Lot 243

Hershey 2019

1930 Nash Series 490 Twin Ignition Eight Five-Passenger Sedan

The Merrick Auto Museum Collection


$20,900 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
Body No.
  • Imposing Senior Nash series
  • Nine-main-bearing eight-cylinder engine
  • Features legendary Twin Ignition

By 1930 the eight-cylinder engine had become imperative for all but the economy segment of the auto industry. Cadillac and Lincoln clung to their decade-old V-8s, but more recent converts followed Packard in building inline eights with two-plane crankshafts, which eliminated the inherent imbalance in flat-crank designs. Charles Nash, however, was not content with a run-of-the-mill eight. The engine his engineers conceived for that pivotal year also had nine main bearings and a twin ignition system using two complete sets of spark plugs and ignition coils.

Introduced on 1 October 1929, the Nash 490 was the largest Nash car built to that time. Built on wheelbases of 124 and 133 inches, the 490 models weighed 3,770 to 4,210 pounds. The overhead-valve engine displaced 299 cubic inches and developed 100 bhp at 3,200 rpm. Prices ranged from $1,845 to $2,660, the territory of the Packard Standard Eight.

This 1930 Nash 490 was acquired by the Merrick Auto Museum in 1996. Among the prior owners was Patrick Duggan of Engelwood, Colorado. Restored in green with black fenders, it has cream wire wheels and belt moldings. The wheels are mounted with whitewall tires, and there is a side-mount spare on each side. The engine compartment, while not highly detailed, is indeed imposing. One only need notice the complex set of high-tension wires emanating from the distributor and wonder where they all lead to grasp the concept, for half the spark plugs are on the other side of the engine.

Twin-ignition Nashes are legendary. This car is an excellent example.