1939 Lasalle Convertible Coupe
Chassis no. 2300244
Body no. 460
125 hp, 322 cu. in. side-valve V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension, semi-floating rear axle, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 120 in.
LaSalle, Cadillac’s famed “junior marque,” rolled into the 1939 model year boasting freshened styling, including a new tail and a narrow grille, flanked by smaller sets of louvers, with additional ventilation panels along the sides of the hood. In a bow to modern trends, running boards were now an optional feature. The car looked lighter and sportier, and they handled that way, too, thanks to redesigned suspension, one of several mechanical upgrades that also included a revised radiator core. In sum, the 1939 models went down in history as one of the most beautiful LaSalles – built only a year before the marque would disappear into the history books, but helping to ensure its lasting reputation for fine quality and handsome design.
Among the attractive body styles offered this year was the Convertible Coupe, of which just 1,020 were made. The example offered here bears body no. 670, and according to its Fisher firewall tag was supplied new in this elegant shade of Cavern Green. The build sheet, a copy of which is on file, confirms that it was born in this style and color, and was ordered through the Don Lee distributorship in San Francisco, with final delivery by Earl R. Huffmaster’s dealership in Yuba City, California. It later moved East and was originally restored on the East Coast, after which it was acquired by an enthusiast who worked with a skilled body man to make numerous corrections to the fit and finish of various body panels. At the same time the engine was rebuilt with a larger bore, bringing it up to the specifications of the Cadillac V-8 of the period, for better performance.
Subsequently the car was sold to an owner in Hawaii, before returning to the East Coast and joining the current caretaker’s collection. While the car shows light wear to the green leather upholstery and some signs of use under the hood, it is still extremely attractive and has wonderful eye appeal, especially without the optional running boards and with the original driving lights mounted up front.
This is a wonderful specimen of the beautiful 1939 LaSalle, ideal for enjoyment on the road or simply admiring in one’s garage.