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1949 - 1951 Airflytes

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I'm keen to know more about the drivability of the different versions of the Nash Airflytes. Is the Ambassodor preferred over the Statesman / 600? How do they handle / stop etc?

Owners experiences would be appreciated.


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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 4 months later...

No reply to a newcomer's inquiry--after a year,

and even after a few reminders!


This would give the impression that Nash fans

are thoughtless of others, but I know that's not 

the case at all.  Doesn't anyone with knowledge

of this model frequent this forum?  If not, does

any Nash hobbyist have a name and phone number

he could call?

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Chances are that nobody in the Nash forum has driven both cars that are being asked about. the only way to get that information these days is to get some old driving tests from auto books. There were various magazines that did tests between various models. 

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John S if you are still there - Nash cars in those days were built for comfort and economy. The Ambassador was their biggest, most powerful car with the longest wheelbase and most powerful motor. They had a very smooth quiet ride thanks to coil springs all the way around, the best heating and ventilation system in the industry, and very comfortable seats. The engine was an OHV six cylinder with 7 main bearings. This engine was used by Donald Healey in the Nash Healey  that finished in the money at LeMans in 1950 or 51.


Statesman and 600 were smaller versions of the same car, using the same body shell with a shorter front end and shorter wheelbase. They cost less than the Ambassador, had smaller sidevalve engines and conventional leaf spring rear suspension, although they had the unique Nash coil spring front suspension. They too had comfortable seats and the Nash Weather Eye system but the appointments were not quite as plush as the Ambassador.


The 600 got its name because it could go that many miles on a 20 gallon tank full of gasoline.


They all had the most streamlined, aerodynamic bodies of any American car. And were one of the first cars to feature unit body construction (no frame).  Given reasonable care they were durable, long lived, and economical.


See Jay Leno put an Ambassador through its paces.


Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Rusty, thanks for the answer.  I always like the

unusual, seldom-seen, and under-appreciated cars, and

a 1949-51 "bathtub" Nash is one on my list of 



I've heard that that the 600/ Statesman have less

power, and one owner said that his is most

comfortable at 45 m.p.h. max.  So the economical

Statesman doesn't sound like it's built for today's highways.


I know someone who has a pretty nice Statesman for sale

(with upholstery done nicely but in an incorrect fabric)

and he wanted $8000 the last time I talked to him a year ago.


Anyone have an excellent 2-door Ambassador for sale?

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

I just watched the Jay Leno segment, driving the '50 Nash Ambassador Custom.   I didn't know he had one.   It brought back some terrific memories of my dad's '50 Nash Ambassador in the same two tone green paint job.   Boy, I loved that car.   I even took my New York State driver's test on that car in 1954.    My biggest concern during the test was parallel parking because the rear visibiltiy wasn't the best.   However, I aced the parking and the test in general.

I remember that Dad's '50 Nash was one of the best riding cars I've ever been in.   I wasn't the greatest handling car in the world , but no worst that other cars of that era.   The big six cylinder engine had a lot of torque as I remember.

The Statesman model looked the same, but it had a shorter front end with a much smaller flat head six.

They were beautiful cars and I'm glad that Jay Leno has the twin of my dad's car.  Thanks for the memories.


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