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Potential Bargain? 1949 Nash Ambassador Super

And you thought that sitting around since 2020 had done a number on your rear end! The 1949 to 1951 Nash was reportedly the most aerodynamic car on the road at the time – at least for an American car. This 1949 Nash Ambassador Super is listed here on eBay in York, Pennsylvania, and the current bid price is $1,055 but the reserve isn’t met yet. Thanks to Larry D. for sending in this tip!

Nash referred to the aero body as Airflyte and its unit-body construction was new for the 1949 model year in the Ambassador line. The company touted its strength as being up to 2.5 times as strong as regular body-on-chassis cars because of its “8,000 electronic welds.” It’s impossible to mistake a Nash from this era as anything but a Nash from this era.

With its classic enclosed wheels, the turning radius was bigger but the look was sleeker. Although, the designers and engineers reduced the width of the front track by about three inches to help with the turning radius issue. This example appears to have had a few backfires in the engine compartment, or maybe that’s just some sort of paint wear on the top of the hood for some other reason. The body on this car looks like it’s in rock-solid condition from the photos and if it is, it could be a potential bargain if the seller’s reserve isn’t related to 2022 auction prices and generally inflated… everything.

The interior also looks nice, much nicer than I expected. The famous Uniscope instrument pod was supposed to help the driver keep their eyes in front of them rather than searching around the dash to read various gauges. Are those two aftermarket gauges in the dash? That’s unfortunate, and it appears that the optional dash clock is missing. It would have been an option on the Super but standard on the top-of-the-line Custom. This car has nice-looking seats both front and rear but the fabric looks a little thin and stained in spots unless those are cigarette or cigar burn holes. Speaking of the rear seat, did you notice that legroom back there, wow! The trunk looks appropriately huge and is filled with random “stuff”. The seller doesn’t mention whether there’s any rust on this car but it sure looks great.

The engine is a Nash 234.8 cubic-inch inline-six which would have had 112 horsepower and 208 lb-ft of torque when new. It’s backed up by a Borg-Warner T-86E three-speed manual transmission with a column shifter. The seller says that it will start when gas is dumped in the carburetor but it doesn’t stay running. To start these cars when they were equipped with a manual transmission, you press down all the way on the clutch pedal. That along with a column-shifted manual, makes this car almost totally theftproof by anyone under 50 years of age. I don’t know what the seller’s reserve is on this beauty but it looks like a very nice car and one that could be a fun project. Any thoughts on the ’49 to ’51 Nash Ambassadors?

Comments

  1. Dave

    I don’t know much about these cars, but I do know I would be ashamed to open the hood with that ridiculous rats nest of a wiring harness. Other than that it’s super slick and sleek. Too bad about the hood, it might be hard to match the paint, but at least it’s limited to the hood.

    Like 5
  2. Connecticut mark

    I see a clean car , no rats nest ?

    Like 6
    • Jerry Bramlett

      Well… I do see a bunch of homemade wiring connections and zip-ties. The ground cable is a little chewed up too.

      The wiring would be an easy fix. The hood respray wouldn’t be tough either. However, that ugly body styling is bone deep and can’t be cured.

      Like 5
      • Fred W

        The public hated them even back in the day. Not my cup of tea, but someone will love it. Takes a Wal Mart parking lot to turn around due to enclosed wheel wells.

        Like 3
  3. Big C

    Love that look! If it stays reasonable? It would be a cool cruiser.

    Like 16
  4. Dabig Kahuna

    Upside down bathtub on wheels. So ugly it’s cute

    Like 10
  5. Robert White

    Smitten again, BF.

    Nice.

    I’d buy it if I had money & a garage.

    Bob

    Like 13
  6. DON

    Thats not paint issues on the hood, its definitely had an under hood fire , you can see the damage in the under hood photos. That also explains the rats nest of wiring mentioned earlier . Looks like an electrical short ; the battery cable plastic is split open all the way to the battery, and theres lots of rusted parts that were burnt . Dont know if that door on the firewall was for the heater , wiper motor or both, but it looks really crispy in that area

    Like 11
    • madbrit

      One can see the holes where the heater hoses would connect to the core inlet and outlets, so it appears the heater is missing. Nice old car but does need a bit of work.

      Like 3
  7. bw

    And we all thought that Aztec was ugly…

    Like 6
  8. Ricardo Ventura

    I think you killed charade.

  9. Michelle Rand Staff

    Great article, the first sentence cracked me up. I love the looks, wouldn’t be too difficult to fix the problems. Paint match is by computer these days – they can even match aged paint. Plenty of room in the engine bay to spiff it up. Thanks Scotty!

    Like 6
  10. Russell

    STOP THE HATE! I for one love these and have all my life. Never had the chance to own one, but maybe one day.

    Like 16
    • Lou Rugani

      The most aerodynamic production car ever built, and very popular amongst carbuyers during their three-year run.

      Like 2
  11. Dlegeai

    Massive to say the least! Isn’t that the Nash model where the rear seat transform into a bed? Your feet in the trunk? They came with an air mattress I believe? All kinds of weird but functional options were available, like screens for the windows, fishing pole racks, swamp cooler….etc….correct me if I am mistaken. Great “project” car, that won’t be mistaken for anything but a Nash.

    Like 7
    • Robert A DuBuke

      I agree. It’s so homely, it’s beautiful!

      Like 2
  12. Steve

    Nash was reportedly the most aerodynamic car on the road at the time – and one of the ugliest!

    Like 2
  13. TERRY

    The lack of an air cleaner might have something to do with the baked hood. Wiring isn’t complicated. The “rats nest” is easily resolved by someone who can rewire a bit more cleanly. My ’50 Commodore sitting next to the Nash would look definitely related. A short-lived, but memorable body style!

    Like 8
    • bone

      It was an engine fire. you can see the damage on the rear of the engine and firewall

  14. jetfire88

    Brake pedal on the floor mean anything?

    JCWhitney horn button, no turn signal lever.

    This will suck up a lot of Saturdays (and $) until it’s a functional runner.

    Still a Kool car!

    Like 1
    • Gary Gary Member

      jetfire88, brake pedal on the floor? Maybe it’s a dual function service & emergency brake,,, ;)

  15. Kurt Member

    It looks like such a happy car from the front. Like a car Grommit would drive.

    Like 2
  16. Frank Armstrong

    It can be hard to tell from the photos, but it appears to me that previous owners have spent a bundle of money at the chrome platers! All the chrome and trim look exceptional for a 73 year old ride.

  17. Jack Quantrill

    This beast makes the Pontiac Aztec look like the royal Carriage!

  18. JoeNYWF64

    Not a rat’s nest of wires
    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/alAAAOSwLSJjMfnj/s-l1600.jpg
    The zip ties are there to hold up the long universal spark plug wires.
    Rockauto seems to have very few maintenance parts for this car!

    • BobDNV

      I think those zip ties are being used as plug wire markers. One on the front plug wire, three on the third, four on the fourth, etc.

      Like 1
      • Otto Nobedder

        I’m digging the pvc pipe ‘conduit’ along firewall. Will definitely need lots of cleanup after the fire.

  19. Tom

    Why is it when a car I’ve been looking for always ends up clear across the country from me? Prefer the two-door coupe, but this would be more than acceptable in its place. And the bids are way below the value here. Can’t wait to see where this ends up!

    Like 2
  20. GT

    In my younger days I thought this was the ugliest car ever made and only old people drove ’em. Many years have passed and now I’m old and I like ’em! Mostly because you rarely see ’em, ugly is now “mid-century modern” haha. Hopefully someone will buy this one and get it sorted out. I’ve added it to my watch list. If the reserve is reasonable I’m Interested in its sale price.

    Like 2
  21. Skip

    I like the look a lot particularly the rear. I am curious if this was the idea behind the look of the old bumper cars.

  22. Wayne from Oz

    I think the paste around the fuel inlet pipe to the carby might be a clue to the engine fire. Cheap “fix”, costly mistake.

  23. ramblergarage

    The public did not hate these as stated above. Nash had it’s best year in it’s history in 1950 with this body style, selling over 150,000 copies.

    Like 4
  24. G Gagnon

    My dad had a 50 Nash Statesman , 2 tone green. It had a huge backseat and rear heater . It also had over drive. I never forgot that car!

    Like 1
  25. Kurt Member

    A true classic. With a big grin on its face!

    Like 1
  26. Guggie 13

    My Grand father had one of these in the day , nice comfortable car , his sons always referred to it as Pas Nash , took a road trip in it as a kid loved it . Grandpa traded it for a 1956 Pontiac Star chief
    , now that was another story

  27. Mountainwoodie

    Having owned a 1950 Packard as my first car as a 16 yr old I obviously have a thing for fat gals…………automobile wise, if you get my drift.
    I love these cars. They trigger some deep signal in my brain that screams 1940’s movies which are my thing. They were often police cars believe it or not. Here’s a link to ‘Narrow Margin’ which was a great film noir and remade with Gene Hackman , I think, in the eighties. The original that this still is from was great

    https://www.imcdb.org/v119471.html

    I wish the owner was clearer about what happened with the fire.

    Like 1
  28. chrlsful

    sleepable (Bed-ina-Car).
    Nice! all aspects – style w/the airflow, dash, engine bay, grill, bumpers…
    Waggy’s even better tho

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