The Milhous Collection | Lot 813
1948 Nash Ambassador Custom Convertible
$115,500 USD | Sold
| Boca Raton, Florida
25 February 2012
Series 60. 112 bhp, 234.8 cu. in. OHV inline six-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 121"
• Attractive older restoration
• Last full-size Nash convertible
• One of 1,000 built and few survivors
• Award-winning restoration
Nash Motors emerged from World War II with a number of models missing from the catalogue. Eight-cylinder cars had been discontinued with the closing of the assembly lines in February 1942, and convertibles had missed 1942 entirely. Thus it was noteworthy when an open model re-emerged for the 1948 model year. Only 1,000 were built in the 12-month model year ending in October 1948.
Nash’s flagship, the Ambassador, rode a 121-inch wheelbase, nine inches longer than the entry-level 600 model. Body styles included a coupe, four-door trunk-back sedan, four-door fastback “Slip Stream” sedan and a two-door Brougham, in addition to the convertible. Anticipating increased sales as supply began to catch up with postwar consumer demand, Nash added four Custom models to the Ambassador line: convertible, brougham and the two four-door sedans. Whether for reasons of availability or economy, the standard Ambassadors far outsold the Custom models.
This car, purchased by the Milhous Collection in the early 1990s, had been professionally restored for a former owner in Kansas. It is well optioned with radio, Weather Eye heating and ventilation system, twin Nash spotlights and overdrive, which Nash called “Cruising Gear.” Benefitting from very good paint and exceptional brightwork, it earned a Second in Class at the third annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance.
The interior is a combination of brown leather and cloth, all in excellent condition. The floor is covered in brown carpet, and the power convertible top is black canvas with a tan liner. The dashboard and steering wheel are exceptional, especially their unblemished plastic, which often deteriorates, particularly in open cars.
The engine compartment is nicely detailed, and the chassis is clean and painted black, although the underbody has been treated with undercoating material. The car rides on Firestone 7.10x15 wide whitewalls, all in good condition.
Nash suspended production of convertibles at the changeover to all unibody cars for the 1949 model year. The return of the soft top was delayed until the new compact Rambler debut in 1950, and never again was the style seen on a full-size Nash. Reportedly only 60 Ambassador convertibles survive, making this a rare and desirable car. The overdrive gives it long legs for touring, and the power top makes fresh-air cruising a pleasure.