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Douglas ( -1 )

Posts: 13,371
Registered: April 2008
Location: Woodstock, GA
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1934 LaSalle Series 350 Convertible Coupe
Quantity Views Date Posted
1 9166 9/18/2008
Asking Price Shipping Amount Condition
$143,000.00 None Auction Results
Description: Offered For Sale at the:
RM Auction - Vintage Motor Cars at Meadow Brook Hall
August 6, 2005, Auburn Hills, Michigan

RM Auctions
One Classic Car Drive
Blenheim, Ontario
N0P 1A0 Canada
Phone: 519-352-4575
Website: www.rmauctions.com

1934 LaSalle Series 350 Convertible Coupe
LOT: 078
Estimate: $95,000-$125,000 US
Chassis No. 2104075
AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $143,000

95bhp 353 cu. in. side value V8 engine with three-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 119"

The LaSalle was an entirely separate marque created by General Motors to complement and create a less expensive alternative to the top of the line Cadillac. The concept of the LaSalle line was essentially created by General Motors engineer Harley Earl. As his brainchild it was no surprise that the LaSalle line ended up being one of the most attractive cars on the road. Often new ideas and concepts were implemented on the LaSalle line prior to any introduction on any of the Cadillacs.

The LaSalle name remained in production for 14 years before GM cancelled the marque as a result of the looming entry into World War II and the fact that, while it had help boost sales for General Motors in the early 1930s, it had failed to improve upon its past successes as the years progressed. Unfortunately, the quality car company was forced to shut its doors in 1940, closing down one of the best built and dependable car lines General Motors has ever produced.

While LaSalle remained as a lower priced entry into the market than Cadillac, it was used to test new designs periodically. There is perhaps no more significant example of that than the 1934 LaSalle as it influenced the entire field of automotive design in one fell swoop. As the advertising and marketing experts touted their new entry for 1934, little did anyone truly realize how far reaching of an influence the car would have. The following excerpt from a factory brochure best illustrates the groundbreaking new design in execution:

“Brilliant in its Fleetwood conception and execution of the newest aerodynamic styling, the LaSalle Convertible Coupe is destined for high popularity with smart people. In one dashing body, designed and fabricated by America’s leading custom-car builder, it presents the
practical charm of both closed and open types. …..The striking beauty of the Newest Car in the World is enhanced by liberal customer options – at no additional cost – in both upholstery and exterior finish.” Later in the same sales brochure, it goes on to say, “In these new LaSalle bodies every line and curve is fashioned to lessen wind resistance and air noise and increase the smooth passage of air currents. This new principle in automobile body design approximates the fashioning and symmetry in other forms of fast transportation.”

The preceding rings true today, especially the latter quote, as there is perhaps no American mass production car that is as streamlined as the 1934 LaSalle. In an interview with Ron Van Gelderen, former Director of Design at General Motors, he responded to the interviewer’s question regarding some of the most important styling benchmarks by saying, “The most important benchmark was the ’34 LaSalle. Actually, that was not just a benchmark for Cadillac, but it was the first all new design for General Motors. If you think about it, all the designs before this beautiful little LaSalle were variations of a theme started by the Hispano-Suiza influenced, ’2 7 LaSalle by Harley Earl. Every design from ’27 to ’33 was very nice, but not all-new or trendsetting.”

Mr. Richard Kughn certainly recognized the importance of the 1934 LaSalle when this particular example became available to him in 1973. In fact, he immediately arranged for purchase of this car when it was offered to him by its then Argentinean owner. One interesting aspect of this LaSalle was that it was also an original right hand drive example. Upon taking delivery of the car, which was still in mostly original condition, Mr. Kughn submitted the LaSalle for a through restoration.

Finished in a dramatic color scheme of orange with black fenders, drivetrain and chassis, the LaSalle displays its art deco style in dramatic elegance. It is fitted with a tan vinyl interior, black rumbleseat and tan top. While an older restoration at this point, the LaSalle has held up very well. It has only been driven a limited amount as the odometer shows just under 1,500 miles, which is believed to be since the restoration’s conclusion almost 20 years ago. It epitomizes the streamlined art deco look from its ancillary parts like the bumper, grille and headlights to the exhaust ports along the car’s hood.

A tribute this wonderful car, it received an AACA Primary First in the late 1990s, a Cadillac-LaSalle Club Primary First in 2004 and was last shown at the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance in 2004. Truly one of the most individual and impressive prewar designs, this 1934 LaSalle will always be considered art in both form and function.
Keywords: 1934 LaSalle Series 350 Convertible Coupe


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