Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Stored 20 Years: 1951 Nash Statesman Super

Statesman. That’s such an impressive name, or it was in past eras. I don’t know how or why anyone would want to get into politics today, but times were different in the years following WWII. This is, I believe, a 1951 Nash Statesman Super. The seller has it posted on Craigslist as a 1949 model but I believe that it’s a ’51. It’s located in Otisville, Michigan, around the horn of Lake Michigan from where it was made and they’re asking $5,000 for it.

Photos from above on a “bathtub” Nash are maybe not the most flattering angle. It’s like taking a photo of your uncle from above, the one with the big schnozz. It accentuates the unusual shape, but maybe that’s what they were going for. These cars were aerodynamic to the extreme, at least in appearance. The front covered wheels have to be the most unusual feature. This era of Nash is maybe my current favorite American car line and this one looks more than decent, despite its faded paint, missing parts, and flat tires.

Ok, that rust on the back end isn’t fun to see, but that two-tone paint is fantastic and those colors would pop at any car show, even in the current faded state that they’re in. The seller has the bumpers, which you’ll see in the next two photos – they’re lying on the passenger seat. The Statesman was a mid-level car for Nash and above that was the even more stately and political-sounding name: Ambassador. The seller says that this car “was parked 20 years ago inside of a garage and hasn’t been started since.” The 1949 Nash had a rounded rear end, not the little tail fins such as the 1951 models had. Not to mention that there wasn’t a Statesman for the 1949 model year. The missing title may explain the model year confusion.

The interior looks pretty good given how long it’s been in storage and what the outside looks like. I don’t know how the paint got that faded if it was stored inside for 20 years, but I guess that still leaves 47 years where it could have been parked outside in the elements. They have “automatic” listed but I don’t see the HydraMatic script on the rear. I think this one could have an automatic overdrive manual transmission instead of an automatic transmission. Thoughts?

There are no engine photos and this 85 hp, 184 cubic-inch inline-six hasn’t been started since it was put into storage two decades ago. You can see the bumpers in the above photo, and also the famous/infamous feature of these cars, the fold-down seats that made into a bed. Buyers could get a roll-up mattress and also screens for the windows to keep the mosquitos out at night. The seats look good other than being dirty and full of “stuff”. Is this Statesman worth the asking price given the work that’ll be needed to bring it back to life?

Comments

  1. poseur Member

    man, i’d forgotten about the best hood ornament ever!

    when i bought the 80-acre farm next to my home ten-ish years ago, there was one of these (as well as a few other old vehicles) abandoned in & near a sink hole on the property.

    it sat surrounded by weeds & trees, a few random bullet holes in its flanks & coiled springs exposed through its deteriorating upholstery.

    i loved imagining the former owners’ family piling in on Sundays to drive into town for church services & their sons’ washing its flowing flanks as a rite of passage.

    i left it untouched as it returned to the earth but always marveled at the design of its body & that gorgeous hunk of shaped metal mounted front & center on the hood. i decided someday to remove it, polish it & have it attached as a desk ornament instead.

    after a couple weeks out of state on vacation we returned to find the car rolled over, with tracks leading up to it from some piece of equipment. the hood ornament was nowhere to be seen. tears of anger & sadness welled up as i struggled to understand how & why…

    now that we are in the finishing stages of completing our new home on the property its time to source a replacement flying goddess & bring her inside.

    Like 18
  2. Stang1968

    This Nash reminds me of all the generic looking cars from Popular Mechanics at the time. Very unconventional styling then and now. This would stand out at any show, but sadly is probably not worth the time and effort to restore unless it was a labor of love.

    Like 5
    • Danh

      Yeah, the cover of Popular Mechanics was my first thought. “Family of the future” lol!

      Like 1
  3. Gary Olthoff

    Different than the masses = cool

    Like 7
  4. Chris

    Odd looking car. A 500″ monster on 8 lbs. of boost would be a hell of sleeper!

    Like 4
  5. Steve R

    I love the two door and station wagon versions of this model. I’d pass on this one due to the visible rust and asking price.

    Steve R

    Like 1
    • dweezilaz

      That was the Rambler. The Nash was a full sized car. Two or four doors only.

      Like 2
  6. Doug F Member

    Hydramatics don’t come with a clutch pedal

    Like 8
    • David Taylor

      My exact thought. One interior shot clearly shows clutch-brake-gas pedals. Altho I may have missed it, one BIG selling point on these Nashes was the seats fold down to make a full size bed. Some of us boys also learned holding a quarter (25 cent piece) against the back of the ignition unit would start the engine.

      Like 3
  7. Skorzeny

    Ugh. I would cut wheel openings into those fenders…

    Like 2
    • Miguel

      Why on earth would you do that?

      Like 28
      • pugsy

        Why? Because this is one of the ugliest cars ever made. Any mods will help this thing….ewww……

        Like 3
  8. Mark S.

    Kinda looks like a land speeder from Star Wars.

    Like 12
  9. P.Melvin

    What was the turning radius on this barge?

    Like 8
    • Howard A Member

      Actually, that was one of it’s downfalls. The front stance was 3 inches shorter than the rear, but still resulted in a 42.5 turning circle, compared to 40.2 feet for the ’51 Ford.

      Like 5
      • George

        My Uplander minivan has a turning radius of 40 feet. Which I recall is the worst of all minivans too. Equivalent to a full size van. However it is otherwise not an issue. Was the lack of radius a problem for other driving with these?

        Like 0
  10. Fred H

    They need to remove a zero from the price.

    Like 3
  11. John C

    The body style was a stab at something a bit different, since those years were a transition to what was to come. Didn’t come soon enough for many.

    The rust on the back could possibly be dealt with, but without seeing it on a rack is only guessing.

    But for those of you with some gray or white in your your hair might remember this car was in the Family of what Lois Lane drove. Usually to whatever the big story of the moment was for the Daily Planet. Frequently, Jimmy Olsen in back seat fiddling with his camera and up front Clark Kent riding shotgun.

    Like 9
    • Ike Onick

      Thank you. It is impossible for me not to see these cars in black and white no matter what color they are. Your comment makes me wonder about what ever happened to Superman’s clothes after he changed in a phone booth?

      Like 3
      • waynard

        clothes were sold to gypsies immediately.

        Like 2
      • Ike Onick

        So that’s why I see so many gypsies in business suits, hats and glasses! Thanks man!

        Like 0
    • Mountainwoodie

      No grey yet but just what I was going to say lol……..even if she drove the landau smaller version

      Like 9
    • Howard A Member

      This car was more like what Inspector Henderson of the Metropolis Police drove. https://s.hswstatic.com/gif/1949-1951-nash-airflyte-24.jpg

      Like 5
  12. BRAKTRCR

    We had a 54, the top of the line… Ambassador? Had pinnon Farina emblem… or something like that. Because of that, I have always liked this body style. I find most folks that think they are ugly, had an 80 Camaro… Just kidding.
    A guy in the late 80′ early 90’s tricked one out pretty nice. He called it “Nashty”

    Like 5
    • Frank Sumatra

      “Pininfarina” Italian design firm started by Battista Pininfarina. I think his son Sergio did some work on American cars.

      Like 5
  13. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    Anyone else think this looks better without the bumpers? I would take the bumper brackets off and create some lower panels front & rear, leaving just that chrome strip running the full 360 degrees around the car.

    Like 6
  14. ramblergarage

    the Pininfarina models were 1952 thru 1957 on the Ambassador and Statesman and 1953 thru 1955 on the Rambler.

    Like 5
  15. Chinga-Trailer

    Perhaps a better name than “Statesman” would have been “Spaceman” as that is what it brings to mind for me!!

    Like 0
  16. Wrong way

    I wished that I could take this on! This is a awesome car! I have to admit that I am a fan of Nash tho! No company makes cars awesome anymore! I think that now days companies just look at what body style is selling and copy it!

    Like 5
    • waynard

      What’s to take on? Clean it, make it safe, drive it. Perfect as is.

      Like 2
  17. Pete Phillips

    A non-running, 4-door sedan in need of paint, upholstery, all four tires, and probably everything except body work. Looks like a $500 car for $5,000 to me. Such a deal…! I totally agree with the comment above that there are one too many zeros in the price. $5,000 is what this is worth when it is restored!

    Like 2
    • waynard

      It may be overpriced, but c’mon, make an offer and negotiate. How many in this condition will you see anymore? Go for it!

      Like 0
  18. Jack Quantrill

    Beats out the Pontiac Aztec, as World’s ugliest car! Only redeeming feature are the fully reclining seats

    Like 1
    • cyclemikey

      Why not educate us then, Jack? With a comment like that, you ought to be able to dazzle us with a list of the beautiful collectibles in your own garage. So what are they? :)

      This car is pretty cool, although I like the fully-rounded ’49 better, especially with its “Uniscope” instrument pod. This might be a worthy project if they can get the title as they say they will, but it will definitely be a labor of love since they don’t bring that much money.

      Like 5
      • waynard

        Profit shouldn’t be the point here.

        Like 0
  19. graham line

    … and it comes with the rare run-flat tires.

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      But they’re only flat on the bottom!

      Like 3
  20. Tim Deal

    Wow I think that would be a car to MOD corvette suspension etc.

    Like 1
    • waynard

      We have one here in Albuquerque, very low, with a Hemi in it. Gorgeous, odd, amazing.

      Like 2
  21. Ron

    Interesting old ride but then I love orphan cars and the unusual. It appears solid overall but this is where if you have never restored an old car of any kind and I use the term “restored” very loosely, shold say refurbished or just returned to the road, you best invest some time into the project. Hereis a good example of returning any old car to use or fun. and is a good example of how the TV shows and the auctions have totally destroyed the old car hobby for the novice or average guy. This car is unibody and if it has the expected rust underbody that may or not be there it is dead in the water. The next thing before we even address the power train is iiIF it might run without major repairs just to drive it for fun, as a novice mechanic, figure in todays world up to 500 bucks for brakes unless you are going to stop it with a chain and concrete blocks. The fuel system is going to require complete cleaning and maybe a gas tank if you can’t repair this one IF you can find one. Ok your time is free but cleaning and tank sealer 100 bucks min. Hoses and belts another 100 bucks if you can find some bargins 4 tires to fit used at best 125.00 if you want new vintage 600 bucks. cleand and service the radiator if it has one and can be repaired 125.00 IF you are talented or lucky enough to still find an old craftsman where you live that likes to work for nothing. A new battery 100 bucks minimum if you stay with an original 6 volt. You might get lucky and clean and refurbish the carb if it is there yourself for 125 bucks if you find a kit. I want worry about points plugs plug wires, just in caseyou MIGHT get lucky and avid that 100 plus bucks you mght have it cranked and able to go down the road. Where are we now, I didn’t add it up you do the math but north of 1000 bucks and this is conservative with no labor but yours. Now what is your definition of “Restored”, fixed up, or what is the designation. Is it worth 5000 bucks today? Ok Hire this done and you are probably at 3000 plus depending on labor where you live. Do it up like you see most of them at average shows witn nice paint and professional upholstery and it does not have to be High dollar original type and you arein bigbucks. The supplies to paint this car yourself would be in excess of 500 bucks. You cannot restore a car today for near what you can usually find somewhere that has already bee done and that person in it upside down for. Even seldom seen old cars like this can be found often today if you just search in decent condition for 5000 or less. Been doing them since 1974 and it use to be fun and you could enjoy it have fun and ocassionallymake some bucks when finished when you could still buy this for the 500 it is worth in today’s money. It is ruined my friends, that’s why at 73 I am through and have a classic 60 Sude Convert with everything done and over 15k in it and no one wants to give you 12-15k for it. You decide what it is worth. Thanks for ruining a once fun hobby but all aside I think they call it progress, it is real life.

    Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      Thanks for pretty much summing up what’s happened to the hobby. I too got rid of all my classics years ago. I saw where it was going, and wanted no part of it anymore.( kind of like trucking) I guess it’s fun to see how far out of whack this will go,,,like a certain $25,000 dollar motorized welding cart coming up. I can’t wait to hear the comments on THAT one.

      Like 2
    • Frank S.

      You are correct — don’t get into the hobby if you expect to get your money back out of a car, especially one that isn’t a really popular model. POPULARITY drives prices more than rarity — if you have the only one left and no one wants it what’s it worth? NOT MUCH!! Only a few popular cars can be restored (using the term loosely as it is today!) and made money off of, and then usually only a pro restoration for people with deep pockets. Get a car you LIKE and will ENJOY driving! Then if you do like Ron and I did, put $12-15K in a car not likely to bring more than $8-10K if you go to sell it… well, you got $4-5K or ENJOYMENT out of it! If you like it and plan on keeping a while it’s worth the effort. Keep that in mind when buying any old car… you have to get something out of the experience other than money or it’s not likely worth the effort.

      Like 3
      • 123pugsy

        Exactly. It’s still like buying any car. Depreciation comes into play.

        Like 1
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

        Frank S,

        Your comment [POPULARITY drives prices more than rarity — if you have the only one left and no one wants it what’s it worth? NOT MUCH!!] is very true. I’ve always said that just because it’s rare, does not equal value.

        Sometimes an item was hated by the general public, who simply didn’t buy them. No one wanted it when new, and unless it’s a crazy design or very unusual item today, no one wants them now!

        Buy what you like if you can afford it. Understand in the future it may not be valuable. buy it for enjoyment, not as investment.

        Like 1
    • JMG

      Great summary. Good points. But grumpy ending.

      We need to grump and gripe less about the hobby, and spend less time lamenting the ‘good old days’. The hobby is not dead. It has just evolved. Sure the flashy flip TV and streaming shows have made everyone think they have a gem rotting in their woods. But old cars are only worth what someone will pay for them. If this guy gets $5k for this Nash, then it is worth $5k to a buyer and a seller… And the buyer has my pity. LOL

      But really, a bunch of old guys being grouchy about the state of a ‘dying hobby’ also turns people away. Who do YOU prefer to chat with at a car show? The happy guy or the grumpy one?

      Like 4
      • pugsy

        Good points here.
        A lot of whining going on for sure.

        Like 2
  22. Bruce Fischer

    A neat car but no title = no sale with me!

    Like 0
    • Frank S.

      With cars this old you can usually get a title issued. Process varies state to state. It may be a salvage title or a “provisional” title (if someone shows up with original in their name you might end up in court over ownership… in cases like this that’s not likely!), but you can get a title. Getting a title for a 5-10 year old car is much more difficult, but in general 25+ year old cars are relatively easy.

      Like 0
  23. Alan Northcott

    Okay, I give up – how do you change the front wheels, take the body off?

    Like 1
    • pugsy

      Sell it like this guy is. Flat tire’s gone…ugly gone…win/win

      Like 1
    • Frank S.

      Jack car up by front bumper and only a little of the tire is under the fender. These cars were the first US cars to be designed with wind tunnel testing. They actually are more aerodynamic than their contemporaries, and the skirted front wheels help.

      Like 1
  24. Gay Car Nut

    Sweet looking Nash. It looks like it’d make an awesome restoration project. Sadly, there are not enough photos. Eight pics is hardly enough to show everything on the car. Even for Craigslist, the more photos posted, the better.

    Like 2
  25. ramblergarage
  26. Rolf R Staples

    My oldest brother had one of these back in 1958. The front shocks were bad. It was funny to see it coming down the road bouncing up and down. It was quite a project to change the clutch too.

    Like 1
  27. Peter

    Meet George Jetson…..( :

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.