Some photoshopping shows just what I’m envisioning
[Editor’s Note: Photochopper Michael Sharp, whose work we’ve featured here before, thought he’d take a crack at a car currently for sale on Hemmings.com as part of our regular How I’d Build It series.]
Celebrities and actors driving customized cars is not a recent occurrence. Clark Gable once had his Duesenberg mildly customized. What if one of his fellow actors decided to do the same, but with a much different car? It’s possible that one of Gable’s peers, maybe Katharine Hepburn or Joseph Cotton, would have wanted something a little less conspicuous and more agile than a Duesey.
This 1939 LaSalle 50 Convertible Coupe makes for a perfect starting point. It may have been known as a lower-priced Cadillac, but General Motors didn’t cut corners with styling by Harley Earl. It’s too large to be made into a true sports car, but it could certainly be made a lot sportier.
I’d start with shortening it by removing the rear seat area, all sheet metal, and moving the rear fenders forward to just behind the doors. The windshield would be chopped several inches. The headlights and side hood vents would be eliminated by our next modification: sectioning the body 8 to 10 inches, which makes our subject much more alluring.
To avoid a pancaked look after the sectioning, I’d also narrow the body significantly. There’s no need for bumpers because it’ll be driven to movie premieres and the best restaurants, and will cruise through the Hollywood hills, not in commuter traffic. New headlights would be hidden in the fenders ala Cord, turn signals are behind the grill vents, the taillights are cut down, and rear fender skirts complete the extensive metalwork