1951 Nash Statesman
During the 1930’s until the early 1960’s, the American auto industry really had some interesting and unique car styles and mechanical innovations. During that period of time a lot of my favorite cars and trucks were produced. The 1951 Nash cars were ones that I thought were very different, practical but weren’t very popular. In 1950 Nash sold 191,865 units and in 1951 only 161,140 were sold including the Rambler models. The last Nash cars were produced in 1957.
My Dad owned a 1938 Lafayette sedan (an economical sedan made by Nash). He bought the car from a local Dealer who was a neighbor and a business friend. The Dealer’s son was a school classmate of mine and therefore there is a little Nash history in our family. The father of another classmate of mine owned a Hudson. (Nash bought Hudson Motor Co in 1954. From then on Hudson and Nash cars were basically the same kind of styling). We said his dad’s car looked like an upside-down bath tub like everybody else described these cars. When I saw this restored car was for sale, I thought it would be a nice one to add to my collection of cars.
The first thing that you really notice about the car is the Styling. It was very different but it was aero-dynamic. All four wheels are partially covered by the car fenders. This did cause a problem for changing a flat tire when on the road. A special roller floor jack along with two jack stands were provided to jack up the car, insert the floor stands under the frame rail, take pressure off of the jack so the wheels could drop down far enough to remove the tires. That is more works than normal but it does the job.
Another unique feature was the reclining back of the front bench seat (see attached photo). The back could be dropped back to be made into a bed for vacationing travelers or campers. A special mattress was provided to make it a little more comfortable. This was in the time when there weren’t motels on every corner and families did a lot of camping.
Most cars from the early 1940’s and on had a glove compartment. This model of car had a Glove ‘Drawer'(see attached photo). Instead of opening the door of a conventional glove compartment and have everything fall out onto the floor, the drawer pulls out and you can retrieve your item without things falling all over the place.
The engine is the economical, in-line, flat head six cylinder and it is coupled with a manual column shift three speed transmission. It is unique in its design that the carb sit right on the cylinder head without a separate intake manifold and the exhaust manifold just looks like a pipe bolted to the right side of the engine block. It was very simple and yet dependable engine for its time.
So folks you might see me driving down the road in my upside-down green Nash bath tub sometime in the future. If you see me, just wave or blow your horn and I will wave back.