Grandpa’s Car: 1929 Nash

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This 1929 Nash four door sedan came from a Kansas barn, but is now for sale here on craigslist in Tucson, Arizona. The seller says his father bought the car from a neighbor in the mid-sixties and kept the car in running condition in a shed during the time he owned it.

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The seller remembers driving it in a local Kansas parade with his grandfather in the mid-eighties, and says that it was then driven into storage, where it remained until he purchased it from the estate auction in 2014.

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I do not know enough about Nashes from this era to say for sure;  but this looks just like this Nash 400 found on Wikipedia.

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Overall this ad’s pictures illustrate the car’s condition as described by the seller. I think you can tell pretty well what you are getting and what kind of work is ahead of you if you are interested in buying this car.

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The seller says it’s a complete original car with zero rust through. The paint is claimed to be original; there is one crack along the edge of the passenger front fender, that was apparently spot repaired years ago by a previous owner.

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The wood is claimed to be in very good condition and “solid”.  There are the dents, dings, and scratches expected with an all-original unrestored car that is 87 years old.

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The seller says that the engine turns freely with the included hand crank, but he has not tried to get it started.

 

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As you might expect, the fabric top needs to be replaced and unfortunately, the seller admits that rodents have spent some time living in the car. The windshield and driver’s door glass are broken. The tires are old but hold air and roll freely.

 

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Overall, this is a great looking true barn find car. It needs a fair amount of work but ought to be preserved. As I am guessing Barn Finds readers will agree, the asking price of $12,500 is wildly over optimistic – high retail on these cars is probably around $16-18,000, as this seller could have found out by doing a bit of research. Maybe the whole “barn found original” concept has turned a few too many heads.

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I can’t blame someone for trying to make as much money as possible from selling their family heirlooms, but I hope reality will eventually set in here and that this car will then find a good home with an appreciative new owner at a realistic price, as this car really deserves to be either preserved and maintained in “as-found” condition, or perhaps fully restored to its former glory.

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Comments

  1. Joe

    This looks like a great project. Would surely be a blast to start with the hand crank and fun to drive.

  2. MH

    I would say as it sits it’s about 4K. No more. It would cost you about 40K to make it a 16K car.

  3. Nessy

    You can’t always go by what the book values say on cars this old as there are not a million other examples around to put it up against. With that out of the way, 12g is high for this car since it’s a sedan to start with. If this was a roadster or a coupe, it would be worth more in this condition. If it was running and driving, even as a sedan, it could bring 8ish. The way it sits, this would be a fair deal at 5 to 6g. I like it myself. A Nash was a pretty common car during this time. Now, if it was a big Packard or a Pierce Arrow it would be another story.

  4. Dave Wright

    The problem is the cost of restoration. A good paint job costs the same for a modestly valued car like this as it does for a very valuable car. Nash, while a cut above a Ford, was never a high end brand like a Buick, Cadillac or any other high quality American car. I think that is why we are seeing so many of them coming out of barns these days. They were not as popular as a Ford or as quality as other cars, so they sat out of lack of interest. When we take on these old cars, we invest a lot of emotion, time, as well as our treasury. To me it makes much more sense to choose a higher end car for that investment. As my late dad would say ” they weren’t a good car when they were new, why would you want an old one?”

  5. Richard Donovan

    I have a restored 1927 NASH 4 door Sedan , it was a barn fine & payed $650.00 for .
    Spent 5 years restoring it .
    The 1929 is a # 5 ( vehicle condition scale ) = $2,720.00

    • David Wilk Member

      Richard – Yours is a beautiful car. Interesting to see how different Nash was from 1927 to 1928. I am curious about your wheels – are they original design or something different? Best wishes – David

      • Richard

        Thank’s Dave .
        My 27 is a Restoration with Modification . It has a Ford 2.9 Liter V6 , Auto/trans & differential out of a 88 Ford Ranger . The front state axle is from a 66 Ford 1/2 ton pick-up . It has power disk brakes on front . You are seeing the wheel covers ..
        I restore old car’s for a living , & made my 27 to look old but drive new …

    • Joe

      Richard, sharp looking. Thanks for sharing.

      • Richard

        Thank’s Joe

    • MG's

      What year did you purchase your Nash?

      • Richard

        Hi MG’s
        I purchase it on 10/1/05 at Nordeen estate auction in Woodhull , Ill.

  6. redwagon

    mr wright, love your statement, “they weren’t a good car when they were new, why would you want an old one?”

    still some styles that we abhored when they were new are looking ok to pretty good now. i can offer up only my own feelings towards pinto and vega wagons. could not understand why anyone would be caught dead driving one and now ….. well …. they look pretty good.

    • Dave Wright

      Off course, you are correct, and there were some nice looking Nashes built. There attractiveness was sort of skin deep. Boring to drive and difficult to stop with less than robust mechanicals. That is why current values are quite low. This car even has some resemblance to a Packard. Until you drive it.

  7. grant

    It is a neat old car, and I love the originality. The story is a bit strange, is the car still in the original family or was it bought by a flipper from the estate auction? Regardless, it is cool but I don’t see 12k. And Mr. Donovan, while I generally favor keeping drive trains original, I can’t argue with the execution and the functionality of your 27. Beautiful car.

    • Richard

      Thank’s Grant
      As I restore old cars , I’m all for keeping them as original as one can .
      My 27 was a Body & frame , no engine & had been used as a parts car , so it was not worth trying to restore it to original .

      • Dave Wright

        I support your posisition, I have trouble when butchers take a mostly complete orignal car and tear it up to modernize it. There are plenty of hulks around for them to play with. Few complete cars left. You have done a very nice job on yours.

  8. Andy

    He bought the car from his dad’s own estate auction, and his dad bought it from the original owner in the sixties. But remembers driving the car with the owner in the mid eighties who was his grandfather

  9. Miles Christian-Hart

    I’ve been restoring my 1929 Nash sedan and some scrap guy ran off with my right front fender. If anyone knows where I can find one please let me know been searching for 8 months with no luck, seem hopeless. Miles from Florida(941) 737-9292 Thanks

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