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Second To The Last: 1956 Nash Ambassador

032716 Barn Finds- 1956 Nash Ambassador - 2

I’m gnashing my teeth right now because this car is very near the top of my master wish list! This is a 1956 Nash Ambassador and it’s in Lubbock, TX in a field, unfortunately, instead of in my garage. This rare car is listed on Craigslist and the seller says that the first one there with $5,000 cash takes it home. Hmm.. seventeen hours, who’s in for a road trip?

032716 Barn Finds- 1956 Nash Ambassador - 1

In 1954, Nash merged with Hudson to create the American Motors Corporation and this car rolled off the assembly line in Kenosha, WI one year before Nash closed its doors in the summer of 1957. This is an all original car according to the seller. I wish he had it stored indoors instead of just sitting outside in the weather since it’s such a rare one.

032716 Barn Finds- 1956 Nash Ambassador - 3

Believe it or not, this is what this car would have looked like, and what it will look like again once it’s restored. Yes, it’s pink and gray! The continental kit spare tire cover is in the trunk. That is the only part of the car that I’m not a huge fan of, I’m just not a continental kit sort of guy. But, when they came from the factory that way I can live with them. I can’t tell if this side is wrinkled or if it’s just dirt or what’s going on there but it sure doesn’t look like there’s much rust on this car.

032716 Barn Finds- 1956 Nash Ambassador - 5

Mmm mmm good, I love this front end! From this angle I don’t see any flaws in the bodywork at all, it looks as straight as a Nash salesman. In 1957, the last year, they went with a stacked headlight arrangement and I think this grille and front end treatment is much nicer. It’s odd and unusual and somewhat goofy even, but that’s what makes it endearing to me. This is no pedestrian-friendly. bump-and-roll-off-laughing-as-you-get-up-unscathed front end here, this one will hurt you; bad. There are no engine photos, but it should look like this under that sweetly-patina’d hood. 200+hp of either Packard or AMC power in there, depending on whether it’s an early or late-1956 car. Either way, it’s more than enough power to keep up with traffic today.

032716 Barn Finds- 1956 Nash Ambassador - 4

There simply is no rust here! Or, maybe there is under the carpet or whatever is left on the floor there. And, of course there is surface rust. But, it sure looks solid to me from the photos. The underside may be a different story, but hopefully being in Texas and with only 82,000 miles on it, it won’t be a bust, rust-wise. The interior is as fantastic as the exterior is! Dig that pinkness! This is what a blue interior would look like. I would never pay for a hotel again. Oddly enough, I think I like the pink better for some reason. Speaking of liking, I really like these cars. One that’s already been restored will be a pricey endeavor, but whether you like these cars or not, is this one worth the $5,000 asking price given what restored cars are selling for?


  1. Wayne

    Butt ugly. You can put a bow on a pig, but it’s still a pig.

    Like 0
  2. Mike H. Mike H.

    Scotty, if you’re serious about that road trip I’m ready to leave whenever you are. This appears to be a great project.

    Like 1
    • Richard

      Forget it. I got all the “good” parts off this car for my ’57 Nash Ambassador Custom Country Club, including the air conditioner (which still works), the continental kit, and other trim parts before it was sold to someone who planned to restore it. You have to act quickly, if you want an orphan car.

      Like 0
      • albert braaksma

        Are you sure that the parts came from this car because i bought it and to me the car is complete :)

        Like 0
  3. JW

    Not one of my more favorite cars that’s for sure but to each his own.

    Like 0
    • Jimmy Novak

      Like me, for example. I prefer it over a dozen boring No as and Mustangs.

      Like 1
  4. Ed P

    There’s that 50’s pink and gray combo again.

    Like 0
    • Richard

      Pink and gray was popular on the bit Nash and Hudson cars, but the most popular color combination on both makes were Lagoon Blue and Glacier Blue, which is the color combination on my ’57 Nash.

      Like 1
  5. Mark S

    One thing is for certain you won’t be in the row of 57 chevy’s at the car show. When I was young I looked at these as being one of the ugliest car ever made know I see them as unique, a car that really is a 1950’s statement. Part of a post war decade when the world was looking better. These were probably excellent cars in there day well made and long lasting, there styling was most likely what did them in. Great find Scotty and I have to say if having one of these is on your bucket list now is the time to pull the trigger because it may be along time before another one this good comes along.

    Like 1
  6. Matt Tritt

    So homely it makes you want to protect it! I like it now, much more than I did when I was a kid when they seemed way over the top to me. So many Chevys and Fords; so few Nashes! Get it!!

    Like 0
  7. Woodie Man

    And people thought that Edsels front ends were over the top “horsecollars”!

    Wow…and the fifties are typically looked at as a time of conformity in American history….the Grey Flannel Man and all that. This Nash would have been driven by your maiden aunt who wore cat eye glasses and was secretly visiting ‘negro’ jazz clubs.

    What an off the wall design, obviously. In this era of glorified toasters with wheels in the requisite bland silver, white or grey, driving this puppy says: you ain’t right! Still.

    Like 0
    • Rick Aufderheide

      Spot on about ‘Auntie’ in the cat eye glasses listening to ‘negro’ music.
      I had an unmarried aunt who was a ‘feminist rights’ advocate before the movement gained traction. The first woman in my dads family to go to college… Scandolous !!!! I remember she always had cool cars…. I got her ‘Pea Green 68 Cougar… Had the 390.. and (what I thought at the time… Now I can appreciate it) a light and dark green houndstooth interior. Never seen that interior in another… Or on any options list. I know she got it new from the dealer…. Also had an 8 track stereo. Ahh… Good days!

      Like 1
    • Richard

      Wrong! Your maiden aunt drove a Kaiser or Studebaker. Doctors, bankers and lawyers bought Nashes… mainly because they were so expensive. Mine cost almost $5,000 new and that was a lot of money for a car in 1956-1957.

      Like 2
  8. ags290

    Seeing what the 1956 Hudson Rambler from a couple of weeks ago sold for, I think this one is a little strong on its asking price. Still a cool car though.

    Like 1
  9. Keith

    I’ve always been in the minority, but I dig these cars. Their crazy styling definitely grabs your attention, whether for good or bad. From the over the top hood ornament to the way the hood sits in a (for lack of a better term) “Step down” position on the car, this this is weirdness to the 9th degree. Not wild about the color of course, but outside of that…..

    Like 1
  10. JW454

    “Ugly and breaks down a lot. Hummm…. Sounds like a Nash”.

    I loved that line even if it wasn’t true. Do you know the movie?

    Like 1
    • Mike H. Mike H.

      “On Golden Pond”? Who didn’t love Henry Fonda?

      I mean, besides Peter and Hanoi Jane?

      Like 1
      • JW454

        Yep! that was it.

        Like 1
  11. Rick Aufderheide

    It looks like a refrigerator on wheels. Very cool. One of the few cars in that era that (IMHO) looks just as sleek as a sedan as it did in a coupe!
    I saw 2 beautifully restored Nashes “no sale” at the AC auction in Feb… One dark green on light green (and with REALLY COOL factory tinted green glass ( think of a bank in that era) that no sold for 12k. And a very nice pink/white that bid up to 10 k. I think this is a great price for a rust free project…. But I would think whoever took on the endevour better want to keep and enjoy the car…. Because I don’t think you’d get the money back out of it….. But I never do anyway!

    Like 1
  12. ninja3000

    Not a fan of these, but I grew up in one, ’til age six (then we got a Rambler wagon). My old man was an agency PR guy, and AM was one of his accounts! I remember the back seat being gigantic, and I no doubt slept a lot of family-vacation-road-trip hours there…

    Like 1
  13. Allan5591

    I was lucky enough to learn how to drive in one of these. At 12, myself & 3 cousins would tool around in my uncles 5 acre side yard. I, like Scotty would love to own one of these….. Or maybe a Metropolitan……

    Like 1
  14. 67 GT fastback

    Totally schizophrenic styling – detail , detail everywhere – how could you not want it ?!!
    Hope you got your act together and fronted up !!

    Like 1
  15. renzo

    One of the Avant–garde 3-tone cars, no? Love it!

    Like 1
  16. Tony Smith

    I had one willed to me from a neighbor. Ran like a top. The best I can remember it took me about an hour to get it started and I just lucked into it then. You pulled the shifter towards you and that engaged the starter. It was the 6 cylinder version, and two tone green

    Like 1

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