Herb’s 1938 Cadillac LaSalle Coupe

1938 Cadillac LaSalle Opera Coupe

A while back, reader Herb H. told me about a car that he had been trying to purchase for the past few years. At the time, we wasn’t sure what was going to happen with the car, but he just emailed with some very exciting news! After 6 years, the owner has decided to let Herb buy it. He thought you guys might all enjoy hearing a little about the story! It sounds like this rare Cadillac is in good hands and I hope we will get to see Herb’s progress as he gets it back on the road.

1938 Cadillac Coupe

From Herb – Hey Josh. Remember I told you about that rare ’38 Cadillac LaSalle Opera coupe I have been trying to buy for 6 years now? I picked the car up today. It has been just sitting at the top of this old lady’s driveway behind the bushes and under a bunch of tarps for decades. At first I was told it sat for around 25 years. but as we were loading the car up on the flatbed, she said it’s been sitting for 40 years at least, maybe longer.

1938 Cadillac LaSalle Coupe

It was her husband’s car and he owned it before they were even married! She never heard the car run in all the years they were together. He has been gone for 20 years now and with me asking her for 6 years to buy the car, I guess she figured it was time to let go. The story was very moving to me and she was sad to see the car leaving her driveway. However, I told her at least now the car will have a second chance and be saved. She was very pleased to hear that and I gave her a hug and thanked her.

1938 LaSalle Opera Coupe

Here are some photos I took today as we loaded the car up. This coupe is a rare as hen’s teeth and still pretty solid so I know your readers are going to love this “Driveway Find”. Everyone else on the road was flipping out with all the thumbs up as we drove home with the old girl on the flatbed….

1938 Cadillac LaSalle Coupe Interior

I asked Herb what his plans are for this Cadillac and here is what he told me – I am going start by cleaning her up and getting her running again. I will go from there. I would never make this car into a hot rod. A coupe like this would make a great hot rod but this model is way too rare to do that to. The car will stay original. If I someday restore the car, it will be restored to original stock condition. I waited for 6 years to buy this car.

1938 Cadillac LaSalle Interior

I want to thanks Herb for sharing his find with us! I hope he keeps us posted with his progress as he brings this beautiful machine back to life. Good luck and congratulations Herb! If you have a find like Herb’s, we would love to hear about it!


  1. Marty Member


    • Mr Scott

      Ahhhhh. The words ” If I someday restore the car ” I wonder how long it’ll be until we see this car back up for sale just as a flip.

      Like 3
    • DrGonzo

      Way to go, Herb!

      Good luck with the resurrection!

  2. grant


    • Davnkatz

      grant – my exact thought. Quickly following my “WOW” i was totally surprised by the amount of rust – actually the LACK of rust for an all steel vehicle that sat outside for so long.

  3. Mike D

    while the location isn’t mentioned, I can say I hope the frame is ok , it looks pretty solid . if the engine has been ” sitting” for 40 plus years, it will probably need a complete teardown and rebuild . while I like the idea of keeping it as built , I can’t help but think of more modern touches

    • Dairymen

      Why would you put modern touches on this? You wouldn’t do that to a VanGogh! I drive a 35 Cadillac that’s all stock and it gives it caracter. No I don’t win the traffic light dash, and I don’t go faster than 50-55 mph but I wouldn’t touch it for nothing because it’s 1 of the last ones that hasn’t been “improved “.

      • Tim

        Glad to hear you’re intelligent and appreciate the cars for what they are in original form. Too many rare old cars are given the cookie cutter treatment of 350 auto, front clip power everything and by the time the questionable driveway engineering is complete there’s very little original car left, and everyone has the same awkward hot rod.

        I laugh when someone claims to have a very rare car, but they’ve chopped and channeled the body and replaced every other part with something off a camaro… Sorry, that’s no longer one of the rare ones, it’s destroyed. With any other kind of antique, preservation is king. Imagine rodding a Rembrandt because you thought the colours were outdated. Lol

      • Mike D

        nothing major, radials, idk what doing the interior over in ” correct” form would set one back … and if the original engine is too far gone, maybe a mid 70s engine? ( Caddy, of course!) a good guess the underside isn’t in very good shape, so, why not redo so there is modern day comfort?

      • Dairymen

        Why a 70’s caddy? Find a 38 cadillac engine. What you suggest isn’t upgrading but molesting!

      • Tim

        Or, buy yourself a nice ’75 caddy with automatic and power everything and leave the rare, historically important cars to be carefully restored by someone else.

      • Davnkatz

        Were I fortunate enough to obtain one of these beautiful cars, the ONLY “modern improvement” I would even consider would be replacing the old mechanical brakes.

      • Dairymen

        What’s wrong with the mechanical brakes? If you adjust them right they stop the car as good as disc brakes. You’re not going to drive this car 80 mph to begin with. All my prewar vehicles have mechanical brakes and it just works fine if you have them adjusted right. The only 2 modifications I can live with is a small electric fuel pump in the fuel line, and seat belts as long as they don’t change the appearance of the car. None of mine have seat belts but some have electric fuel pumps.

      • Tim

        I saw a stopping test from 50-0 between a modern Ford Focus and a 34 Ford coupe.. They were within feet of each other.
        Mechanical drum brakes get a bad rap because they’re old and dried out when people try them on their car, but if they have new linings and the drums are round, they stop just as well as a hydraulic disc set up, except in extreme conditions, to be fair.

      • packrat

        Right on. Like someone said below, if you want a more effortless, less involved driving experience, drive a 75 Cadillac. I had a neighbor with a ’46 Willys Pickup. He pulled the original engine and replaced it with a 305 Buick and an auto transmission. He told me he had taken it to the mechanic and complained that with all of the suspension modifications, it still didn’t drive like a car. The mechanic told him, “maybe you should’ve *started out* with a car”, which he didn’t appreciate at all. I thought was a spot-on observation.

    • dj

      This is what i believe. It’s easier to Rat Rod/Resto Mod or what ever you call it. Than to restore it back to it’s glory. I restore them back. It takes a lot more work to put it back original. That’s why people do the other.

  4. Rich

    I’d love to see photos of this when he gets her cleaned up. Keep us posted!!

  5. Blindmarc

    id have to sleep by it the first night, after waiting 6 years……

  6. '72 Spitty

    Would love to see the dash and engine bay.

  7. Jesper

    Wow a nice projekt car :-)

  8. Jesper

    What a nice story. Glad to hear you wont destroy it by hod rod it.
    Hope we see more :-)

    • Tim

      What are we looking at here?
      It looks to be in great shape!

  9. Jose

    Wonderful old find, and I love the idea of keeping it original. Now if I could just find my old HS car – ’46 Mercury convertible.

  10. PaulG

    From what I can tell, it appears that Herb was respectful to the widow, and after politely asking (for 6 years) finally was able to give the car a second chance. I’ve rescued many cars, and it’s a fine line with emotions and the sentimental history a car can hold.
    Keeping it 100% stock is the only way to treat this treasure.
    Nice find, and please keep us updated on your progress

  11. DENIS

    I have bought many vehicles over the years by gently following-up a couple times per year until I hit the “right day”…..great find.

  12. z1rider

    Reminds me of the V-16 Cadillac coupe I saw last year at the Kansas City “Art of the Car” concours. Regrettably I couldn’t find the owner to have him raise the hood.

    Jesper, thanks for the Vauxhall pic. That’s some very unique styling. And that’s saying a lot for the 1950’s.

  13. Ed P

    Unless there is hidden rust, this is a great candidate for restoration. Keep it original. LaSalle used different engines over the years. Cadillac v8’s were not used except in the earliest years. In later years an Oldsmobile sourced inline 8 was used.

  14. patrol

    Hey that is a great find. I am ready how long do i wait to buy it from you ;)) . Enjoy it you deserve it after all the waiting

  15. Braktrcr

    Beautiful car. I agree with the others, keep it stock original. Such great lines on it

  16. JamestownMike

    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a caddy coupe before. Absolutely beautiful car! Glad to hear your going to keep this RARE car original! I’d love to see progress pics. HERB, may I ask what you paid for it?…….and what city/state did you buy it in? Looks SUPER solid and unmolested.

  17. van

    38 caddy, 32 ford, and 55 chevy will all drive the same when you update them.
    I love the fact that now a preservation class is in the car hobby.
    Yes a fuel injected caddy 502, jag rear end, and air conditioning would be nice.
    Who will know what a 38 should be. Just the dead.

  18. Nessy

    Wow is right! I can not believe it. What a rare LaSalle coupe. Look at the folding jump seats in back. Can’t be many of these still around, let alone an original example like this. Has to be the barn find of the day, week, month? It looks like it was on a gravel driveway which is not a bad thing. It does not hold dampness as we might think and you can tell this car must have been wrapped up tight under tarps for it to still look this good after decades of sitting. If you look real close at the dash, you can see the optional radio with the antenna on the fender, the clock, the heater and the optional banjo steering wheel. The original Cadillac radio is priceless by itself. The 37 model was the first year for the flathead V8 in the LaSalle and you can see the V8 badge on the grill. Imagine what owning a car like this was like when new, next to the Fords and Chevys. What a car!

  19. Jason Houston

    Bravo to EVERYONE here who agrees that rodding a desirable car like this only destroys it. And it sure as hell is no longer “rare!” (another word like ‘patina’ that has been plundered to death). By all means, if you can’t steer a car without power steering, a 1938 LaSalle is not going to be a good car for you. Have you looked at a 1980’s Cimarron lately?

    Too bad he didn’t bother say where it came from, but it sure looks like an easy restoration. And I, too, would vote to restore it to running condition and enjoy it! Now, there’s some “patina”!


    What does” restomod” really mean?
    In 5 or ten yrs it’s old and outdated again. Cars are only original once, not to mention destroying the value of the car.
    I was watching Fast and Loud and they were “updating” a 32 Ford that was all done up in 80’s “restomod” paint and interior. But it was now hideous? Then they dump 10 g into it to “upgrade” it which was really bringing it back to look like an original 32 hot rod with bias ply tires.
    I know it’s tv but it’s just an example of how things change. Leave it alone and it will always be cool.
    I would clean it up, get her running and safe, fix the interior and drive it, enjoy it and don’t waste anymore time sitting. Get it on the road dude

    • Jason Houston

      “Restomod” is nothing more than a modern, colloquial bastardized term (like “hardtop sedan”) that literally has a conflict of interest in its meaning: it cannot be restored and be a hotrod. It’s either one or the other, but the folks who create this gibberish have no clue what their original meanings ever were.

  21. Jason Houston

    Excellent points, ‘Dairymen’. My take on factory brakes, tires, suspensions, etc. is, they worked fine when the car was new, so why destroy it? It’s all part of the fun of experiencing a 1938 car. They were never designed to go 80 mph then and there’s no reason to expect one to go 80 today. I won’t put seat belts in any vintage car because you can’t hide them and they serve no useful purpose. That’s why God made 1985 Cimarrons.

  22. Dave Wright

    I think LaSalle was a separate brand. Not a Cadillac Lasalle. Off course, they were many times similar to Cadillac but not the same brand. It would be like saying a Chrysler Desoto. I am always a little annoyed at people that try to elevate a brand buy acquainting there product to a better brand. That being said, these were a wonderful car. I remember a 4 door convertable in Calgary Canada when I was a kid. Red with a tan top and tons of chrome……….what a beauty. Good luck with the project. This will be a great one.

    • Nessy

      Dave, I do not think they were trying to elevate the car as you stated. Some people may not remember the LaSalle name but everyone knows the Cadillac name. A LaSalle was built by Cadillac and was just like a Cadillac in most ways except for trim difference and some drivetrain differences. A LaSalle’s build code stickers on the firewall always said Cadillac Motor Car Division General Motors. The brake and clutch pedals said “Cadillac” on them. The heater vent door says Cadillac and that V8 grill badge is the exact same as the Cadillac. This 38 LaSalle coupe body is the exact same body that was used for the 38 Cadillac model 60. The only difference was the grill design. The correct hubcaps have the Cadillac badge too. I know this because I have a 39 LaSalle and it says Cadillac in all the places I just spoke of and I still have the original registration from 39 that says Cadillac LaSalle. When you said Chrysler/DeSoto, I guess you do know that the DeSoto was a product of Chrysler and everything in the car was a Chrysler product. However you look at it, Herb’s new 38 LaSalle is just beautiful. I think today if I had to pick a Cadillac or a LaSalle of the 1930’s, I would pick a LaSalle just because of the long gone name, unless it was a Cadillac V16 of course….

      • Ed P

        I agree with Nessy. LaSalle was a lower priced companion make to Cadillac and only sold thru Cadillac dealers. The name probably does not mean anything to the younger folks anymore, so associating it with Cadillac makes sense.

    • Tony C.

      Dave, I’m a life member of the Cadillac La Salle Car Club of South Australia, the club originally catered for all Cadillac and La Salle cars. From my understanding the La Salle was a “poor man’s” Cadillac that’s all and built in the same factory, they were a bit cheaper than a Cadillac, there were slight differences between the 2 but nothing major. We have a 1942 La Salle coupe similar to Herb’s still in the club as well as a 4 door and numerous 30’s and 40’s Caddys as well as later up to about the late 70’s. We now also accept any car as long as it’s an unmodified American production vehicle.

    • Jason Houston

      A LaSalle was to a Cadillac what a Falcon was to a Galaxie, or an Oakland to a Pontiac. The 1930’s was identity-seeking time for GM, and they were attempting to fill very nook and cranny, real or imagined, in the up-sell flowchart.

  23. Brad

    I hope Herb can get it running first, and take that widow for a ride. She’s NEVER even heard it run! What an honor it would it be to let her daydream for a few moments, remembering her husband and his prized possession.

    • JamestownMike

      I agree, get it running and take the old lady out for a ride (the car AND the widow)!

  24. Mr Scott

    Nice thought herb, he he best carry a box of tissue if he does.

  25. Lee

    Ol Herbie better look around on the ground for that Quarter Moulding -those trim pieces are die-cast and virtually unrestorable-nice car / Lee

  26. MH

    How much did you pay for this car? That’s what we all would like to know.

  27. Rob

    Those fold-down ‘jump’ seats in the rear were especially handy too :)

  28. Rick

    Beautiful car, totally awesome find! I love stories like this that have a happy ending. Reminds of an original yellow and white ’57 Bel Air 2 dr sitting in a carport that I found in ’74 when I was still in high school, owner didn’t want to sell, but i would call him from time to time at the little grocery store he worked at, anyhow finally in 1981 he said come get it, I said how much, he said $50, but he wanted the motor out of it, so I had it hauled to my shop, pulled the motor (4 speed tranny was already gone so no big deal) and became the proud owner. So I kept it for a few months but decided to rid of it cause it needed too much work, so I sent it down the road for $600. But I sure wish I woulda got it in ’74 when I was still in high schooI,I woulda been famous!

  29. Mr Scott

    Probably too late for this but if you don’t know you should pull the spark plugs out and fill those cylinders with Marvel Mystery Oil just google Marvel Mystery Oil in cylinders something like that you’ll get the drill

  30. RON

    Great find!!! Great story I love to hear these stories because I have had these good fortunes and great adventures from time to time. Not this great a find but heart warming. By all means, get it running safely as soon as you can and reward this lady. Give her that ride before it is too late for her and what a reward it will be to you too. I am70 and seeing those days ahead for memories too, but I have had my share of fun with these things a lifetime. I had the privilege about 20 years ago to go by on the right day after every one in the town I lived in had tried to buy a 62 loaded Buick Electra 225 sitting under a carport for a good 20 + years, found the car was the owner’s deceased wife’s car and had sat untouched for all those years. He was 88 at the time I bought it.It was a beautiful piece of sentimental history. It was my honor to get to buy it and get to know him. I think it was because I was older and we sat for 2-3 hrs talking is why he sold it to me. You can’t imagine the pleasure it was after afew months to take him for a ride in his Brides car with the A.C. blowing the power windows working and th 6 way power seats moving back and forth in all our glory and that big block sipping/ SUCKING the premium petrol with booster added @12 mpg, smooth as silk and a smile on his face as wide as it’s glorious wheelbase. Priceless Don’t let her down He was stll driving a Mid-90’s Park Ave, bt sadly was gone in another couple years. I kept several years but sadly let it go later, Can’t keep them all Most people don’t even have a clue about the LaSalle. It was designed for a poorer mans Caddy and was billed as LaSalle which was a separate div of GM ot near as many LaSalles sold as Caddy’s and they had several body styles Enjoy it and appreciate. It really has nothing to do about money. It was Lives of people

  31. Slickimp

    Very cool story and cool car like the picture of the nice interior. Shows what it could look like. Hey Jasper what kind of car is that

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Vauxhall Cresta PA? Jesper, let us know.

      • Jesper

        Hi Jamie.
        Its a Vauxhall Velox from 1960
        It have a 6 cyl. Inline
        It has bin parkt dry since 1976
        Its a English car from the English GM. its design by American David Jones.

  32. Alan (Michigan)

    She’s a Beauty!

    Good going, Herb.

    Rodents have made a mess of the interior, but all of that material would have to be replaced anyway. At the first glance of the photos, and before reading, I thought that maybe the car was a Lincoln. The rear view is so similar to the 1939/40 Ford Coupe.

    I had to comment and sub to this thread, so that I can see updates over time. Can’t wait!

  33. Steve

    Cool car. I hope he goes back after he gets it going and gives the widow a ride.

  34. MikeW

    Nice find!
    Urban Dictionary:
    Urban Dictionary
    Top Definition. restomod. restoring a car with updated and or custom componets. converting a classic car from drum to disk brakes. Maybe even a modern engine.

  35. Chris in WNC

    Agree with keeping it as built.

    Jason H.- you say seat belts “serve no useful purpose” ?
    I must respectfully disagree, having seen more than one report of people killed in antique car collisions because they were thrown out of a car that was not seriously damaged. I have had eight stock 1930s cars over the past 30 years and ALWAYS put seat belts in, front and back.

    • Mr Scott

      Chris and Jason, I didn’t known you could predict the future, I would have been betting on the whole football season with you. You’re already putting these guys in death-defying car accidents . I’ve been in three car accidents that if I was wearing a seatbelt my legs would have been crushed without question in one and serious upper torso and head damage if not death from objects coming through the car and completely destroying the driver’s seat. Sometimes seat belts help often they don’t.
      We’re talking about driving cars that weigh twice as much as almost anything on the road, mostly on sunny Saturday and Sundays at speeds normally around 25 to 45 miles an hour wake up smell the roses, three point seat belts in classics even waist belts makes little sense. Speaking of lap belts, I’d love to know the statistics of how many back seat passengers snapped their lower spine from head-on collisions at speeds just over 25 miles an hour. Be careful don’t slip on that banana peel on the sidewalk and be sure to put your bicycle helmet on when you down your driveway to pick up your mail.

      • Alan (Michigan )

        Oh my, Mr Scott.
        Start by recognizing that you have been EXTREMELY Lucky. Talk about winning the lottery!
        Statistically, the numbers are a landslide in favor of those who have been belted, vs. people who have not, in all types of automotive mishaps.
        There are risks in everyday life. I personally choose to minimize them wherever possible. You can do as you please; go ahead and ride a motorcycle without a helmet. I won’t leave my driveway without one. Really, making fun of those of us who don’t rely on being a statistical anomaly does not cast you in a good light.

    • Alan (Michigan )

      +1 Regarding the belts. If a car will only be gathering dust in a collection or a museum, leave them out. One that is driven, in cruises ot to/from shows, should have that basic safety equipment.

  36. Carguy

    Great find Herb. Please do your best to keep it original. There is a LaSalle Cadillac Museum in Michigan. It is located in an old LaSalle dealership. I have met and visited with the curator. Back in my classic car days (I managed a 200-car collection in central Nebraska for a few years) we had a 1927 LaSalle Touring car. That was the first year for the car which GM notched between Cadillac and Buick. The 1927 had a 303 ci 75 hp flathead V-8.
    The car marked the first time in Detroit history that a new model was pushed by the designers and not the engineers. And what a designer it was. Harley Earl, the head of the GM Art and Colour Section was the brains behind the LaSalle.
    We also had a 1930 LaSalle roadster with the flathead V-8, dual fender mount spares, a rumble seat and a trunk. I had the privilege of driving that one to a cruise night festival.
    The 1927 was two-tone green with cream and red accents. Original colors. The 1930 is green, black and cream. In 1930, LaSalle actually out-sold Cadillac.
    The LaSalle ceased production in 1940.
    I have a friend who is restoring a 1939 sedan in western Nebraska. My late brother had a 1938 sedan with a sliding sunroof his senior year in high school back in the 1950s. The right front passenger door was from a 1938 Buick.
    Beautiful cars. Rare (especially the Opera Coupe).
    Get it running and drive it like you stole it.

  37. Keith

    Nice job Herb perseverance really pays off sometimes, and that’s a great, great car!

  38. Rex Kahrs Member

    Only a Jack Hass would say seat belts don’t serve any useful purpose. Some idiots Just Hafta hear themselves talk.

  39. Charles

    Back in the mid 90s there was a 1940 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe that was at a house under a porch going east on I-10 toward the Louisiana border. Used to travel that way several times a year and decided to stop to inquire about the car. A man about 45 or so owned the car but did not want to sell it as he was going to restore it someday. Several years later, I noticed to car was gone. I stopped and talked to the same man again and he said the car had been stolen while he was on vacation that summer. He said the police had no leads as to who took th car. Shame, as the car was in decent shape with just light surface rust and the varmits had not destroyed the interior.

  40. Jon

    Well, all you purists, to each his own..if some one wants to up date a piece of roiling art, with late model drive train, big deal. I for one would do it that way but restore the rest of it to original. Including picking a color from what was offered that year. And if one of those colors doesn’t do it for me, I’ll have it painted black and flame it….LOL

  41. Charles


  42. Robert

    Please take the lady for a ride and take pictures of her in the car. Make copies of the pictures and give to the lady so that she can continue to look at the car. I’m sure that it will make her heart smile.

  43. Jubjub

    I would be bummed out to see this moved away from its resting spot as I would use it as a familiar landmark. But truly glad it wasn’t just hauled off and disposed of.
    Stock is the only way to go on this. Restomod=cookie cutter.

  44. Keith Matheny

    Great find, way to persevere.
    These cars had hydraulic brakes.
    They could also go 80 mph.
    Deserves concourse restoration.
    My fingers are also crossed that the side spear is in the trunk,
    But, other GM bodies may have had the same piece (Buick?)
    The trim looks good enough to be stainless, pot metal items not too pitted maybe!
    BIG deal that the tail lights look complete, and the hood ornament, woo hooo!
    Hope you can get that motor apart, oh and the knee shocks.Good luck and keep us in the loop, please!

  45. Chris A.

    This post is a real flash back. When I saw the first picture with the grey interior I thought it looked like my grandfather’s grey 2 dr La Salle. The next pictures with the fold down rear seats really brought it home. This car looks like my grandfather’s La Salle twin. He was a department manager at EK and I think there was some sensitivity back in the 30’s about owning and driving a car better than your bosses. If you wanted a Caddy but didn’t want to show up the boss, you bought a La Salle. My dad sold it after grandpa died in the late fifties even though I wanted it. Good luck bringing a neat, rare car back to running condition.

  46. Herb

    Hello there. I will start by saying how much I enjoy this great site. I am the proud new owner of this LaSalle. To answer a few questions, yes I feel very lucky to now have this very special car safe in my garage. After all, it only took 6 years. Ha. The first night I brought the car home, I had to keep getting out of bed half the night to visit the garage and say hello old gal, everything will be alright now. The car is in good original condition and will stay that way. The car was wrapped up under many blankets with a heavy duty tarp on top so it stayed pretty dry. It was in a garage at first for some time but then had to be moved out and covered up as they needed the garage for other items. The paint looks as original as can be along with the interior. The car is in better condition than it looks in the photos. The frame and floors are fine. There is very little rust out, nothing major. That missing piece of stainless trim was in the trunk along with the original hubcaps so the car is 100% complete. It has all the options that you could get at the time. The radio which is rare to find, the heater, the custom banjo wheel the clock, ect. The inside of the drivers door has several old oil change stickers on it from Esso, Sinclair and Flying A stations. The inside is ok for being almost 80 years old and boy does that old mohair smell goooood. Nothing like that old car smell, even better than the new car smell. A few areas where mice put holes to store their food but overall, it will be cleaned up. The carpets and original rubber floor mats look very good. Front seat has been covered so the seat is still good. 81K miles on the clock with the last service date at 80k in the mid 1950’s. I think the sticker says 1955 or 56 but it’s a bit dirty to see clear. Three of the four tires even took air. Number four tire is off the rim but I will try and remount it. The oil dipstick shows super clean oil. I hooked up a battery and all the lights work including the dash and interior lights. The radio works too! I pressed the starter button just for a few seconds and the starter engaged and the engine turned over. The clutch is free and the brake pedal pumps up and down. The brake fluid is clean. All the brake lines look good, although I will replace all of them, along with the gas tank which is dry and solid. I will flush out the gas tank, change all the fluids, check all the wires and plugs, put a little oil down the cylinders and crank it some more. Then, I will dump a little gas down the carb and see what happens. I am very sure it’s going to start and run well. I know the Cadillacs of this era all too well. I have a 38 60 Special that was sitting for over 60 years and I brought it back to life just by doing the things I just said that I will do for the LaSalle. The flathead Cadillac engine of this era is bullet proof and the transmission is even stronger. I will send more photos as soon as I give her a good cleaning and upload a video of her running if all goes well. As for the lady, I told her I will keep her updated when I get the car running. Her answer? “I am not sure if I even want to know because I will want the car back” I will update her anyway. When I arrived to get the car, she almost said to forget the deal because I was running a bit late and kept her waiting. After telling her how sorry I kept her waiting and how she is doing the right thing and the car will be saved, she gave in, again. It was a close call. At one point, she was almost talked into selling it for scrap value by some fool. Thank you Barn Finds. I am humbled by you guys wanting to post the car on this site and I thank all the readers for such positive feedback. I also want to thank my very understanding wife who not only knew how much I wanted the car but also paid for it with her own money as a gift to me. My boys are little but they already say, “can we play in the “LaSalle” tonight, when I come home from work. It’s events like this in our lives that make life so good. It’s not always about money, it’s about people, love, caring and sharing, history, events, good food, good health and don’t forget, that old car smell…. Best wishes to all.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Kudos, Herb.
      Good on ya for saving a grand old car.

    • Ed P

      Good luck Herb!! Get the boys to help. It might just get them into our hobby.

    • JamestownMike

      Several have asked your purchase price? What city/state was it bought?

  47. Tim

    I couldn’t be happier for you and your family to enjoy and experience such a nice rare original car and that you’re interested in preserving it in its factory form. Congrats on a great find and your perseverance that clearly paid off.
    Do you have any ballpark figures on how many of these cars are left? It’s a very scarce car.
    Thanks for making this story and pics available to Barn Finds and in turn for people like me to see it. It’s important history.
    Good luck with it. I have a 46 Mercury 114 that sat for years and is very comparible in condition, and by doing the basic things that you mentioned, oiling the cylinders and being patient, it started right up and aside from low compression in one cylinder, it ran smooth quiet and like new. A head gasket fixed the conpression and it’s still going strong.
    I have a few mid 50’s caddies too, and they’re built well. The drivetrain in your lasalle was used in ww2 tanks, and is solid as a rock.

  48. Jon

    Will be great to read the up dates

    • Herb

      Yes, I will give an update and post new photos Jon as soon as I get her running again. She is sitting in the garage now, nice and dry. As soon as the weather breaks this spring, I will start the work. I already picked up 4 new correct wide white wall tires. and a few other things needed to get things started. Thank you.

      • Jon

        It’s going to be a great one when done…

  49. Nessy

    I bet she will run fine once again!

  50. DC

    After restauration

  51. Billy

    “I will send more photos as soon as I give her a good cleaning and upload a video of her running if all goes well.” Herb – where’s the up dates?!

  52. Ken

    Is this a 38 Cadillac or Lasalle? V16? This article leaves ALOT out that I would’ve love to have read. Can someone chime in about this car, I really like it.

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