Restored to award-winning specifications by Wayne Collier
1937 LaSalle Model 5027 Rumble Seat Sport Coupe with Dual Sidemounts
Chassis no. 2239275
During the 1920s, General Motors' CEO Alfred P. Sloan sought to fill gaps in their product offering at price points where the company had no vehicles to sell. Because the era of the 'Roaring Twenties' saw all automotive brands building new cars nearly every model year, Sloan developed 'companion marques' that could be sold through the current sales network. At the top of the range, Cadillac had seen its base prices soar during the course of the decade and the LaSalle was born, assigned as a companion car to plug the hole that existed between the Standard of the World and Buick.
What emerged as the LaSalle in 1927 is widely regarded as the beginning of modern American automotive styling. Leading this department was a young Harley Earl, whose approach to LaSalle was not just to make a 'junior' Cadillac, but rather a product that would be known for being both more agile and stylish than anything else sold by GM. Two-tone paint schemes were standard offerings as were both Fisher and Fleetwood coachwork.
Beginning with the 1934 model year, a significant portion of the LaSalle was more closely related to the Oldsmobile than to Cadillac. Again, Earl's work with the LaSalle resulted in a stylish, if not rakish vehicle, led by an elegant and thin radiator grille. The mid-1930s were tough years economically, but Earl persisted and many regard 1937 as the ultimate year for the art-deco, stand-alone LaSalle look.
Offered here is one of the rarest examples of the model lineup for that year. This 1937 Series 5027 Sport Coupe features every rare option available on the body style for '37 only, including a factory rumble seat with integral trunk, dual sidemounted spares, factory radio with undercarriage antenna and the factory accessory heater. Discovered in the mountains of North Carolina, it was subjected to a meticulous body-off restoration over 20 years ago by noted LaSalle expert Wayne Collier of Charleston, South Carolina. During the period in which this car was restored, Collier lavished the same level of care to not just this car but to seven 1937 LaSalles of all available body configurations for the model year all to exacting specifications.
The car is finished in its original and striking hue of Briarcliff Blue over a light gray pinstripe cloth interior. Inside and out, no detail was overlooked, an effort richly rewarded at completion by an AACA National First Prize in 1992 and a Cadillac-LaSalle Club Grand National Senior Plaque #143 awarded the following year. Since that time, the car has been lovingly cared for and stored in climate-controlled travelling fewer than 600 miles since restoration. Most recently, the car has received a thorough mechanical inspection by vintage automobile specialist Ryland Bailey of Richmond, Virginia, including work to the brakes, fuel and cooling systems to ensure that it is as mechanically well-prepared and ready to shown at the highest levels.
Quite possibly the only 1937 LaSalle Sport Coupe built with this level of optional equipment, let alone the only survivor in any condition, this exceptional car may easily enjoy the pride of place in any discerning collector's stable of fine motorcars.