An elegant but sporty yellow 1935 LaSalle was the hands-down star of the Taylor Classic Cadillac Show Saturday even though the two-door coupe was as, Carma King called it, “a baby Cadillac.”
“It’s a couple steps down from my way of thinking,” said the 75-year-old car enthusiast from Blissfield, Mich.
“It probably didn’t have as many features as a full-size Cadillac.”
The soft-top convertible's owner, Richard Zapala of Haslett, Mich., conceded the LaSalle — produced by Cadillac between 1928 and 1940 — was known as a “little brother” of the Cadillac, but he was quick to point out its finer features: rumble seat, “suicide doors” that open backward compared to modern car doors, wide running boards, dual side mounts for the spare tires, and a then-novel synchromesh transmission, which allowed drivers to downshift without first stopping.
“It was built in the Art Deco style,” he said. “Cadillac was going from a boxy look to a more streamlined look.”
Mr. Zapala’s LaSalle, which he brought to Toledo by trailer for the one-day car show, was the only one of its kind at the show sponsored by the Northwest Ohio Region/Cadillac LaSalle Club and Taylor Cadillac.
Sitting next to his grey 1976 Eldorado convertible, club director George Louthan of Toledo pointed out another gem that was brought to the Central Avenue car dealership in Sylvania Township by trailer for a different reason — it doesn’t run.
“That’s a 1938 Fleetwood limousine that was custom-built for William Fisher, one of the original Fisher brothers,” Mr. Louthan said, referring to the family who founded Fisher Body in Detroit.
The black limousine — huge in every way — has not been restored but got plenty of looks anyway.
In all, there were more than 50 Cadillacs built between 1902 and 1999 on display.
Richard Seaney of Sylvania was showing his red 1989 Allante — a pricey roadster that never caught on well. While he also owns a 2011 CTS Sport Coupe, he said he hasn’t always owned Cadillacs. His last car was a BMW.
“I like nice machinery,” Mr. Seaney said.
Mr. Zapala said sharing the 1935 LaSalle with other enthusiasts is a joy passed down from his father, who restored the car.
“I always thought it was an older person’s hobby, but it’s fun to see younger people admire these cars,” he said. “They’re pieces of art.”
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