Parked for 22 Years: 1940 Nash Lafayette

This 1940 Nash Lafayette is said to be a solid car with little rust. It certainly looks like a solid car, not to mention and elegantly styled one. It has been sitting for 22 years and will require some restoration work before it hits the road. If this is a car that ticks all the boxes for you, I can tell you that it is located in Prior Lake, Minnesota, and it comes with a clean title. Our eagle-eyed Barn Finder Ikey H spotted the Nash listed for sale here on Craigslist. Thank you so much for that Ikey.

From 1937 through until 1940, the Lafayette was the lowest-priced car in the Nash range. However, being the lowest-priced doesn’t mean that the car missed out on styling. This is just a really nice looking car. There is only a single photo showing the underside of the car. The owner says that the car has little rust, and it is certainly hard to spot in the photos. The running boards are a bit damaged and will need restoration, but otherwise, the car looks really solid and nicely presented.

The interior also looks like it’s in good condition. The owner says that there are some items missing from the dash, but it is hard to tell what these are from the supplied photos. Leaving that aside, the rest of the interior looks really nice, with little to do before the car sees the road again. If I see a car with suicide doors, it tends to win me over. This Nash has them for back doors, and they do look really cool.

The 1940 Lafayette rolled off the line fitted with a 234.8ci straight-six flat-head engine and a 3-speed manual transmission. This car is equipped with what may well be its original engine and transmission. The engine bay presents quite well for a car of this age. The good news is that the car runs and drives, and the brakes work. The bad news is that reverse gear is not operating. This could be something as simple as a gear selector rod adjustment from the column shifter, or it could be something a bit more serious buried within the transmission. This may also be the reason why the car was parked in the first place.

This Nash Lafayette 4-Door Sedan is from the last year of production of the Lafayette model. It spelled the end of a name that had either been a model, or a marque within the automotive industry, since 1920. This looks like a solid car that is in really nice condition. Of course, it will require a thorough inspection to identify what is missing from the dash and to try to diagnose the transmission issue. This is a nicely presented car, and the owner has set the price at $7,950. At that price, this could be a nice acquisition.


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  1. Ken

    Sweet old ride. Too bad I’m 1,500 miles away and $5,000 short of asking.

    Like 2
  2. Ikey Heyman

    I may have seen one of these in the flesh at one time, but it would have been a long time ago. Doubtful you would run into another one at Cars ‘N Coffee.

    Like 3
  3. Uncle Bob

    Reverse gear isn’t working, most likely, because the overdrive is engaged and can’t be released. Usually that’s a solenoid/electrical problem. Not many serious people interested in this kind of car anymore, but for what it is it’s priced realistically.

    Like 8
    • Jerry

      I have a cable hook to a lever on the dash that runs back to the overdrive linkage on the side of the transmission what is the solenoid used for this on a 1940 nash

  4. mikestuff

    Love the two-piece rear window. Was that just a design thing or was it because it was hard to make a one piece glass?

    Like 1
  5. dweezilaz


    My Dad had old National Geographics from this period and I always loved the ads for the Nashes and Plymouths.

    Like 1
  6. gene

    Great riding cars, just be careful as starter button is under clutch, so keep a light foot on clutch pedal

    Like 2
  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member


  8. Bill Inge

    This Lafayette was for sale a few years ago at Ellingson Classic Cars and then later at Unique Specialty & Classic Cars, both in Minnesota. From was told to me at Ellington, it belonged to a collector in Minnesota who had passed away. He has some really rare cars, including a 1928 Wolverine and a 1923 Lexington. There are additional pictures of this Lafayette on Flickr…look under 2016 Ellington Classical Cars. Great price for a rare car…wished it was closer to me in Virginia!!

    Like 2
  9. Brad

    Gramps was Kenosha squad chief..ordered and drive Nash police cars.. but would never own one.

    Like 1
  10. the one

    Slam it and make it into a Hemi powered street strip sleeper

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