During a recent trip from Indianapolis to Paris, Illinois, I stumbled upon this gem, a 1947 Nash Ambassador Slipstream Sedan sitting by Highway 1 on the west side of the street.
Even though I know a few things about old cars I had a little trouble identifying this one. My first thought was Chrysler because of the chrome lower grille wrapping around the front fenders. A quick websearch brought up the 1942 New Yorker but the size/shape of the badge on the front of the hood made me realize it wasn’t a Chrysler at all.
Paying a little more attention to the emblem brought me to the Nash and the rest was fairly easy. The Nash 600 was produced from 1941 to 1948 (production was halted between 1942 and 1946 because of the war) and is known for being the first unitized body/frame construction in the industry. The name 600 comes from the marketing materials – 20 gallon fuel tank @ 30 MPG = 600 miles of range. The great gas mileage comes back to the unitized body with supposedly saved over 500 pounds in the construction by eliminating a separate frame. The Ambassador featured a 9″ longer wheelbase and included upgraded interiors.
Once I had the basic body down it was only a matter of checking the details to identify the actual year and model. A quick trip to the Pacific Northwest Region of the Nash Car Club of America afforded the opportunity to peruse some pictures. 1941 models had small grilles where this car had distinctive turn signals between the headlights and the main grille. In 1942 the smaller grilles were eliminated. That left me with 1946 – 1949 models and a little more difficult process. The 1948 model eliminated the majority of the chrome strip down the side of the car so we were now down to 1946 or 1947. It turns out that the differences were minor and the main objective after the war was just producing enough cars to meet the pent up demand. In the end, the grills solved the mystery; the ’46 had a narrower grille, while the ’47 had a wider one.
1946 Nash 600/Ambassador Specifications
|Weight:||2375 lbs./3370 lbs.|
|Standard Engine:||172.6 cid 6 cyl/236 cid 6 cyl|
|Horsepower:||82 HP/112 HP|
Options on the Ambassador: Foam Rubber Cushions, Conditioned Air System, Directional Signals, Cruising Gear, Vacuum Booster Pump, Oil Bath Air Cleaner, Radio and Antennae and Spare tire
Want to learn more?