The Toronto Fall Classic Car Auction

Lot : SP130
1940 Cadillac LaSalle Kustom Convertible

Auctioned on Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sold at $48,400

  • Exterior Color: Black
  • Interior Color: Beige

A stunning Kustom in the Harry Westergard tradition with a modern twist, this 1940 LaSalle is known as “The Black Pearl”. A longtime family friend of the current owner initiated the project, but he sadly passed away during the early stages of the project. Jim Bailie of Windsor, Ontario’s Metalshapers, widely regarded as one of today’s top customizers, performed the extensive metalwork. Without doubt, Jim is a true artist and his work speaks volumes.

The body was extensively reworked and captures the best elements of the car’s original GM/Harley Earl design heritage with every body panel customized, smoothed and shaped in a traditional fashion. This LaSalle began life as a coupe, with the top chopped, reworked, raked and converted into a removable Carson-style top. Up front, the lights were reworked and Frenched and the fender moldings were removed. Plymouth front and rear bumpers were added with custom inner splash shields, and custom fog/signal lights were mounted to the front bumper. The trunk was shortened and molded for a more integrated look, all exterior trim was shaved, the front wheel wells were reworked, and the running boards were molded and shaped to match the natural contours of the car. A deep black PPG exterior finish, Coker wide whitewall tires and steel wheels with ’54 Cadillac hubcaps complete the smooth and tasteful exterior.
The modern twist comes in the form of the car’s completely updated drivetrain, featuring a 300-hp, fuel injected Cadillac Northstar V-8 engine, backed by a GM THM 700R4 four-speed overdrive automatic transmission. The chassis includes a Chevy Camaro front subframe and suspension with disc brakes, and the rear axle is a GM unit with a 3.73:1 ring and pinion. The completely new ultra leather-trimmed interior features 8-way power seats, a custom floor console and wrap-around rear seat, and handsome custom wood inserts. Amenities include air conditioning, power windows, remote doors, a backup camera, and Dakota digital gauges.

Once finished in 2007, the car was shown on a limited basis that year at the Detroit Autorama, the Goodguys Columbus Nationals, and at the Goodguys Rhinebeck, New York event. It earned a Rod & Custom “Top Tin” pick and several other awards and has been pictured in the Goodguys Gazette, Rod & Custom, Street Rodder, as well as a feature article in the July-August edition of Canadian Hot Rods. With only three national-level show appearances, the new owner will be able to continue to show the car and add to the award record of “The Black Pearl”. A large, comfortable and distinctive car that never fails to draw admiring crowds, it runs very well and needs nothing more to drive, show, and enjoy.