Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 7-17, 2021
LaSalle was Cadillac’s “companion marque,” and it launched in 1927. After Pontiac, it was the most successful marque of GM’s companion program with production continuing through 1940. A 1941 LaSalle mockup was produced but never entered production, and instead, it became the 1941-only Cadillac Series 63.
The brand produced V8-powered cars for the entire run, and styling was certainly derivative of Cadillac’s (or, you know, the same). It was, and looks like, a junior Caddy. The Series 345B was 1932’s model and the successor to 1931’s 345A. It was more or less identical to the V8 Cadillac of the same year. I mean, the differences were extremely subtle. Power is from a 5.8-liter V8 rated at 115 horsepower.
Two wheelbases were offered, and this is the shorter of the two, on which four body styles were available. The five-passenger Town Coupe sold for $2,545 when new (Cadillac’s V8 five-passenger coupe cost an extra $400). Only 3,290 LaSalles were built in 1932, and they did not have as good a survival rate as their Cadillac counterparts. You can read more about this one here and see more from Mecum here.
1931 LaSalle Series 345A Seven-Passenger Touring by Fleetwood
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Plymouth, Michigan | July 25, 2015
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
When Alfred P. Sloan took over at General Motors, he instituted many things that would transform the industry. One such initiative was the companion marque program, where each existing GM make (sans Chevrolet) would be allotted a secondary marque to fill price gaps between other makes. Cadillac’s companion make was LaSalle.
LaSalle’s were essentially “baby Cadillacs” and they were not a commercial success. But they did have a profound impact on GM. While the cars were built by Cadillac, their styling was no longer done in the engineering department. Instead, Harley Earl and his gang were given their own department. All LaSalle’s were eight-cylinder cars. This Series 345A features a 5.8-liter V-8 making 95 horsepower.
The body is actually by Fleetwood – it was one of five body styles offered by LaSalle in 1931 that were built by Cadillac’s in-house coachbuilder (of the 12 total body styles they offered that year). It cost $2,345 in 1931. This is an actual Fleetwood Seven-Passenger Touring body, but it likely did not come on this chassis originally.
LaSalle was phased out after 1940 and while the marque isn’t exceptionally rare today, this is easily the best-looking LaSalle I’ve ever seen. This is thought to be one of less than 12 of this style to survive. It is fresh off restoration and should sell for between $80,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.