This car falls into the latter category.

The LaSalle was Cadillac’s companion car, the first model styled by a young Harley Earl to resemble the Hispano-Suiza. Over the years, LaSalle transformed into an Oldsmobile surrogate before morphing back to true Cadillac genes in 1937. Changes were minor for 1938, and the engine compartment designed for an L-head V-8 left plenty of room for a modern engine.

This car remains true to the LaSalle design, while offering a modern powertrain and enhanced chassis for use on today’s streets. The engine is a 350-cubic inch small block Chevy, which drives through a three-speed Hydra-Matic. It is fed by a Carter four-barrel carburetor through a polished Edelbrock manifold.

Modern comforts include air conditioning, power steering, and four-wheel power disc brakes. A contemporary stereo provides surround sound, and directional signals help the driver maneuver through traffic.

Like Buick, LaSalle offered a rumble seat convertible coupe in the late-1930s, unusual in that it had a small luggage compartment as well. Located below the seat well, the compartment has its own external lid. The cockpit and rumble are upholstered in pleated tan leather; the dashboard is original but fitted with modern gauges in a polished aluminum panel. A tilt steering column is fitted with a banjo-spoke wheel reminiscent of the original item.

The engine and its ancillaries exhibit highly-polished aluminum, and slim glasspack mufflers produce just the right sound. Offset original style wheels are mounted with wide B.F. Goodrich Silvertown whitewall radials and stainless trim rings. With the strength of steel, from stem to stern, this LaSalle is a superb example of a modern day vintage cabriolet.

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Teddy Pieper

Be part of something big