Field Find: 1950 Nash Airflyte

052516 Barn Finds - 1950 Nash Rambler - 1

There’s just something about these cars that I like. This 1950 Nash Airflyte is in Bellevue, Texas and is listed on eBay with a starting bid of $2,500. In all fairness on the price, the body does look pretty good other than all of the surface rust. Er.. I mean, patina.

 

052516 Barn Finds - 1950 Nash Rambler - 2

The whole front clip must have come off of another car, the paint line ends at the front of each door so I wonder what’s going on with that? It does look super straight, though, I don’t even see any dents. A TV reality show could totally restore this car and turn a profit in 3 days; just barely making their deadline! (crickets)

052516 Barn Finds - 1950 Nash Rambler - 3

Now that’s a fastback! This car looks rock solid, at least body-rust-and-dents-wise. Even the rear bumper and the trim look good. The seller says that they don’t have the front bumper, unfortunately. This car looks solid enough that I can actually picture it being restored, unlike some other rusty hulks that are left out in a field. There are no engine photos and, oddly enough, not even one mention of an engine even being in this car or coming with it in any fashion. The seller calls it a “roller”, so that must mean that there is no drivetrain at all.

052516 Barn Finds - 1950 Nash Rambler - 4

Ok, the interior needs a bit of freshening up, as they say, but it’ll look great once it’s restored. You have to love that Uniscope instrument pod! You can see a little rust in the trunk and the seller mentions that there “is some rust in the floors and the trunk”. According to them, the title was “last dated in 1960”. If I had the restoration skills, experience, and shop space I would love to tackle a car like this Nash someday. Would any of you restore this car or does it look too rough around the edges for you?

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Comments

  1. Mike

    I had a Great Aunt and Uncle that drove one of these all the way into the early 80’s. I remember they were a pain in the butt to change the tires especially the front tires, because the fenders hung down so low.

  2. DRV

    Looks like the Amercan pickers planter.

    • Mike

      It is a Nash, my Wife and I went up there last year and I even had my picture taken in front of it, because like I said in an earlier post, it reminded me of the one my Great Aunt and Uncle owned.

  3. Rich

    This would be a great looking restomod with those bodylines. Bag it and drop in a crate motor and restore the interior.

    • Mike McCloud

      Rich; I recall a recent photo of a build of one of these. Among other mods, incl an LS, he airbagged it also & used individual conrols so he could lift each wheel separately if a tire needed to be changed. That’d solve the flat tire blues! Cool idea & usable on any bagger conversion.

  4. JW454

    My father had two of these. A ’48 and a ’49. One of them was equipped with overdrive. He said, while driving at 40 M.P.H. he would reach down and pull out the overdrive handle and the car would leap forward. He had many old stories about his two Nash cars. I’d like to have the feature car for that reason alone.

  5. Victor castellanos

    I have Parts!

    • Jeff Worthington

      What kind of Nash parts do you have?

  6. Rich Truesdell

    What you are looking at is the template for virtually every car you see today. How you ask? Nash was the first car line that offered unitized construction combined with factory-installed air conditioning with integrated heater, with all the A/C components mounted under the hood.

    If you would like to see what this could look like when it’s restored, check this out.

    • Ed P

      Dark red is my favorite color. Not a Nash fan, but now I want one.

    • Bill McCoskey

      As I recall, Nash offered “Conditioned Air” not A/C. There was no refrigeration in these cars. The big advance was the controls for the heater. Nash was the first [1938] to have an integrated heater, defroster & fresh air vents behind the dashboard, providing positive air pressure in the cabin by using a steady supply of outside air, instead of the typical recirculating underdash “box heaters”. Nash also used a separate thermostat for the cabin air temperature, regulating hot water flow into the heater core.

      The controls were simplified to a fan speed switch, a lever to open/close/direct the air flow to the heater, defroster, or the air vents, and a lever to change the temperature using the heater thermostat. This integrated system was called “Weather-Eye Conditioned Air”. The first Nash to have actual refrigeration A/C was 1954 when Kelvinator [a Nash subsidiary] put their refrigeration system in Nash cars.

      GM bought the rights to use these reliable & simple controls in all their cars. Once the patent ran out, every US car manufacturer started using these controls too.

      Like 1
  7. Steve

    Its possible that the front clip isnt off another car. Even with the different paint/ rsut pattern. The cars werent primed when together. I have seen factory cars that i know from family members weren’t tampered with the same way. My original, patina 70 chevy longhorn pickup has black primer on the front clip and red primer from there back. The front fenders are faded more than the rest for some reason.

    Like 1
    • Mike McCloud

      There is one at the ‘Miracle of America Museum’ in Polson, MT, exactly like this one! It has some rust, not a huge amount. Definetly not as much as this one! Better interior—W-a-a-ay better, all glass- Complete car, bumpers, etc. (The owner sez everything’s for sale , but one could get more blood from a turnip from the ol’ prune,)

  8. OA5599

    The 1st generation Honda Insight borrowed heavily from this design.

  9. Brian Fitz

    I think this is the “American Pickers” lawn ornament.

  10. Woodie Man

    While she drove a smaller Rambler, this always reminds me of Lois Lane on the Superman TV show back when I was wee lad

    • Mike McCloud

      Yer Right there Woodie Man! I’d forgotten that valuable lore of our days gone by! Seems they flew away as fast a Superman—(when he wasn’t leering at Lois anyways! ).

  11. Jack Quantrill

    Next to the Pontiac Aztec, this is the world’s ugliest car!

  12. Wayne

    My grandfather bought a 50 brand new and the dealer held the title till they verified the 100 dollar bills he paid with for the car were real. He hated credit! It passed to my aunt in 58 after he died and she passed it to me for my 23rd birthday (I won’t say how long ago that was!) but I still have the car, it’s looking shabby but still runs. I hope to get started on the restoration this summer. I need parts Victor!

    • JW454

      Wayne,

      Does your car have a “V” shaped rear seat?

      • Wayne

        No JW, it has the standard straight across seat.

  13. dogwater

    That is so cool I would do a mod small block chev auto custom interior air etc….

  14. charlie Member

    Next door neighbor had a ’50 when I was a teen. Engine was silent and vibration free, you would not know it was running at idle. But it was gutless. He warned me that the turning radius was really really wide, which it was, only automobile I ever drove with a wider one was a much smaller Ferrari, which the owner told me was designed to race around curves, not park in a shopping mall parking space.

  15. unclehotrod13

    Love the look!! Alot of the cars used on the original Superman t.v. show used these.. way cool

  16. Mark S Member

    I’m afraid that this should go the way of the resto mod. It just make sense to do a full body resto to stock condition but upgrade the mechanical parts to that of a more modern car. I’d put modern seats and materials in the interior too. Most importantly though is to get some rust preservatives on that sheet metal before its to late.

  17. Dean

    Very cool car, heavily influenced by airplane designs of the day. Very light car for its day as well.

  18. Bill McCoskey

    I’ve owned a 50 Nash Airflyte, as well as several 48-50 Packards [still have a 48 Packard Super 8 Convertible]. While these cars, along with the bullet-nose Studebakers of 50/51, are often maligned today for their styling, both the Nash & Packard were considered cutting edge designs for the time. As a matter of fact, of the 8 different major automotive styling awards, the 1948 Packard was awarded all 8. As I recall the new Airflyte Nash took several awards in 1949.

    In my opinion, because automotive styling trends advanced so rapidly over the next half-dozen or so years, the new styles made these “pregnant elephant” & “bathtub” styles very obsolete in just a few years, & the bullet-nose design considered “nutty”. From that point on, they would always be considered ugly by the general public. The industry went from simple slab-sided bodies with very little bright trim & subdued paint colors [due in part to the lingering effects of WW2], to 6 years later when the “age of chrome” began, & bright colors were the norm.

    Like 1
    • Ed P

      The Airflyte was an interesting design. What I do not care for is the enclosed front wheels. Not a plus in my opinion.

  19. Jacob

    I hope whoever gets this restores it back to stock or something close. These things are way too cool to get chopped and bagged with some obnoxious paint job.

  20. John b

    The ultimate in cool.

  21. Scotty G Staff

    Auction update: this car went unsold at $2,500 with no bids, and was relisted for $1,950 and again went unsold with no bids.

    Like 1
    • Jacob

      Seller seems like bit of a dingus. I asked pretty specific questions about the motor and trans and pics, all he says is “There in it.” If only I had time and space to go pick it up.

  22. Ric Parrish

    My dad bought one brand new. Green on green, 4 door Ambassador Custom, top of the line. Hydromatic automatic tranny, reclining seats, actually made a bed. My dad made screens for the windows, some rollup mattresses for the reclined seats and our family of five, plus great aunt and Grandma, drove it to California from Iowa on route 66. The thing was huge, not a whole lot of power with the flathead six. (I think it was a flat head). Us kids slept in the car at night, to save motel bills. Had a cool clock on the dash and of course the bullet shaped gauge cluster. Very space age. Dad locked the keys in the trunk in Oregon, we had to wait for keys to come from Iowa. Some guy t-boned us in Washington, just wrecked the right rear door.

    Like 1
  23. jcs

    First example I’ve ever seen where the “patina” (ugly) matches the body design (ugly). Sorry Charles Nash.

  24. Tim McCartney

    My Dad Leo McCartney bought one new in the 1950 in Sacramento, Ca and he drove to Grampain, PA his old home with my brother Pat and my self and my mother. long trip for little guys.
    I was 4 years old when we went shopping and looking at the 2 door Olds and Chevy’s up on wooden platforms and could not understand my Dad buying a Nash when we could of had a Olds or Chevy, still can’t figure it out.

  25. johnforsman

    Wasn’t the Chrysler Airflow the first mass produced unibody construction?

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