Nash Metropolitan

1957 Nash Metropolitan

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 14-22, 2021

Photo – Mecum

Here is a car I adore. Partly because it is adorable, but also because it is affordable. The car was designed by Nash in the U.S. with the aim of offering a less expensive and economical alternative to the big behemoths rolling out of Detroit. But the cars were actually produced in England by Austin.

Series I examples were introduced in 1953, and this Series III hardtop would’ve sold for $1,527 when new. Power is from a 1.5-liter inline-four that was factory rated at 52 horsepower. Metropolitans were sold as Austins in the U.K. and under the Nash brand in the U.S. through 1957. Hudson-branded models were also offered until Nash and Hudson were phased out in ’57. From 1958 through 1962, Metropolitan was a standalone marque.

This restored example is finished in teal and white (excellent) and features houndstooth upholstery. Affordable when new, they remain an inexpensive way to get into 1950s American (or British, depending on your perspective) cars. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $17,600.

Nash Statesman Fastback

1951 Nash Statesman Custom Brougham

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | August 27-29, 2020

Photo – Mecum

The Statesman was a full-sized car offered by Nash for a short period of time. It wasn’t their only full-sized car, but it slotted in below the Ambassador in the Nash product line. Despite being on sale for only six years (1950-1956), it spawned two distinct generations.

This Statesman Custom Brougham was from the final year of the first generation. The Custom was the top of three trim levels, and was offered in three body styles: a two-door sedan, a four-door sedan, and a two-door Brougham. The latter had a distinct fastback style that is pretty awesome for 1951.

Photo – Mecum

Two-door Broughams were the rarest of all 1951 Nash cars, regardless of what model and trim combo you picked. For instance, only 38 Statesman Custom examples were built. Thirty-eight. That’s it. Could you imagine a major car company today producing less than 50 examples of one of their models? It’s crazy.

Power is from a 3.0-liter inline-six that made 85 horsepower when new. This is a cool car from a once-great manufacturer. And I can’t imagine how rare it is today. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $19,800.

Update: Sold, Mecum, Indianapolis, October 2020, $27,500.

Rambler Cross Country

1956 Nash Rambler Cross Country

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020

Photo – Mecum

Rambler is one of the most confusing American automotive marques. The first Ramblers were produced in 1900. They would become a product of the Jeffrey company in 1914, and Jeffrey became Nash during WWI.

Nash would later produce Rambler-branded cars, up until 1958, when Rambler became its own marque again (before once more becoming a model under the AMC brand). The 1956 Rambler was completely redesigned, and some seem to think it was its own marque beginning in 1956. The ’56 and ’57 Ramblers were pretty cool looking, especially in wagon form as shown here.

Power is from a 3.2-liter inline-six that was factory rated at 130 horsepower. Production totals are hard to come by for the $2,326-when-new Cross Country wagon, as the totals are combined with the mid-level Rambler Super Station Wagon. Between the two models, 21,554 were built. Turquoise is one of the best 50s colors, making this wagon a winner. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $24,200.

Nash-Healey Coupe

1953 Nash-Healey Le Mans Coupe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 6-7, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Nash-Healey was one of America’s first post-war sports cars, beating competitors like the Chevrolet Corvette to market by a number of years. The first Nash-Healeys went on sale in 1951 and were only available as convertibles.

The cars were restyled for 1952 to more closely resemble what you see here, and a hardtop model was introduced in 1953. Named the “Le Mans” coupe, the hardtop commemorated Nash-Healey’s podium finish at Le Mans. It cost twice as much as a 1953 Corvette when new and features a body penned by Pininfarina.

Power in this car is from a 4.1-liter inline-six from Nash capable of 140 horsepower. Only 62 coupes were built for 1953, and only 30 are thought to survive. This one was restored in 1994 and is now being sold at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Amelia Island.

Update: Sold $89,600.

Nash Pickup

1946 Nash P1 Pickup Prototype

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 21, 2018

Photo – H&H Classics

Nash was one of the lucky few to survive the Depression and the War. Nash had a history of rugged vehicles but they never really got going with light duty trucks, though in 1946 they apparently experimented with just such a vehicle. This was a time when automakers were scrambling to produce cars and trucks America wanted after years of a stagnant auto industry.

As you can tell, styling was certainly an important factor. It kind of reminds me of a Studebaker pickup of the era from the windshield on back. The front of the truck is clearly shares corporate styling cues from the Nash 600 and it’s powered by a 3.8-liter straight-six, which was likely installed during a comprehensive restoration and was probably not the engine it came with.

It’s unclear how many of these Nash actually built (the possibility exists that it was more than one), but the catalog says that this is the only one in existence. It’s curious that it is in the U.K., but Nash may have exported any prototypes to shield themselves from liability issues. At any rate, the P1 never made it to production, making this a rare piece of American auto history. It will sell at no reserve with an expected result of $21,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $30,216.

Nash Special Six

1928 Nash Special Six Cabriolet

Offered by Mecum | Las Vegas, Nevada | February 27-28, 2015

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum Auctions

Nash Motors Company was founded by Charles W. Nash, a former G.M. president, in 1916 when he acquired the Thomas B. Jeffrey Company. Nash branded cars went on sale in 1917. The company would  go on to become part of American Motors, with the Nash name disappearing after 1957.

This Special Six wears an attractive body from the Seaman Body Corporation, which from 1919 was part of Nash. The Special Six nameplate dates back to 1925 and lasted through 1929. It was Nash’s mid-range model for 1928 (a year in which they only offered six-cylinder models). It was slotted between the Standard and Advanced Six models.

The engine is a 3.7-liter straight-six making 52 horsepower at 2600 rpm. This Model 341 Cabriolet retailed for $1,290 in 1928. It has a rumble seat and rear-mounted spare tire. It shows very nice. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $17,000.

An Unrestored WWI Truck

1916 Nash Quad

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | June 10, 2013

1916 Nash Quad

Okay, yes, I know. This thing is in rough shape. But let’s step back from condition issues and think about something: when was the last time you saw a World War One vehicle? What about one for sale? What about one for sale in original condition? Wartime vehicles generally don’t even survive the war, yet alone the one hundred years that follow.

World War Two trucks can be found with relative ease. But there’s something so inaccessible about the “War to End All Wars.” Maybe because so many vehicles from that era were scrapped to build things to fight the Nazis. Maybe it’s because no one from that era is still alive (but were as of recently). This truck just blows my mind.

The Quad was designed by Thomas B. Jeffrey and was built as the Jeffrey Quad beginning in 1913. The thing is amazing for the time: it has a 5.2-liter straight-four engine making 29 horsepower and driving all four wheels with solid tires. Top speed is about 15 mph. It also has four-wheel brakes (an absolute rarity in 1913) and four-wheel steering. Four-wheel drive vehicles existed prior to this, but none were this solid or well built. They started out as delivery trucks popular (especially in rural areas) in the U.S. In 1914, war broke out and production picked up (thousands – 11,000+ – were built in total, exact figures unknown). In 1916, Nash Motors acquired Jeffrey and continued production of the Quad as the Nash Quad. So this thing is from the first year of Nash production.

This was undoubtedly a wartime truck. Other Quads exist – some in pristine, restored condition. But you won’t find one “straight out of the war,” so to speak. The engine turns over but it doesn’t run and it could be restored. It’s one of only three in France (if that means anything to you). It was discovered as-is in the 1980s – but think of the life it lived – the people it may have carried into battle – and now none of them are still alive today. It’s a piece of history from another time and so, so cool. It should sell for between $10,000-$20,000. Click here for more info and photos and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $21,456

1953 Nash-Healey

1953 Nash-Healey Roadster

Offered by RM Auctions, Phoenix, AZ, January 18-20, 2012

The Nash-Healey was re-designed for 1952 after just one brief year with it’s original design. The restyle is the classic design you see here with the Nash grille and inboard headlights – all courtesy of Pininfarina. The 4.1 liter Nash inline six produces 140 horsepower – enough to make it true to its claim of “America’s first post-war sports car.” The powertrain was sent to Healey in England for installation into a chassis and then onto Pininfarina in Italy to have this attractive body fitted. The European-American collaboration to produce a good-looking and well-performing sports car is a formula that would continue for years to come.

All of this shipping made the car rather expensive at $5,908 compared to the then brand-new Corvette which sold for $3,513. The car is offered by RM without reserve and without a current pre-auction estimate but if I had to guess I’d put it between $75,000 and $110,000… although Gooding & Co. sold one last year in Arizona for $143,000. Anything is possible in Arizona in January.

See more on this lot here and more on the sale here.

Update: Sold $71,500.