Curbside Classic Capsule: 1948 Nash 600 Business Coupe

In 1940, the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation introduced a low-priced line of cars advertised to carry six passengers up to  600 miles on a 17-gallon tank of gas (at 25–30 mpg), with seats that converted into beds and all on an all-welded unitized body and frame platform. This innovative construction technique took about 500 pounds out of the weight of the car, but also required the creation of new collision repair techniques such as panel and frame pullers, which are essentially the same techniques used on today’s uni-body cars.

Helene Rother was Nash’s interior stylist, and this interior really appeals to me! In the conversation I had with the owner, he pointed out the Weather Eye “conditioned air” feature, which was a first in the industry (introduced in the late 1930s), in that it pulled in fresh outside air from a cowl vent and passed it over a heater core to provide engine-derived heat under slight pressure to the cabin.

Later renditions included thermostatic controls – again, pretty much the same idea our modern-era cars use. Nash would later apply it’s refrigerator savvy and introduce the all-in-one heater/air conditioner, dubbed the “All Weather Eye.”

This particular example has been dressed out with a number of accessories that would not have come on a Business Coupe from the factory. It’s a sharp car!

Well, gotta get to the next sales appointment… I’ll just throw my sample cases in the trunk and be moving on now.