auguswiss1 posted this fine shot of a 1950 Nash Ambassador Custom, which was the top trim of the top model line of Nash at the time. I was really taken by this shot, because I’d forgotten just how long the front end of this Amby was. Looking it up confirmed it: the Ambassador had a 121″ wb vs. the 112″ of the Statesman. And that extra 9″ of wheelbase is all in the front end.
Here’s the Statesman, with the shorter front end. Realistically, it’s the better proportioned of the two. But long front ends convey status, and the extra price paid for an Ambassador better get one a bit of that.
And what was hiding under that long hood? A big straight eight? Hardly. Nash’s eight never made it into the Airflyte cars that arrived in 1949. Nash’s 234.8 cubic inch ohv six, rated at 115 hp. Well, that was at least adequate perhaps, especially in comparison to the Statesman, which had to do with the rather anemic 85 hp 184 cubic inch flathead six, a slightly larger version than the one used in the compact Rambler. And these weren’t exactly featherweight cars either; the Amby weighed some 3,500 lbs, and the smaller Statesman some 3,000. Those numbers weren’t too far off from what Studebakers weighed at the time, so it was par for the course. By 1953, the Ambassador six was up to 140 hp.
That long hood really deserved a straight eight.