The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 199
1939 Nash Ambassador

Selling on Saturday

1939 Nash Ambassador


• Nash’s exclusive trunk back four-door sedan model
• 3,900 built in 1939
• First year for the Convertible Bed System
• A highly original Ambassador with honest patina

235 cid inline six-cylinder engine, 105 HP, three-speed manual transmission, front and rear leaf spring suspension, four-wheel drum brakes; wheelbase: 121”

A die-hard salesman, Nash Motors’ president George Mason believed new products were the best way to spark sales in a tough economy, so he insisted on fresh styling for 1939. To get it, he decided to go outside, and the assignment went to independent designer George Walker (the future Ford Motor Company styling vice president), who hired former General Motors and Chrysler stylist Don Mortrude to draw up the exciting new 1939 Nash Ambassador.

The results were lower and sleeker. Large wheel openings and 16-inch wheels wearing low-pressure whitewall tires look very modern, but the front end is especially elegant, with small "waterfall" grilles flanking a prow-like nose wearing a stack of bright, curved bars. Jewel-like square headlamps are nestled in "suitcase" front fenders rather than attaching to the hood sides -- very trendy for the era. This uniquely original example has simple bumpers with rounded ends and integrated guards. Clean bright moldings run back from the nose to the rear quarters just below the belt line on this fine car.

Inside, this nicely equipped Ambassador includes dual wipers and sun visors, twin tail lamps, dual horns, and passenger assist straps. The Weather-Eye heating and ventilation system was very effective, and the Nash became a bit infamous for the Convertible Bed system, where several people could sleep with the rear seat back folded into the trunk. The seats and carpets appear original with appropriate wear on an 80-year-old mostly original car. The original paint finishes are overall amazingly solid, although quite a bit of polishing wear on the hood and fenders is obvious. The chrome is also all-original, and in good to very good shape. The cool waterfall grilles and all of the trim show very well, and all of the glass and rubber seals have also survived in fine shape. Painted steel wheels with wide whitewall tires and full caps finish the classic exterior. Whether your plans are to drive and enjoy this car, or begin a full restoration, it’s a highly original and solid place to begin enjoying this fine Nash Ambassador.

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