LaSalle Series 50 1939

LaSalle Series 50 Opera Coupe 1939 for sale.

  • Well-maintained; only 60,877 miles from new
    • Opera Coupe model with rear jump seats
    • 322-cid L-head V-8 by Cadillac

    This sleek 1939 LaSalle Opera Coupe is a rare and desirable model. It dates from one of the famed Cadillac-built marque’s most popular years. Amazingly, this beautifully maintained LaSalle still “resides” in 2014 at the same home where its original owner lived in1939. (Both car and house have of course changed hands over the years.) Over the 75 years between its delivery as a new car and now, the LaSalle has covered only 60,877 miles.

    The LaSalle is splendidly finished in its original Trinidad Gray Iridescent color. Its factory optional Corsican Red wheels nicely display re-chromed original hubcaps. The car’s lacquer paint was applied in 1988, during a frame-on restoration. The undercarriage is “as clean as they get,” and the car has never had any rust.

    Incorporating many refinements, the 1939 LaSalle offered greater interior room and more luxurious appointments than any other car in its class. The powerful LaSalle V-8 was relatively compact compared to competitors’ straight eight and V-12 engines. This fact made it possible to build the car on a 120-inch wheelbase, which contributed to its excellent maneuverability.

    Designated Model 39-5027, the LaSalle Opera Coupe for 1939 features a pair of small fold-down auxiliary “jump seats” behind its full-width front seat. These provide extra passenger capacity for occasional use. Only 3,531 Opera Coupes were counted into the total of 23,002 LaSalles made for 1939.

    From its debut in 1927 to its final 1940 model year, LaSalle was a lower-priced, lighter and sportier “companion car” to General Motors’ luxury-leader Cadillac. A young stylist from California named Harley J. Earl designed the first LaSalle. It generated so much acclaim that he was invited to become GM’s first chief stylist—a post he held through 1958.

    In 1934, Earl created a new streamline LaSalle featuring the tall, narrow grille that became a LaSalle signature feature retained to the end in 1940. “No other car looks even remotely like the new LaSalle,” a 1939 advertisement enthused, and from the front view, it was absolutely true. The Opera Coupe’s grille and hood ornament retain their original chrome plating.

    LaSalle’s new-for-1939 Fisher Unisteel bodies all but eliminated structural wood—a good thing then; an even better thing now. Larger window openings at the front, rear and sides increased visibility over 1938 models. Chrome reveal moldings around the side window openings gave the LaSalle Opera Coupe a quite intentional hint of the contemporary Cadillac 60 Special’s popular styling.

    The offered LaSalle retains its original broadcloth-trimmed front seat and door panels, while the jump seats have been reupholstered. Options include the radio and working deluxe ventilating heater—which included the air inlet seen on the right-side cowl. The clock was standard on 1939 LaSalles.

    The column-shift for the manual transmission, and the flexible steering wheel— which is correctly rimmed in Ivory plastic, were advanced features in 1939.

    The LaSalle 125-hp 322-cid V-8 engine is essentially identical to the 1939 Cadillac V-8, albeit with a 1/8-inch smaller bore. Designed for durability and reliability, the V-8 was also remarkably easy to service. It is coupled to LaSalle’s legendarily durable three-speed manual transmission. With its 3.92:1 rear axle ratio, the LaSalle provided outstanding performance for 1939.

    With its spirited V-8, Cadillac-developed knee-action independent front suspension, rear stabilizer, hydraulic brakes and 7.00 x 16 tires, the 1939 LaSalle handled on par with the best of its contemporaries. Even now it is a pleasure to drive.

    The LaSalle has been exceptionally well maintained. Numerous fuel, cooling, electrical, brake, driveline, steering and suspension system components were replaced, renewed and re-sealed during this period. (An itemized list of the more than 60 maintenance and service operations completed between 2005 and the present is available.)

    A new radiator was recently installed and it is filled with fresh antifreeze. The springs for the suspension were also recently rebuilt. The rear axle, engine and transmission oils were changed in July 2014.

    Built by Cadillac to the automaker’s rigorous pre-World War II standards of quality and performance, the 1939 LaSalle has long been favored by astute collectors. This wonderfully authentic and very drivable Opera Coupe is ready to introduce its next owner to the pleasures and prestige of LaSalle ownership.

Interested? Contact me here

Additional Info

  • This car is now: SOLD
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