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Coachwork by Fleetwood

1930 LaSalle Series 345 All-Weather Phaeton

  • Believed to be the prototype design car for the Harley Earl Madame X Cadillac
  • Multi-year comprehensive restoration by noted specialists
  • Multiple concours First in Class award winner, CCCA Senior award winner
  • Unique features include a crank-out V windshield, a roll-up division window, and dual side-mounted spare tires

VIN: 610649

Register To Bid Auction Info

An automobile that is seldom seen today, as only four in this variant are rumored to be built and one of only two in existence, this 1930 LaSalle Style 4080 All-Weather Phaeton, which is best known in the hobby as "Sally," has a fascinating history that many believe begins with it being a rush order for J.M. Wright and delivered to him January 28, 1930, per a copy of its Cadillac Motor Car Company build sheet. However, before the initial delivery, Sally was more than just a rare rush order; she is believed to be the prototype vehicle for the Harley Earl Madame X Cadillac, a tidbit which wouldn't be discovered until later in her life.

Ordered through a Cincinnati Cadillac dealer, Mr. Wright would take ownership of this LaSalle at the factory on January 28, 1930. Known history would pick up in the mid-1970s when this LaSalle would appear for sale in a Detroit newspaper classified ad. At this point, ownership was now with a retired railroad worker who had stored it in his shed for multiple years, as he did not have the financial means to restore it. Its next owner, Dean Buchanan, would own Sally until 2005 and be responsible for bringing her back to life. Acquiring this LaSalle in 1974, it would stay in his heated garage until 1988 when he decided to embark on a comprehensive body-off-the-frame restoration that would last 14 years.

Buchanan was a husband, father and managing partner of a law firm at the time and was limited with his free time, but he wanted to ensure this restoration was the very best, so he outsourced different parts of the restoration. The engine was overhauled and sent to Brian Joseph of Classic and Exotic Services in Troy, Michigan, the six-wire wheels were sent to none other than Don Sommers and the stripped chassis and body were sent to Jim Nicolson for completion and painting it in its current and correct livery of Bay Tree and Bonaventure Green fenders. In 2000, Sally was taken to Classic and Exotic where the chrome work and various other items were attended to. Once completed, it was delivered to Mark Latuer for the lavish interior to be applied. Once installation of the seats, door panels, carpet and top were completed, Sally was taken back to Classic and Exotics for the finishing touches before making her public debut on the show field.

Sally was shown at the 2002 Bay Harbor Concours where she won Best in Class, which was followed by another Best in Class award at the Meadowbrook Concours and a Grand National Trophy at the 2002 Cadillac & LaSalle Club National Meet in Dearborn, Michigan, completing an exciting triple crown in a short period of time.

With such excitement surrounding its show debut, many began to draw comparisons to the elusive Madame X Cadillac, as Sally closely resembles the illustrious model. Both carry a Fleetwood body and unique styling cues such as a V-shaped windshield, sliding glass partition, and other features. This led to a deeper dive in research, which started with an interview from 1954 in which Harley Earl said he built the first Madame X Cadillacs on LaSalle chassis. To go along with this, former GM Designer, Dan Holtz, who worked with Harley Earl during these years confirmed to long-term owner, Dean Buchanan, that his LaSalle 4080 All-Weather Phaeton was a prototype design for Earl's Madame X Cadillac.

After Buchanan's 21 years of ownership, well-known Texas collector, John O'Quinn, would welcome this special example into his collection. Sally would then be sold along with his estate in 2013, where Richard Muehlmann of Saint Louis would acquire it. Under Mr. Muehlmann's care, Sally garnered her CCCA Senior badge.

Uniquely fitted with an array of accessories and garnering a historic provenance attached to the famed Harley Earl Madame X Cadillac, this seldom seen and fully restored 1930 LaSalle 4080 All-Weather Phaeton bodied by Fleetwood will certainly be a welcomed addition to many more events and prestigious tours in the future.

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