The 1955 Cadillac La Salle II Roadster is a remarkable classic that defied the odds and survived to become a coveted piece of automotive history. Unveiled at the prestigious GM Motorama shows alongside its companion hardtop sedan, the 1955 Cadillac La Salle II Hardtop Sedan, this two-seat convertible roadster showcased exquisite design elements reminiscent of the 1940s era.
A Pair of Exquisite Creations: Harley Earl's Art and Color Section unveiled not one but two extraordinary dream cars for the 1955 GM Motorama shows - a compact V6-powered hardtop sedan and a captivating two-seat convertible roadster. Both the La Salle II cars showcased distinct 1940s-style vertical grille openings, Dagmar bumper guards, and the iconic La Salle insignia, harking back to the marque's early years.
A Styling Marvel: The Cadillac La Salle II Roadster stands out with its exquisite design and captivating features. The compact roadster boasts a fiberglass body with concave body side panels, adding a touch of uniqueness behind the front wheel openings. Its rear end is distinctively chopped-off, accentuated by fully opened rear fenders. The chassis side rails ingeniously conceal the exhaust pipes, exiting just ahead of the rear wheels. The roadster's visual allure was further enhanced by the use of 13-inch tires, contributing to its sleek and low-slung appearance.
A Fate Defied: Despite being showstoppers, both La Salle II dream cars were never meant for showrooms. Tragically, after the Motorama exposition, these automotive marvels were destined for the crusher. However, fate had other plans in store. In a twist of luck, the roadster, along with its closed four-door counterpart, was not met with their demise but instead hidden away in the depths of a Michigan salvage yard.
A Miraculous Revival: Years later, a glimmer of hope emerged for these forgotten gems when collector Joe Bortz, renowned for preserving yesterday's automotive dreams, discovered their existence. Determined to save them from oblivion, Bortz acquired both La Salle II cars and embarked on an ambitious journey of restoration. The roadster, a true survivor, rose from the ashes and underwent a meticulous refurbishment to restore it to its former splendor.
A Treasured Legacy: Today, the 1955 Cadillac La Salle II Roadster stands as a testament to the beauty and innovation of automotive design during the Motorama era. With its remarkable survival story and extraordinary features, this roadster holds a special place in the hearts of automotive enthusiasts and collectors alike. Its revival exemplifies the passion and dedication of individuals like Joe Bortz, who work tirelessly to preserve and honor the automotive heritage for generations to come.
A Symbol of Timeless Elegance: The 1955 La Salle II Roadster is a testament to the allure and timeless elegance of Cadillac's legacy. Its story reminds us that the past holds invaluable treasures waiting to be rediscovered, and the dream cars of yesteryear continue to inspire the automotive visions of tomorrow.
Sources: www.car-nection.com; history.gmheritagecenter.com; Newspaper AUTO REVIEW 2003 / No. 18 (296) / Kunstkamera. daydreams
Images: www.desoto58.com; www.shorey.net; General Motors Archive; auto.howstuffworks.com