Driver Survivor: 1929 LaSalle 328

LaSalle was one of several GM brands created in the 1920s to fill existing gaps in the lineup. While it was developed as a companion to Cadillac, though slightly less expensive and less fancy, LaSalle was technically its own marque. Produced for only a handful of years (1927-1940), LaSalles are not extremely common, but are popular with those who are familiar with the brand. This 1929 example is currently up for sale here on Facebook Marketplace in Shelton, Connecticut, with an asking price of $15,000.

While the listing claims this is a Cadillac 341b in the title, and a LaSalle 341b in the description, I believe that it is actually a LaSalle Series 328 (which was mechanically similar to the Cadillac 341b). Any LaSalle fans out there know for sure? Regardless, this is still a unique car that has a lot of potential. One of the major automotive milestones that is commonly attributed to LaSalle is the beginning of cars that were “styled” and not just “assembled.” In fact, Harley Earl was the man who designed the La Salle, and it was so popular that it led GM to create its famed “Art and Color Division,” through which Harley Earl also designed the Buick Y-Job Concept and the Chevy Corvette, as well as the introduction of the tailfin to automotive styling.

If this is in fact a LaSalle 328, it will have the 328 cubic inch V8 under the hood. This V8 had a 90 degree angle, which allowed for a lower center of gravity and better handling – it was actually considered a pretty fast car in its day. This engine is also likely attached to the 3-speed Syncromesh transmission. The seller doesn’t give any specifics on the drivetrain so much of this is conjecture, but he does say that is runs and drives. The engine bay itself appears tidy and original, perhaps with the exception of what look to be newer spark plug wires.

The interior needs some love here. When new, this interior would have been simple yet classy, and we can tell from the photos it will need work to get back that way. The seat is falling apart as are the door panels. I’d assume the headliner is in similar shape. There is also no floor at the moment. The dashboard is complete, but no word on if the gauges are working.

The body looks to be solid for the most part. A couple spots that immediately stand out are the running boards and the roof. It appears it may have had some sort of canvas or convertible top panel, rather than an entire convertible roof. The tires also look to be well past their useable life, most of them bald and with various tread patterns. However, the paint might come back with some elbow grease and a bit of buffing – that teal color is unique and it would be cool if it were salvaged. By the way, take a look at the large hole below the rumble seat. That’s the perfect spot to store your golf bags! It’s a nifty feature that was actually offered on cars back then, and would have been very convenient since the rumble seat took up the trunk space. (See, the “Driver Survivor” title works because this car is a driver, and you can store your drivers!)  This LaSalle is ready for its next chapter – would you restore this car to its former glory?

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Comments

  1. Derek

    The gearlever would suggest a manual gearbox. Floors? Wid. Get busy wi’ the bandsaw…

    Like 3
  2. A.G.

    The broken ornamentation between the headlights reads ‘LaS’, the badge on the radiator shell, and the body style say this is a LaSalle model 328 two passenger coupe.

    Like 3
  3. Bill

    I think Earl called it “Art and Colour” to be extra fancy and reflect an international style vision.

    https://www.hemmings.com/stories/2013/04/17/the-patent-art-of-harley-earl

    Like 2
    • John

      “328” is not the model number. All 1929 LaSalle’s were designated “Series 328” because they were all powered by a 328 cu. in. “V-type, 90-degree, 8-cylinder Cadillac-built engine”. This LaSalle was called a 2-passenger coupe. The Cadillac & LaSalle Club designates this as Style 8590, which may also appear on the VIN tag. There were 1,500 of this model built in 1929 at a retail cost of $2,495. This was a Fisher-bodied car on a 125-inch wheelbase. 341B was the series designation for all 1929 Cadillacs, which this is not.

      Like 2
  4. Dennis

    Gee our old LaSalle ran great! Those were the days!

    Like 5
    • Cristiana

      Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.

      Like 2
      • Paolo

        The Herbert Hoover who ramrodded the humanitarian aid to Europe after WW1 to prevent starvation? Absolutely, yes..
        The Herbert Hoover who inherited an unbalanced economy based on an overheated stock market, who then did exactly the wrong things to address the crash? Not so much.

  5. Gary Rhodes

    I doubt you could get more than 20k if it was a original running driving survivor. You will have another 15k in it at least to get it presentable

  6. Paolo

    Sweet car.

  7. Bill McCoskey

    This is a fairly rare and desireable car. That said, there is a high-point 100% restored version currently for sale online in Hemmings at an asking price of $85,000. I doubt this car can be restored to the same condition and quality of the restored car for the $70k difference. So the idea of buying this one and having the restoration done will probably exceed what the other car can be bought for.

    That said, if a buyer is capable of doing the majority of the work “in house”, then this might be a great deal. It’s a rare & upscale, It’s a 2-door coupe, It’s got a rumble seat, it’s an early LaSalle with the Cadillac drive train. The wood-framed body appears to be solid, and that’s a big plus. If I’m not mistaken, this is an eligible vehicle under the CCCA rules.

    In 2016 a similar 1929 LaSalle 328 rumble seat coupe was offered thru the Cad-LaS club, a fresh barn find, and in better cosmetic shape, asking price was $15k.

    This may be a borderline “Preservation class” vehicle as well, it might clean up to the point where it could be made reliable and safe to drive, and kept as it is.

    If I found this when I still owned and operated my restoration shop, I’d be all over this car. Nice find!

    Like 3
  8. Scott Erwin

    I have an original beveled glass side mirror that was leather strapped to top of the spare. It was my Dad’s from his first vehicle, he was born in 1911. He told me it was from a wooden spoked LaSalle.

    Like 1
  9. William R Hall

    This is not a project to go into with the intent of making a pile of money on. This is something to fix up ,enjoy and drive and show it off.

    Like 4
  10. Capt RD

    Rare and desirable model — worth $15K all day

    Like 3
  11. Richard Kirschenbaum

    The wooden body structure is the critical point here. I learned this the hard way on my first car a 1929 Pontiac.

    Like 1
  12. Richard Kirschenbaum

    Woops! What was I saying? Check out that drivers door photo.. The door is hung from above which means it would probably fall off if untied. And look at that rotten metal above the door beneath which the wood is non existant. Big caveat here. Still doable but major commitment required

    Like 2
    • MikeH

      Good catch. I didn’t notice that. Guys that have been there done that, notice thing others don’t.

      • Richard Kirschenbaum

        Look at the front view, if I’m not mistaken there is NO “A” pillar above the cowl on the drivers side. This was of course a wood member wrapped with sheet metal and an aluminum angle framing the windshield. Not there! When I bought my ’29 Pontiac I was puzzled why the drivers door dropped an inch when opened. I ignored this being 14 and bought the car anyway. Learned that one the hard way. The very hard way.

        Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      Richard,

      I went and looked closer at the photo of the front, and up at the very top of the photo, you can barely see the top, but only a little bit of the front, as it appears the entire center of the top has caved in!

      And you are correct, the upper windshield and door post is missing it’s structural wood. It’s repairable, assuming one has the ability and the woodworking tools.

      Like 2
      • Richard Kirschenbaum

        Bill McCoskey,
        Open passenger door picture reveals rotten sheet metal splash apron meaning the lower wooden rail on top of it, the foundation for the body is rotten or gone but will undoubtedly need replacing. The sheet metal on this car must be removed and a new wooden skeleton replicated while the sheet metal is repaired, cleaned, primed and refitted. This is a perfect project for a dedicated amateur or professional but must be advise what he is getting into. The finished product done right would be stunning. As to the price I leave that to the buyer to decide.

        Like 1
  13. matt

    I like this car !!!
    I am toooo old to buy it.
    If I did buy it, I would get it running and modestly repair, clean and drive it.

    Like 1
  14. Kenn

    What age, exactly, is “toooo old to buy it?” If I had the funds, it would be on it’s way to me now. And I’m 85.

    Like 3
    • Paolo

      Maybe he meant too old to work on it. I figure as long as you can still bend in the right places, get yourself up off the ground and grip your tools you are doing all right.
      If someone else is doing the work then age to buy depends on your money, your brain and its ability to make good decisions. That’s different for everybody. Driving a big beast like this will give your upper body a work out. Take the stairs to work the legs.

  15. Paolo

    Here is another one but there is no date or price on the ad. It is a useful comparison. These are nicely proportioned and handsome cars. I could definitely see myself driving one of these.

    http://davidsclassiccars.com/cadillac/84469-29-1929-lasalle-rumble-seat-coupe-complete-barn-fresh-same-owner-past-50-years.html

    What a great country this is. It’s big enough to conceal all manner of cool things for a seemingly indefinite period of time. I continue to be impressed with what continues to emerge from the woodwork.

  16. matt

    Kenn,
    I mean too old in a number of ways. One knee is replaced, the other one hurts, and I am working on one car now. I suppose it would be better to say, between mowing the grass, household repairs and two other cars it might sit too long, so I’m too old to get to it.
    But I like it.
    Someone else deserves to buy it and have that fun.
    Thanks, it would be nice if you could buy it.

  17. Wayne from Oz

    Where ist he carburettor located?

  18. Bill

    As they say, buy the best one you can.

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