An eerie coincidence…almost as soon as I woke up today I began thinking about the subject of the next In Or Out? post. I decided to show/write about the Nash Airflyte. A few minutes later I checked my email and this link had been sent to me. It is an article on Macs Motor City Garage about…the 1949-51 Nash Airflyte. I guess I’m supposed to feature that car today.
Remembering that picture links from Macs Motor City Garage are not stable, I found a picture from somewhere else, David’s Classic Cars.
“While the Motor CIty’s bathtub styling trend of the late ’40s was a brief one, it produced some truly memorable cars. Hudson and Packard, to name two, were leading proponents of the upside-down bathtub look, while Mercury and Lincoln, among others, also adopted some of its elements. But the queen of the bathtubs was the 1949-51 Nash Airflyte. As the often bombastic Tom McCahill of Mechanix Illustrated wrote at the time, ‘Nash, one of the oldest automakers in America, has gone overboard for the newest fad in automotive designs and come up with two hot candidates for Miss Upside-Down Bathtub of 1949.’ The new Nash 600 and Ambassador, he blasted, ‘jumped into the latest fashion with both faucets wide open.'”
I think my inspiration for writing about a Nash today came from the most recent episode of Junkyard Gold. Steve Magnante went to Rambler Ranch in Elizabeth, Colorado. Their website reads, “Dedicated to the Preservation & Restoration of NASH, RAMBLER, & AMC Automotive History.” Magnante featured an Airflyte during the show.
The 1949 Nash line of cars were its first totally redesigned lineup after World War II. In that year they also became the first US manufacturer of mass-produced automobiles to totally commit to unitized single-unit construction as opposed to body-on-frame. From Connors Motor Car, another picture of a Nash Airflyte, this one a 1949 model.
Calendar year 1949 sales for Nash increased by 20 percent compared to 1948, but the company’s market share actually declined slightly. 1949 saw an explosion in car sales/production as the end of post-war teething pains combined with many new styles by a slew of companies, including GM and Ford, led to an upsurge in interest by buyers and ability to meet that demand by sellers.
Nash’s good fortune continued, though, in 1950 as the company set its all-time record for single year production reaching almost 200,000 units. Included in those cars from 1950 was a new model, the compact Rambler, but that’s another story.
OK, 1949-51 Nash Airflyte…In Or Out?
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