CC Capsule: 1948 Nash Super – You Don’t Have To Dig Deep For Classics In Goldfield

Who knew one town could have so many classics? Paul’s already shared his vast collection of sightings from Goldfield, Nevada and we’ve also featured photos from Cohort contributor/magnificent photographer, Curtis Perry. Now it’s my turn with these two Nash Supers, parked just off the main street through town.

I have to give credit to J.P. Cavanaugh and Instagram user roborated for identifying these cars as 1946-48 Nashes when I shared them on my @parkedinbnenyc Instagram account. I’d initially mistaken them for Buicks, having been thrown by the Super nameplate I hadn’t realized was also used by Nash.

How thoughtless of me to forget about these Nashes, widely regarded as the first mass-produced American automobiles to use unibody construction. With independent front suspension and coil springs all-round, these were quite innovative for an American car in the 1940s. Production of this generation of Nash commenced in 1941, pausing for World War II as all American automakers did. Production resumed after the war ended, the cars unchanged.

During the ’46-48 period, the Nash lineup was split into the 600 and Ambassador lines with both available in Super trim in 1948. The 600 was named for its ability to go 500-600 miles on a 20-gallon tank of gas, probably a strong selling point for an owner who lived in the middle of the desert in Goldfield.

Goldfield is a strange town. It was founded in 1902, named of course for nearby deposits of gold that had been discovered. Its population swelled to 20,000 by 1906 but once the mining opportunities dried up, most people left. Today, there are only a couple of hundred residents.

Although it’s not technically a ghost town, there seems to be more abandoned stuff than people – it’s not unusual to stumble across old relics like subway entrances from an unknown city, monolithic abandoned schools, or seventy-year-old cars, all just steps from the main street.

I knew Goldfield would have some old iron worth photographing and the town didn’t disappoint. These Nashes were a highlight, as was the delicious meal I had at The Dinky Diner just across the parking lot (it involved sausage and country gravy).

One is a fastback (“Slipstream” in Nash parlance) while the other is a “Trunk Sedan”. As to whether they’re 600s or Ambassadors, I’m afraid I wouldn’t know without a tape measure – although the Ambassador used a 121-inch wheelbase (instead of 112 inches), exterior styling was otherwise identical with the same grille and chrome trim. That can’t have helped sales of the Ambassador considering its base MSRP was almost $400 more than the base 600. Fortunately, there was at least a larger engine, a 112-hp 234 cubic-inch inline six instead of an 82-hp 172 cubic-inch six.

The presence of Super badging and chrome side mouldings on the trunk sedan is puzzling as I was under the impression the ’48 lost said mouldings while gaining the Super nameplate.

The Nash nameplate was lost to history just a decade later and the marque has long since been forgotten by many. How fitting, then, to find two rusty survivors in a mostly abandoned town in the middle of the desert.

Related Reading:

Curbside Classic: 1947 Nash Super 600 – A Unibody Pioneer

Curbside Classic: 1950 Hudson Pacemaker – For Best Results, Use Daily

Curbside Classic: 1954 Kaiser Special Club Sedan – Some First Car!