Nash was pushing technology in 1941. Bodies and frames were no longer separate entities, but were now “unitized,” in Nash parlance. Nash offered three engines that year, an L-head six, and OHV sixes and eights.
I shot this Nash in 1999 at Bonneville before I began carrying a notebook and regularly asking questions. I’m not sure what was under the hood, but either the OHV six or eight would have been my choice. Why else would you run a stock-bodied ‘41 Nash?
The Nash OHV engines were interesting. Both featured twin-plug ignition systems. The six rocked a 235 cu in 7-main bearing block and claimed 105 hp. The eight had 9-main bearings and developed 115 hp from its 261 cu in. Sturdy stuff.
This early ‘50 Rambler is less enticing than the ‘41. It came with a pedestrian L-head six that probably excited only misers and spinsters. My guess is that it is now powered by something egregiously powerful, such as a blown big-block Chevy. Again, I shot this in ‘99 before I started asking intelligent questions about the cars at Bonneville.
I probably drew this on an evening besotted with wine when I asked myself the question, what would be an unlikely candidate for a late ‘60s gasser like the ones that so enthralled me at the Cordova Dragway in Illinois? Pull out the ol’ Rapidograph and sketch away! Engine? Whatever I wanted, just as long as the headers dumped into collectors exiting the front wheel wells. Didn’t cost nuthin’.
That’s about all I can come up with from my archives that is AMC-Nash related. I think that I once tried to photograph a Pacer and fell asleep while doing so. This can be a nasty business after all.
Folks talk a lot about how all the cars look the same today, and they really do seem to. I’ve always thought that about the 40/41 models. Before I read the caption I thought that was probably a 41.
I think the 40 ford is my all around favorite of all that era but would happily drive a running model of most any of them.
Love your articles on the salt.
I don’t think the Nash 8 came back after WWII. The lower priced models used a flathead 6 and the Ambassador got the OHV 6. The 7 bearing OHV number from the Ambassador went back to the early 1930s. The flathead came out with the 1941 Nash 600 and had only four main bearings. This is the engine that powered Ramblers into the 60s (195.6 cid) until the 232 six came out in 1964. It did get an OHV conversion in the 50s.
It is interesting how little Nash was associated with speed or racing over the years. Wiki tells us that Nash was the first manufacturer to jump into NASCAR, but they don’t seem to have had what it took to excel.
You don’t have to scratch too deeply to find photos of ’50-’51 bathtub Nashes running in early NASCAR races. Bill France Sr. and the immortal Curtis Turner teamed up in a 1950 Nash Ambassador in the initial Carrera Pan Americana, and were running as high as third until tire and brake problems took them out. With evidence for potential, you would have thought that Kenosha would have pushed harder, but that never happened.
Nash did a bit of bragging in its ’52 brochure:
But then some cars with more than 120 horsepower showed up, and Nash went home. 🙂
Love the drawing, thanks.
HEY! That 41 600 is my car! We are not running the original motor the car is running a 1953 Ford 8BA Flathead with a home built kinsler mechanical fuel injection manifold.