The previous owner would never have got it together - his life was in
turmoil and his chaotic style was the opposite of what was needed to
return this rare car to its new condition. By the time that owner
advertised it for sale in 1993, he had located and imported another
similar car from the US, another car that he would not restore.
Trevor Grant was about to take early retirement, and had been hanging
around and helping out for so long at his mate Robert Tingay's
car-restoration business that he/they decided to make it a more proper
part-time arrangement. Trevor now spent even more time working with
Robert, and a car of his own to restore was a necessity. Knowing
Robert's love for his now-famous 1930 LaSalle roadster, I can only guess
where the influence came from that sent Trevor to the NSW south coast to
look at the white LaSalle coupe advertised for sale there. It must be
said in fairness that Trevor had already chosen to restore (and
completed) a '35 Master Chev and a very early Holden, so the seed of GM
bias must have been planted earlier.
The coupe was trailered home to Castlemaine from NSW still
left-hand-drive and partly dismantled.
Restoration extended over two years, and included a fair amount of rust
repair to the cowl sides where the front guards bolt on, and to the rear
pan below the bootlid. The car was also converted to RHD at this time,
and the interior was reupholstered by Grant White in Rosanna using
imported Bedford cord material. Paintwork was returned to its original
black. The engine was so good that it was not opened up, indicating that
the car had led a fairly relaxed life.
Trevor has learned that the car was delivered new in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. Nothing is known of its early history until prolific car
collector Jim Hyland of Warrnambool, Victoria imported it in the
eighties. It found its way to Gilltrap's auctions in Queensland by 1992,
and sold some months after the auction to Mick Quinn in southern NSW.
Trevor went back to Quinn's home a little later, when Quinn had realised
that he could not restore the second LaSalle coupe. So Trevor now has
that car stashed ready for a similar restoration.
The original engine!