Considering the Great Depression, 1935 was a pretty good year for the LaSalle marque in terms of sales. The prior year the company had sold 7,195 examples; in 1935 a total of 8,651. The numbers would continue to rise in the years to come, with 13,004 units sold in 1936 and 32,000 sold in 1937.
The post-Great Depression era was a difficult one, especially because they were desperate times. Many marque's were dropping the prices on all of their vehicles or adding additional paint schemes, numerous options, and many incentives in order to create a sale. Packard introduced their One-Twenty line, which was a strong competitor in the low-cost luxury market. It was priced right and carried the prestige of the Packard name.
The base price of the LaSalle in 1935 was around $1500. Few styling changes had occurred over the prior years. A two-door and four-door 'trunk-back' sedan bodystyle were added to the line. Horsepower rose slightly, from 90 to 95.
General Motors tiered its models to allow buyers to move up in price and prestige as their fortunes improved. LaSalle was designed as a stylish entry to fill the gap between Buick and Cadillac. The LaSalle is often referred to as Cadillac's 'Companion Car.' 1927 was the inaugural year and the vehicles were designed by Harley Earl. Sales were initially strong, but as the world inched closer to the Great Depression, sales began to slow from a 1929 high of almost 23,000 to 3,386 in 1932. The LaSalle would remain in production through 1940.
In 1934, a new design was introduced and helped save the marque. Changes included a thin vertical, grille (an art deco influence of the day), teardrop headlights and five circular hood ports. The 1934-35 models were restyled by General Motors head designer, Harley Earl, who was chosen to head-up the company's then-new Art and Color Department in 1926. For 1935, the LaSaslle convertible coupe sold for $1,325. Power was supplied by a 248 cubic-inch, inline eight-cylinder motor that developed 105 horsepower. Wheelbase was 120 inches. For the first time, LaSalle featured an all-steel turret top.
These automobiles are among the first General Motors designs to feature streamlining and art deco influence, shown through the narrow flowing and slim vertical grille, the slanted split-vee windshield, the teardrop headlights and the rocket taillight assemblies. They also feature Earl's signature five circular hood ports and the rear hinged suicide doors.
Power the Convertible Coupe Roadster is a 248 cubic-inch straight eight. In total, 874 convertible coupes were built in 1935. This example has been in the same family since 1962. In the 1950's and early 1960's it sat near their home in a garage in Harper Woods, Michigan. The neighbor's son had driven the LaSalle home from Naval duty in California. From there it passed the years virtually untouched until it was purchased by the current owner's father. It then sat for nearly five decades in his tool and die shop. IN 2005, he inherited it and finally in 2010 it would undergo a frame-off restoration returning it to its original glory. The restoration was completed in 2011.