LaSalle (automobile)

LaSalle was the name of a Cadillac under the aegis of 1927-1940 led brand of American automobile company General Motors.


General Motors CEO Alfred P. Sloan made ​​in the mid- 1920s in the extensive car offer the Group from a gap between the top brand Cadillac and Buick, which should be filled by a new brand.

Under the leadership of Cadillac thereupon ( a French explorer of the 17th century, named after Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, ) was the LaSalle developed, which debuted in March 1927 and was built by Cadillac. The body design of the LaSalle came from the hands of Harley Earl, who later became GM 's head of design, and is considered the first example of a deliberately effect rather than pure functionality through custom auto body and thus as a beginning of the automobile designs. Earl was fixed after the success of his LaSalle at GM in 1928 as Head of the Art and Colour Section, the first design department of an automobile company, was appointed.

From the economic crisis in the wake of the New York stock market crash in the fall of 1929 all car manufacturers were severely affected, including LaSalle. While in many cases the paragraph again recovered markedly since the mid- 1930 's, LaSalle did not reach the GM boss believes the sales figures that would have justified a continuation of the brand. In summer 1940, the brand has been abandoned; in its place came a cheaper entry-level model with the Cadillac Cadillac Series 61.

Series 303-345 C ( model years 1927-1933 )

In March 1927 Cadillac launched the self-developed LaSalle ( Series 303) as an independent brand under their own models. Were offered in two wheelbases ( 125 and 134 inches ) 11 different open and closed versions with Fisher bodies and (only on the short wheel base ) 4 versions with constructions of the body manufacturer Fleetwood. Both companies had recently gone into GM possession. In terms of price, the LaSalle models moving 2495-4700 dollars, a few hundred dollars under the slightly larger and more powerful Cadillac models.

The technique was very similar to that of Cadillac's own models. LaSalle was powered by a new five-liter V8 ( bore x stroke: 79.4 x 125.4 mm, jaw angle 90 °), the design differed from previous Cadillac V8, the characteristics but were soon taken for the greater Cadillac V8. 4.8:1 condenses this machine came to an output of 75 hp. Was connected via a three -speed transmission. The chassis was with leaf-sprung rigid axles front and rear and four-wheel mechanically actuated brakes on then oriented at Cadillac ordinary.

1928 accounted for some models; But Fisher provided new base models ( coupe and sedan ), which cost $ 2,350 each. Fleetwood made ​​only three different convertibles Town on the short or long wheelbase. The front drum brakes have been increased in diameter to 16 inches.

1929 appeared the Series 328 with 5.4 liter (328 cubic inch ) V8 enlarged. All models except the Roadster and the open - top four-seater Phaeton now based on the longer wheelbase. Fleetwood also took a five-door Imperial sedan with cutting disc into production. All models received two electrically operated windscreen wipers and washers made ​​of safety glass.

1930 ( Series 340) accounted for the models on short wheelbase entirely and the bodies approached stylistically the Cadillac models to. The drive then took over almost unchanged from the Cadillac Series 341 the years 1928/29, adopted 5.6-liter V8.

1931-1933 (Series 345- A,- B and -C) did the unmodified V8 from the Cadillac Series 353 or Series 355 in LaSalle service. The model range was ( 330.2 cm Wheelbase: coupe, convertible, coupe and sedan Town ) 1932 on 4 models with Fisher - body and 3 Fleetwood versions on a longer wheelbase ( 345.4 cm: Sedan, Town Sedan and Imperial Sedan) reduced. 1933, the bodies were modernized with side pulled down the front fenders and other details.

Series 50/52 ( model years 1934-1940 )

From model year 1934 pursued General Motors with the LaSalle, a new concept. He was detached to a greater extent by the technique of Cadillac models and fitted with components from other GM brands. The aim of this measure was to the LaSalle price further away from Cadillac to revitalize sales of the more favorable prices and Cadillac with helping on the sales crisis in the recession time.

This new Series 50 (or Model 350) debuted in January 1934 and rested on a new X -shaped steel tube frame and had independently sprung front wheels, three-speed gearbox and a new 3.9 - liter inline eight-cylinder, which was indeed mounted at Cadillac, but in fact of Oldsmobile came from. On a wheelbase of 302.3 inches, five different Fleetwood bodies were offered: Sedan, Club Sedan, Cabriolet, Coupe and four-door convertible. Prices began now already at $ 1,595.

1935 came all the bodies of Fisher and had the new " Turret Top" all-steel roof. The offering consisted only coupe, convertible and two - and four-door sedan. The number of eight-cylinder was enlarged with slightly elongated stroke to 4.1 liter, extended the wheelbase by 2.5 inches and the price lowered further (now 1225 dollars).

1936 made ​​virtually no changes in 1937 received the LaSalle again a Cadillac V8, namely the last year published in the Cadillac Series 60 5.3L. At the same time the wheelbase has been lengthened by 10 cm, and the bodies were stylistically revised, such as with higher solid front fenders. In 1939, the LaSalle, a new front end with a very narrow radiator grille and side grills addition to the " catwalk ", the transitions between fenders and body design. Under the name of "Sunshine Turret Top" a sunroof was available; the charge was 40 dollars.

In October 1939, the introduction of the last LaSalle ( Series 50 or 52 ) with some shorter wheelbase was. What was new was the Series 52 with modified bodywork, more backward inclined windshield, curved rear window and rounder rear.

A model year of 1941 it was still planned, but not put into production.


  • Mary Sieber, Ken Buttolph: Standard Catalog of Cadillac 1903-1990. Krause Publications, Iola 1991, ISBN 0-87341-174-9, pp. 218-228.