1953 Nash Ambassador Country Club LeMans

For a guy who loves vintage Japanese cars so much, these old Nash models really float my boat, no pun intended. This is a 1953 Nash Ambassador Country Club LeMans Airflyte, a rare car and highly desirable for Nash aficionados. This somewhat svelt and sweet ride is located in Los Alamos, New Mexico and can be found on eBay with one bid of $999.

The times, they are a’changin’ – as far as early car collecting goes. The future collector will most likely be concentrating on 1980s and 1990s vehicles, believe it or not. That’s what they grew up with, just like most of you grew up with 1950s and 1960s vehicles and see them as the only worthy decades. Most of us old duffers (over 50) who like vehicles from every decade, even the 1920s/30s/40s/and 50s, will be but a distant memory in a few years. As with a lot of you, I love vehicles from every decade, turn of the century to modern times, but for me there’s just something about these Pinin Farina-designed Nash models that gets into my soul.

This particular example needs work, says Mr. Obvious. The floors are fairly rusty and rotted as are several other areas of this gorgeous sheet metal. It looks like the driver’s door may have gotten away from someone in an F-3 tornado and caused some damage, or something odd happened there. But, overall, the body looks more than good on this car, at least it does to me. An underside photo shows a solid-looking but rusty car, although it looks like mostly surface rust. The windshield is cracked as are the majority of the side windows. There are no keys and the list goes on and on as to what this car needs. But, come on, it’s worth it!

According to the seller’s info on the eBay auction, this car has 999,999 miles on it! How lucky is that that they didn’t turn it over to 1,000,000 miles! (crickets).. Actually, the odometer shows 17,319, which I’m assuming is 117,319 miles. The interior, as you can imagine, needs at least as much restoration as the rest of the car does. The front seats have seen better days, says Mr. Understatement. You should be able to find this material at SMS Auto Fabrics and once you track down a highly-rated upholstery shop, you’ll be in business. The back seat looks pretty good, but you’ll probably want to redo that as long as you’re doing a nut-and-bolt restoration anyway. I can’t imagine that any portion of this interior smells even halfway decent. You’ll need a 4×8 sheet of plywood-sized checkbook for this one, though, as with any full restoration. But, once you’re done you’ll have one of the coolest car from the 1950s, in my opinion.

Just think what could have become of Nash if they would have been able to offer a nice V8 in these cars; dang. One would be available later, but not in 1953. As it is, this is a somewhat famous engine, being a “LeMans Dual-Jetfire engine”! Sounds pretty good, no? Actually, this 253 cubic-inch inline-six has just 140 hp and it needs a lot of work. The seller says that the “engine turns over by hand, but I took the valve cover off and the rockers are all missing along with one valve spring.” I can’t imagine that $25,000-$30,000 would bring this car back to like-new condition again. But, if a person could somehow track down parts and do a portion of the work him/herself this would sure be a nice car to restore. Have any of you owned a 1950s Nash?

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Comments

  1. dm

    Nash Ambassador Country Club LeMans Dual Jetfire. A car with a name this long cries out for restoration or modernization. Think of the chrome shop bill for restoration of the name emblems alone. The dashboard and steering wheel have a flow to them that is just beautiful. Dual side-draft carburetors. Amazing design.

    • Sam

      Nash and Kaiser had some great looking cars through the early/mid 50’s. There’s an older couple in our town that drove their original black/red 4 dr version of this Nash in nice weather.

  2. John

    I absolutely love the lines on this car!! I will be investigating the availability of parts, and considering a bid on this one – it MUST be saved!!

    John (The Cole Car Collection on Facebook)

  3. Howard A Member

    I’m sorry, “Mr. Judgmental” has no place here. However, while I doubt it was a F3 tornado, that was very common. Those little door keepers were pretty light duty. I’m with Scotty. This styling is over the top. Superman and Lois Lane thought so, good enough for me. For what this, it doesn’t look bad at all. I’d love to have it. Leave it as is ( maybe an O/D, if not already equipped) Does the knob next to the vent say Overdrive? I think this motor moved this car right along. It was pretty light.

  4. Lee

    Think of the time you could have fielding the restoration costs to bring this car back to its original ugliness ,only to find that in restored condition it had no value.What a story to relate to non sympathetic car buffs The only hope I think would be if a misguided customizer would give this car a 2foot section /Lee

    • ccrvtt

      Bring back the downvote option, please.

      • Mountainwoodie

        lol……….

    • Tommy D

      lol!

  5. Racer417

    Super rare model and body style of the PF designed Nash. Hope someone loves it enough to save it!

  6. Moparman Member

    I’m curious: did the enclosed front wheel wells limit the turning radius? If not, how was this addressed? It seems that the wheel wouldn’t turn very far, before hitting the bodywork. :-)

    • James HGF

      There’s no interference at full left or right steering lock.

      Front tread 55 1/2″. Rear tread 60 1/2″. Turning radius similar to large cars of era.

    • Michael

      121 inch wheelbase, 209 inch length. 44.7 feet turning radius, curb to curb.
      By comparison, a 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Club Coupe [v-8] had a 126 inch wheelbase, 220.8 inch length, with a turning radius of 43 feet, curb to curb.
      By comparison, a 1953 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Coupe [ V-8] also had a 121.5 inch wheelbase, 207.6 length, and a 39.5 turning radius, curb to curb.

      So, yes, there was a penalty for streamlining.

    • Tommy D

      Turning radius could be pretty ugly on early cars sometimes…you just have to make your brain backwards compatible?
      I love the”Metro” cues in the front end though, and would love to take it to the dairy queen:)

  7. gaspumpchas

    Crying for a modern drive train!! if you got a healthy 253 they ran along ok but dogged with low oil pressure problems.Had Plenty of experience on a couple of 48 ambassadors.You really have to love these to own one~!!!

  8. Jim Mc

    I now have a new lottery ticket fantasy favorite. And that would be the only way as the restoration to even a daily driver level is well far above my skill set and finances. But wowzers is it beautiful and I bet it would be a blast to drive. Hope it finds the owner it deserves and is not parted out. Super cool car, love it.

  9. LAB3

    I’m no fan of huge rims but this thing looks like it’s got casters underneath it!

  10. Bruce Fischer

    You are right about antique cars years are changing, If you watch antique road show you can see people aren’t leaning towards the old antiques any more its more towards the 50s, 60s, and 70s things just like the cars now,Bruce.

  11. Wayne

    Howard, you are almost right. The knob next to the vent says vent. However, the knob to the right of that. (Pictured inside the steering wheel) Does indeed say OVERDRIVE!
    I appreciate the car. I just never cared for the “wheel openingless style”
    The rest of the design is cool however. How about a 4.0 AMC punched to 4.9 with a period Paxton Blower for a little more scoot!

  12. Peter

    Imagine the look on the person at the spare parts counter when you say, “I am looking for some parts for my 1953 Nash Ambassador Country Club LeMans Airflyte with LeMans Dual-Jetfire engine”!

    • Robert L Roberge

      If you had gone into the parts store in my hometown asking that question, he would have had anything you needed. He had a fabulous collection of vintage Nashes and lots of parts cars, too.

  13. ramblergarage

    Most parts are pretty easy to find, I know because we have 6 Nash and Nash/Hudson Ramblers. Trim pieces are the hardest thing to find, but they do show up. The under car rot is the worst thing. We have a 53 Statesman with no rot and original interior. Had the engine rebuilt, just needs paint now. Usually the talk of the shows even at fall AACA at Hershey, PA.

    • Scotty Staff

      I envy your collection, ramblergarage!

  14. ramblergarage

    Our 1956 Hudson Rambler with factory A/C

    • jackthemailman

      And pink, too! I loved 1950s cars.

  15. ramblergarage

    1951 Rambler convertible landau.

    • Ralph Robichaud

      What a beauty this one is… whatever happened to the art of car designs!

    • Mountainwoodie

      Lois….Lois..I’m here!

  16. Mike Heath.

    Gidday Ramblergarage that 51 is stunning.Havent seen anything like that in Australia.

  17. D-Legeai

    Charles Nash was a very interesting man, self made from “rags to riches” in the most American legendary way. His cars were quite advanced in many ways and I would say ANY Nash is worth restoring….but really, I would hesitate to tackle this one project as I myself acquired the 1955 shown here for $9,500, had to put in another $9,000 + to mechanically sort it out, let alone all the cosmetics that would still be needed, and the car still won’t fetch more than $10,000…with luck.

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