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Reassembly Required: 1953 Nash Rambler Wagon

Finding a Nash Rambler in this day and age is an uncommon discovery find but a 1953 Custom station wagon? Hardly an everyday event! This is considered a matching number car that, “was a running and driving car prior to disassembly“. Hmmm, so, what’s next for this diminutive wagon? Let’s find out, it’s located in Kenosha, Wisconsin (Nash’s ancestral home) and is available, here on eBay for a BIN price of $7,000. There is a make an offer option too. Thanks to Larry D for this tip!

Nash was on the way out in ’53 as 1954 would see it combine with Hudson and form American Motors. The Airflyte “bathtub” design, first seen in 1949, with rounded corners and skirted front wheels was a Nash trademark and said to improve the car’s aerodynamics. Besides the Airflyte manifestation on the Rambler wagon, it also appeared on two-door hardtops and convertibles as well as on larger models like the Ambassador and Statesman. Production figures for 1953 placed Nash in 11th place with 121K units finding first-time garages.

Clearly, this car is a project, why it was dismantled is not disclosed. There is one image of it in finished condition but the assumption, and it’s just an assumption, is that the seller dismantled the car to start a restoration, and then just stopped due to other project commitments. Whether all of the parts are there or not is unknown. It stands to reason that if the car was complete when dismantled, all of the parts should be present. Regardless, the body is going to need some attention.

As for the engine, it’s no longer under the hood and there are no images of it included. What should be found is an 85 HP, 184 CI, in-line six-cylinder engine tethered to a three-speed manual transmission. Its whereabouts and condition are not revealed (OK, cue it up, “Put an LS in it!”).

The interior appears to be well gutted and there are no images of the cargo area. With the seat, door panels, and seat underlay removed, there’s not much that can be said other than the passenger side floor looks solid. While the dash and simplistic instrument panel are in nice shape, the steering wheel is missing something or another.

Returning this car to the way it looked when it was perched upon the trailer would be an ideal outcome and perhaps smaller repairs, here and there, as opposed to a complete dismantling, would have been the preferable approach. But it is what it is now and needs a rebirth of some sort. If you were to acquire this cool little two-door station wagon, what would you do with it?


  1. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    HowardA, are you OK? I’m worried because I beat you to posting the first comments on a Kenosha product!

    Ebay ad states this is a complete car, so I would expect the drive line is included, as well as all the smaller parts we don’t see in the photos. This should be an easy restoration, and considering the state of fuel prices today, it’s a fairly economical alternative to driving one of the hundreds of other old cars offered for sale today.

    If I was still in the market for older unusual cars to restore, this would be very tempting for sure!

    Like 5
  2. Cadmanls Member

    Can’t remember the last time I saw one of these. Think it had a big block with a blower on it and no hood. This little car shouldn’t be too tough to return to it’s former state. Be a cool around town runner.

    Like 5
  3. Lance

    Beep Beep.

    Like 4
    • Bob19116

      That is the ‘little Nash Rambler’ from the song Beep Beep, where a little Nash Rambler passes a Cadillac doing 120MPH and says as the song ends, how do I get this car, out of second gear? Other gimmick songs from the same era: Flying Purple People Eater and Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini.

      Like 3
  4. GT

    Toyota 22R engine & transmission and AC is the route I’d go. Parts available and bulletproof.

    Like 6
  5. GitterDunn

    I’d want to keep it simple, and true to its original mission: practical and economical transportation, but go with a modern 4 or 6 cyl. (not a V8, with gas prices so high!) and other practical upgrades, while preserving its factory stock appearance.

    Like 6
  6. C5 Corvette

    I must be missing something. If the car for sale is really the car on the trailer, I can not understand why the complete disassembly. I would have just got it running nicely, fixed any glaring things wrong and driven it. My Grandfather had one of these, but 2-tone red/white. Great little car until it got totaled. He did buy another, just a step up in size!

    • GitterDunn

      I’m just guessing, but it could have been the rust and filler he found in the rockers while he was prepping for a color change, and wanted to determine how bad it was

      Like 2
  7. Greg

    There have been several of these Nash cars on BF over the last few days and were nice to see. I was at a car show last summer and listened to one of the judges mention how nicely the owner modified the ‘wheel wells’ so they almost did not exist. The wells were stock just like this example. I just slapped my forehead and walked away. Really, this guy was judging a car show!

  8. chrlsful

    AAahhh, there it is. Just askin 4 one of these yesterday…

    Not in peaces tho. Y? Just wanna play? Sell while in deconstruction mode? Change in economy gunna clean up ur mess? Thats the only thing I can figure here.

    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member


      There are many compelling reasons where people need to sell a car in the middle of repairs, restoration, or even creation of what had the beginnings of a great streetrod. While it does happen, it’s fairly rare that a car in the middle of work, is sold because the owner simply lost interest.

      Financial requirements are often high on the list, and things like a divorce, having to decide between your spouse or the car, arrival of twins or even triplets, can mean the end of the extra money. Sometimes it’s a loss of the car owner or the spouse’s job [or both!]. Kids being accepted into an expensive college, or a family member having unexpected & expensive medical costs, can mean the car’s gotta go.

      Other issues include the realization that the work exceeds your level of knowledge or competency, and finishing it just isn’t an option. Perhaps in the middle of restoration on a car, another car you’ve always wanted becomes available, and you can’t restore both.

      I owned a restoration shop for 30+ years, and have had multiple car owners, in the middle of restoration, contact me and ask me to stop work. The reason is typically found in the comments in the paragraphs above. In talking with other shop owners or managers, having to stop work on a project is not that rare, especially in tight financial times.

      I knew the owner of a quite large [and very well known] restoration shop who had a long shed out back. He built the shed to store customer cars while the owners decided what they were going to do with their car. He said that because many of his clients who could afford the high costs of restoration were usually older “type A” business owners, this meant sometimes the car owner died before the car was completed, and the heirs pulled the plug on the restoration, subsequently asking him to sell the car.

      In my case, after a disastrous fire 25 years ago and the resulting bankruptcy, I had no choice but to sell off most of my remaining car collection. More recently due to my advancing age and life-threatening medical issues, I realized the remaining cars needed new homes.

      If there is one constant in life, it’s the fact that life is always changing!

      Like 2
  9. Jay McCarthy

    This little Kenosha Cadillac is begging for an LS transplant

  10. Car Nut Tacoma Washington

    Assuming all parts are there, and it’s not too far gone, I can imagine this would make a great resto project.

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