One Family Owned: 1950 Nash Ambassador

Seventy years. That’s nothing in the grand scheme of world history but it’s a long time in the car world. This incredible 1950 Nash Ambassador Custom can be found here on craigslist in Great Falls, Montana. The seller has an asking price of $5,000 listed which seems like a steal. Thanks to Ikey H. for taunting me again and for sending in this tip!

This car is incredible. I wonder if they would trade for a perfect Renault GTA… hmm.. Yeah, probably not. This top-of-the-line Ambassador has been in the same family since the fall of 1949 when they bought it brand new as a 1950 model. If they’re good enough for Jay Leno they’re good enough for anyone. Here’s Jay’s ’50 Ambassador Custom on YouTube, it’s worth a watch.

Other than dull paint I don’t really see a flaw on the exterior of this car. Even the trunk looks fantastic and nicely preserved. The Custom was the top trim level above the Super and it was mainly a difference of interior upgrades. With only 66,577 miles and having been stored indoors for many years, hopefully this beauty can be on the road again soon.

There’s some work to do on the seats and door panels but any good upholstery shop should be able to make them look like new again. Yes, this car has the $31.50 optional split reclining front seat backs. The 1949 and 1950 Nash Ambassadors had the super cool Uniscope gauge cluster mounted on the top of the steering column. The back seat has limo-like legroom and although the seat fabric is stained a bit it looks like it’s in nice shape back there other than some possible damage on the top of the seat backs.

The engine is Nash’s 234.8 cubic-inch inline-six with around 115 hp. The owner says that it hasn’t been started in around four years but I’m sure that any one of us could have it purring again in no time. The brakes will also need work but this car really looks like a winner to me. Are there any other 1949-1951 Nash Ambassador fans out there?

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    What a cool old ride, and what a deal!! It’s got to be just CRUSHING for any car people in the family to see this family set piece going away especially for what seems to be a paltry bit of pocket change (in comparison to other “gems” we’ve seen here that went for much more but offered so much less overall)..

    Like 12
  2. Rube Goldberg Member

    I think it’s pixx poor nobody in the family wants the car. Think of the memories this car holds and pictures, I’m sure. What’s wrong with these people today? Pretty special car. I read, the 1950 Ambassador was the 1st non-GM car to have the Hydra-matic. It may not seem like much today, but in 1950, an automatic would be the equivalent to a self driving car today, it was that revolutionary. I believe, you pulled the gearshift towards you to start the car, called, “Selectro-lift” starting. Nash used that on most it’s automatic cars for years ( a friends ’59 American had that) That “Uniscope” proved too creepy for most, and many ended up in hotrods. OHV 6 that was used in trucks, a GM automatic, retro looks, I think this could be the perfect classic car for some family, again. This was a heck of a car in 1950, and Superman would certainly approve.

    Like 9
  3. Lessrustmorestuff

    Things move on. This is a seriously cool car. So much more than rusted out 60’s and 70’s muscle cars. Clapped out cars are available everywhere. Thanks for an interesting post.

    Like 10
  4. Coventrycat

    Love the finish on the dash, it looks like marble. Great car.

    Like 5
  5. Rex Kahrs Member

    Imagine trying to parallel park this baby.

    Like 6
  6. JRP

    Did y’all notice the siding and trim colors on the house match the Nash? Tell me this family has no attachment to this car. Great find. If I was wealthier and younger I’d pull the trigger on this one.

    Like 5
  7. chrlsful

    the waggy w/the back-as-a-bed R even more my style –
    ‘Roustabout’ or whatever the name.
    Some were pretty close to this style too (sedan).
    May B they were Hudsons?

  8. Will Fox

    I’m not even a big Nash fan, but this…this is literally a time capsule. 70 years has shown ALOT of TLC by a family of 2-3 generations, at least! If I had early childhood memories of riding in this with Mom & Dad, Uncle Harry & aunt Clara, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t shed a tear seeing this beauty leave the family one day. At the asking price, the interior work is very feasible and worth the effort. I rode in just one bathtub Nash years back, and the ride is nothing short of a white puffy cloud on a spring day!! Early boomers seeing this at any car show are bound to get misty-eyed gazing at this. IMHO, worth every single dime of the asking price!!!! I’m smitten.

    Like 10
  9. That AMC guy

    Looks like an amazing time capsule. Actually, it was Ford that was the first non-GM customer for the Hydramatic, it was made optional for Lincoln in mid-1949, beating Nash out by a few months. An interesting option that I don’t see here is a rear windshield wiper which Nash offered starting in 1949.

    Since the movie “Alien” though I can’t help but think that sets of sharp, razor-like teeth are going to emerge from the grille when I see these cars! (I swear the head of the monster must have been modeled after the bathtub Nashes!)

    Like 2
  10. luke arnott Member

    I had a ’52 Nash Coupe which had a rear windshield (vacuum) wiper.It had a manual box and to start it you depressed the clutch.

    Like 3
  11. dogwater

    5k is not a bad price for history,it would be fun to Mod it with a cool paint job and a small block etc

    Like 1
    • luke arnott Member

      No no no!

      Like 19
    • Steve H.

      just no. lol You would not want to mod a thing on this car except maybe go 12V.

      Like 3
    • Steve H.

      lol just no. The only thing you might wanna change is maybe go 12V that’s it.

      Like 5
      • Kinmont Willy

        The only thing Jay Leno did to his Nash Ambassador found in original condition was replace the muffler and remove the 12 V conversion and replace it with the original 6V system to make it run properly.

      • Steve H.

        Willy, back in 1986 I semi-restored a ‘46 Plymouth coupe and converted it to 12 volt in the process. The headlights got brighter and it started easier because of stronger cranking power. I have not seen Jay’s show on the Nash but I’ll look it up. Was it mentioned on the show why the car runs better on 6V?

        Like 1
      • Robert L Roberge

        Had an old Case tractor and ’47 Chevy p/u. Both were 6V and slow and crotchety. Talked to a collector friend who always used an 8V. Worked well without mod.

  12. John B.

    If you were just looking for something to load the family in and take to cruise-ins or car shows, this would ideal! The person who takes a vehicle like this to a car event is probably having just as much fun as the guy who takes his “trailer queen” and worries the whole time that it will get a scratch or be rained upon-and at a fraction of the cost! If I weren’t “car poor” I’d be all over this!

    Like 4
  13. Steve H.

    I love the 50’s Ambassadors. Talk about riding on a cloud. I bought a ‘54 back in 1978 for $500, drove it for several months and sold it for $500. During that time I kinda fell in love with it but it really wasn’t practical to hold on to bc the parts were too hard to find. My favorite feature was the fold down front seat that turned the interior into a bedroom. Well, that and the reaction of ppl at say, the filling station who would quite literally ask me what planet did I drop down from.

    Would love to own this ‘50 example. Price is perfect!

    Like 7
  14. Kurt

    Looks like it has an optional oil filter fitted… the family took care of this baby.

    Like 4
  15. Jack Quantrill

    In my opinion, these are super-ugly! Up there with the Aztek, Edsel, and Gremlin!

    Like 1
    • ken tilly Member

      Nothing is as ugly as a Gremlin IMO.

      Like 1
  16. BigDoc

    My Dad had one and it was a dream to ride in. And the seats laying flat where awesome.

    Like 3
  17. RayT Member

    I’d love to have this! And it’s not just because I dig the design (which I do), but I could tell everyone who saw it that Curtis Turner and Big Bill France ran one of these in the 1950 Carrera Panamericana (Mexican Road Race)!

    Did real well, too. Got all the way up to second place overall on the next-to-last day. But then, France decided his nerves and sense of self-preservation wouldn’t let him ride with Turner any longer, and left. Curtis took over as driver of another Nash, but was disqualified for not driving the car he started in.

    If I could afford to bring it home, I’m sure I wouldn’t beat up this Nash the same way Curtis Turner wore his out!

    Like 4
    • James HGF

      Sorry Ray, but someone’s told you a fairy tale that rounds the carousel without plucking the brass ring. Reality has Curtis Turner taking the gold (figuratively) for his handling of the Connor, Owen Nash on the 9th and final leg of the race.

      France and Turner were not together for this leg as the radiator on their #37 Nash Ambassador let go on the 8th leg. Unlike the tall tale you’ve been told, France and Turner were out. No chickens in their coupe, neither France nor Turner and yeah, I know their coupe had four doors.

      Now to the 9th and final leg (gravel) race details. Turner drove the big Connor, Owen Ambassador with back road skill finishing first with a time of 2 hours 55 minuets and 57 seconds i.e.: 2:55:57. That was 3 and half minutes quicker than Taruffi in his 6C2500 Alfa Romeo @ 2:59:22. Third was the Bonneto 6C2500 clocked in @ 3:00:55. Overall race winner McGriff in his Olds had a very good run @ 3:04:36 for 4th place. Fifth place and 3rd overall was the Cadillac 62 of Rogers @3:06:44. Trailing in 6th was the Mantz, Stroppe Lincoln Cosmopolitan @ 3:37:29 nearly 40 minuets slower than Turner’s Nash.

      Reality and regulations (rules are rules) stripped 3rd place overall from the Connor, Owen, Turner Nash which was 5 minutes faster than the Rogers Cadillac because Curtis was not a co-driver listed on the entry form of #49. Thus in Mexico on that day Turner was an illegal driver.

      The NASCAR group involved in the ’50 Panamericana included in addition to France and Turner, Lewis Hawkins, Waland Burgess, Bob Flock, Fonty Flock, Raymond Parks, and Red Byron.

      Link to full race result from the 1950 Carrera thanks to Racing Sports Car site – doesn’t show individual leg results but a lot of data..facts not fiction:

      https://www.racingsportscars.com/results/Carrera_Panamericana-1950-05-10.html

      Like 5
      • James HGF

        Rats! Left out a couple details about the OFFICIAL “NASCAR” PACE CAR as signage labeled the France, Turner Ambassador. Its overall position was 12th, 7th, and 3rd respectively for legs one through three before sliding down the leader board. The end of the 4th and 5th leg found it in 8th and 14th place overall. It finished the 8th leg 45th at 20th overall. However, at the end of the 8th leg the Connor, Evans Ambassador was 6th overall which given Turner’s performance on the unpaved final segment bumped it up to 3rd. Then the disqualification axe fell.

        A couple of the Nascar guys, Sennett and Hawkins in their Olds 88s finished in 5th and 6th place roughly one and eighteen minutes behind Taruffi in his 6C2500 Alfa Romeo. Close finishes after days of racing. Barely one hour separating 1st and 10th place.

        Like 1
  18. Tom Henderson

    Flat tire doesn’t look fun on that one.

    Like 2
  19. Steve H.

    When I see these Nashes I see early 50s amusement park bumper cars. And as someone else said, Superman!

    Like 3
  20. MIKE READING

    come on jack and ken, i own an edsel and a gremlin and most people that see them think there cool good looking cars, just a little different. beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Like 1
    • ken tilly Member

      Mike. I can see lots of beauty in the Edsel but none in the Gremlin.

    • Paul Elwell-Suttton

      Right on! Edsels and Gremlins are BEAUTIFUL!

  21. Mark Evans

    I am hoping, just hoping that too many family members wanted this grand dame & to settle the argument it was greed that no one should have it & money from the sale should go the the estate. Maybe i am being just naive as a 5 year Metropolitan owner. 2 cars I’ve regretted getting rid of-my metro & my miata.

    Like 1
  22. Jay E.

    Wow… How is this not sold yet?

    Like 1
    • Steve H.

      Looks like there is an agreement that the Nash will be soon sold:

      **** Note – As of June 22, there is an agreement in place for the sale of the vehicle to another party. The ad is still being posted until the sale is completed. ****

  23. Bobby Longshot

    How do you change the front wheels and tires? Is there enough room behind that fender to just pull the wheel out? Or does the fender come off? Or does superman fly down and help?

    Like 1
  24. Bob

    I bought this car earlier this month and the week I was going to bring it from Great Falls Mt to Spokane Wa I had a heart attack. The car really wants to stay with the family, but when I get it here and show it some love I’m sure we will become best friends. I was just looking at pictures of 1950 Nash Ambassadors and there was my new car. Can’t wait to get her home and clean her up, just need to get my strength back then we will heal each other. I think she’a a beauty.

    Like 1
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Bob! Wow, we’re so sorry to hear about that. Yes, please rest up and let us know how you and the beautiful Nash are doing when you have a chance to tinker with it a bit. Take care and best wishes for a speedy and full recovery!

      Like 2
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Scotty, thank you for saying to Bob what the rest of the BF readers would’ve said themselves. You’re a class act, Scotty.

        Like Scotty said,Bob, get well and please keep us up to date on your newfound friend; pass on to us what you find as you both get acquainted. The family will most likely be grateful for their heirloom going to someone that will truly appreciate what they’ve cared for through the generations.

        Like 1
    • ken tilly Member

      Well done Bob. Get well soon so that you can let us know what is happening with the car. I just watched Jay Leno’s Garage clip of his Nash and he really is enthusiastic about it. Part of the clip showed how the exhaust gases have to run from cylinder No. 6 past 5,4,3,2,1 before actually reaching the clean, free flowing area of the exhaust pipe. This system was used on the 1950’s British Ford Consul/Zephyr/Zodiac range and was a real headache to seal leaks because everybody had a tendency to over tighten it which just made the leak worse. The answer was to have a two 3 branch manifolds manufactured feeding into a single pipe which was said to increase the horsepower by 15 %. I did this to both my Mk 1’s and both Mk 2’s and can vouch for it, not that I would dare to suggest that you do something similar to your gorgeous Nash. All the best for a speedy recovery. K.T.

  25. David

    So, is this car sold?

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