Companion Marque: 1940 Cadillac LaSalle Model 50 Four-Door Convertible Project – Sold!
General Motor’s founder Albert P. Sloan created the LaSalle brand in 1927 as a companion marque to Cadillac. Unfortunately, by 1940 GM axed the brand, making this rare 1940 four-door Convertible Sedan listed on Craigslist in Westfield, Massachusetts likely one of the last examples produced. The current caretaker has their La Salle currently listed for $15,000, which a quick check of the NADA Guides Classic Car Online Valuation Tool confirms is well below the “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range of $36,600, $48,200, and $80,100, respectively.
Produced from 1927 through 1940, Alfred P. Sloan developed the concept for La Salle in order to fill pricing gaps he perceived in the General Motors product portfolio. Sloan created La Salle as a companion marque for Cadillac to fill the then-growing perceived price gap between Buick and Cadillac. Cadillac manufactured La Salle automobiles, however, they were priced lower than Cadillac-branded automobiles and were marketed as the second-most prestigious marque in the General Motors portfolio.
As originally developed by Sloan, General Motors’ market segmentation strategy placed each of the company’s individual automobile marques into specific price ranges, called the General Motors Companion Make Program. The Chevrolet was designated as the entry level product. Next, (in ascending order), came the Pontiac, Oakland, Oldsmobile, Viking, Marquette, Buick, LaSalle, and Cadillac. By the 1920s, certain General Motors products began to shift out of the plan as the products improved and engine advances were made. Additionally, the shift from custom-built bodies to shared platforms across divisions narrowed the price gaps between divisions, so by 1940 Oakland, Viking, Marquette, and La Salle were gone.
Last registered in 1957, this rare and unique Cadillac-built four-door convertible sedan could take one of two paths. On the one hand, it’s a complete example that could be fully restored however it will be forever known as the baby Cadillac and likely priced accordingly. On the other hand, in the right hands, this could form the basis of an extremely cool and unique restomod that would have much greater appeal. What path would you take with this La Salle? Comment below and let us know. Regardless of the path you choose, good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1940 Cadillac LaSalle convertible sedan model 50 with 81,430 miles. There are very few of this model still left as it was very low production. Car has been sitting for several years and presently is not running. The motor turns over and is not seized, with a little tinkering should run again. The car was last registered in Massachusetts in 1957. Car will need a complete restoration. It has solid floors and trunk area but will need some rocker panel repair. The sale includes another very solid 1940 Lasalle sedan hardtop for parts with additional parts: hood, fenders, grille parts and other small parts. All tires hold air, has original glass, and has original jack still in the trunk. The 1940 LaSalle’s came with the stainless trim moldings running the length of the rocker panels, instead this car has the optional running boards. $15,000 make an offer. Would consider partial trade for a Jeep Wrangler.“
Restore or Restomod: what would you do with this La Salle? Comment below to let us know!