In 1948 when the Nash Airflyte Custom Ambassador was released it was the state of the art in both styling, construction, and mechanically, and way ahead of many of its rivals.
It ia a big car, but nowhere near as heavy as it looks due its type of construction. Nash claimed this is similar to that used in aircraft and passenger trains and is explained in this video by a 1951 advertizing film clip.
Combined with its aerodynamic styling and light weight it didn’t need a big engine to give satisfactory performance, in fact the engine was a OHV 6 cylinder of just 234 cubic inch and 115 hp and its performance equal to or better than cars like the Buick Straight 8, and many small block V8’s that were becoming popular at the time.
Consequently gas economy was better as well and with all four wheel arches covered in I often wondered how much this improved airflow, if at all.
Nash was the first non-GM car to use the Hydromatic transmission in 1950, other standard fittings not that common at the time included a 1 piece curved windshield, Nash’s own “Weather Eye” air conditioning, and the car front seats fully reclined to convert it into a sleeper.
This might save on motel bills but wouldn’t be overly convenient if more than 1 or 2 nights.
Nash don’t appear to feature very highly as a desirable collector car. Cant think of any reason why this would be as they were well built, known for their styling, reliability and comfort.
Jay says in the video can pick up good one for 6 to 8 thousand dollars, and there are a number of Nash Owner Clubs for people who would like to join. A Google search will show a list them.
Belonging to a club like this really is a must if you have a classic, not only for the social events but for repair advice and help in sourcing spare parts when you need them.
Enjoy the video, is Jay Leno’s usual high quality plus you get an on road
drive commentary as well.
Special thanks to Jay Leno’s Garage for the video of his Nash.
Screen shots are also from the video.