Named for Robert Cavelier de La Salle, the French explorer, the LaSalle Roadster was introduced in 1927 as the companion car to the Cadillac. It was designed to fill the price gap between Cadillac and Buick in the General Motors lineup, but it was never a major commercial success. The model line was launched on the eve of the Great Depression, and GM discontinued it after the 1940 model year. Stylistically, however, it was a great success. Built by Cadillac to Cadillac standards, the LaSalle was its own car. It was a pacesetter for Cadillac powertrains and body design. In many ways, the 1927 LaSalle Roadster was a triumph for all involved. It was a triumph for General Motors, because the massive automaker was successful in launching a brand-new marque to which the public responded extremely well.