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Restoration Ready: 1955 Nash Statesman

Nash’s Statesman was a mid-level car built by the company between 1950 and 1956. Across two generations, the Statesman was positioned between the top-line Nash Ambassador and the entry Nash Rambler. That would all change later due to the 1954 merger of Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson Motor Car Co. to form American Motors. This ’55 Statesman has been idle for 15 years, awaiting a mechanical and cosmetic restoration that’s yet to happen. Located in Sebastopol. California, this looks like a solid car worth saving and is available here on craigslist for $5,000 OBO. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, T.J.!

The redesign of the Statesman in 1952 was just two years before the AMC merger. These cars featured large “envelope-bodied” sedans with enclosed wheels that were a Nash hallmark. The launch of the new cars coincided with Nash’s 50th anniversary and included styling influenced by Pininfarina, the famous Italian designer. The Statesman would be gone by the 1957 model year as the final Nash-branded cars would be the Ambassadors.

This seller intended to restore this Nash after he bought it from the original owner in 2007. The car’s 196 cubic-inch inline-6 needed work, but it was more than the seller expected when a compression check found a bad cylinder. So, he/she threw a cover over the Statesman and left it in the garage for the next 15 years. This 4-door sedan, with at least 145,000 miles, was one of about 22,600 built in 1955.

The body is in good condition for its age, with no dents and a minimum of rust. The latter seems to be confined to the hood and the right rear fender. It could use a new coat of white over turquoise paint which was a nice combination when new. This seller has saved all the exterior trim pieces which would probably be hard to otherwise find. The interior is in decent shape except for the front seat bottom and floor mats, the former having a “chewed out” look to it. Because this was a single-owner car before the seller acquired it, things like the owner’s manual and spare keys survived to come with the deal.


  1. Big C

    A “chewed out look to it..” LOL. What was the size of the rat that did that?

    Like 2
    • Dale S

      …or a squirrel.

    • Bob C.


  2. Bill C.

    Wonder if the owner was booted out of the Nash Car Club of America.

  3. Psychofish2

    Great piece.

    “These cars featured large “envelope-bodied” sedans with enclosed wheels that were a Nash hallmark.”

    Thank you. This is how it’s done, folks: accurate informative descriptions.

    “Enclosed wheel wells”. IOW: not “skirted fenders”.

    Excellent work, Russ.

    Kudos for this as well:

    ‘This 4-door sedan, with at least 145,000 miles,’ instead of writing ” ‘This 4-door sedan, with only 45,000 miles on the odometer”.

    Nice to see this car, a six and your write up.

    Like 7
    • Rich

      Was this car built in Kenosha Wi.?

    • Mike R

      Cosmo Topper, “Topper” tv show,would be proud!

      Like 1
  4. Sam61

    Funky cool! I would come up with a three tone paint scheme. Four wheel disc brake conversion. Interior to match the paint. Cruise and enjoy.

    Like 2
  5. Graham Line

    Kind of car that ought to be restored, instead of someone cranking out yet another ’66 Chevelle restomod.
    Paint seems odd — not all all like the turquoise that was on Nashes and Metropolitans.

    Like 4
  6. Will P.

    The foam in the seat deteriorated do to It drying out and crumbling. I had a ’56 Chevy that did the exact same thing, with no help from rodents. I love this car.

  7. Suzanne Steffy

    How much wiring was eaten along with the seat?

  8. dr fine

    Our neighbors had one with a very loud rod knock. They drove it daily for at least a year until they moved away. I assumed it was a 1955 model because of the styling.

  9. chrlsful

    grill is reminiscent of nash healey’s ‘face lift’ model (it had 2).
    Right sized, right doors, I’d dwn size it some (50s Brit, Italian ?)
    some more tho…

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