The Nash Ambassador is a luxury automobile that was produced by Nash Motors from 1927 until 1957. For the first five years it was a top trim level, then from 1932 on a standalone model.

Ambassadors were lavishly equipped and beautifully constructed, earning them the nickname “the Kenosha Duesenberg".

But for a period between 1929-1934 when Nash produced a line of seven-passenger saloons and limousines, the Ambassador series was the maker’s "flagship",[4] and remained so following the Nash-Hudson merger in 1954. From 1958 until 1965, the cars were named Rambler Ambassador, then from 1966 to 1974, as the AMC Ambassador. The continued use the Ambassador model name made it "one of the longest-lived automobile nameplates in automotive history."

1948 Nash Ambassador Custom convertible

In mid-1932, Nash established the "Ambassador Eight" as a stand-alone model range, offered in a number of body styles, including coupes and victorias. Riding on 133-inch (3,378 mm) or 142-inch (3,607 mm) wheelbases, the Ambassadors featured a 125 hp (93 kW; 127 PS), 322 cubic inches (5.3 L) straight-eight engine with twin-ignition and overhead valves. All the cars were sumptuously appointed earning the title of the "Kenosha Duesenbergs" for their quality, durability, styling, and speed.[13][14] The CCCA has recognized all 1932 Series Advanced 8 and Ambassador 8, as well as the 1933 and 1934 Nash Ambassador 8 as "Approved Classics."

This was part of Nash's second 1932 series, which included completely new bodies and engineering updates to all models produced by the company. Aside from General Motors, Nash was the only automobile manufacturer to make a profit in 1932.

For 1934, Nash introduced completely new styling, called "Speedstream", featuring generous use of ornamental moldings in body panels and fenders, in a very streamlined and Art Deco way. The designs were influenced by Russian Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky and the new bodies featured streamline accents, bullet-shaped headlights, horizontal hood ribs, rear-wheel spats, and built-in luggage boots with a full beaver-tail rear end.

The Ambassador Eight series for this year was limited to various four-door sedan body styles.

The Nash Ambassador 8 now saw new competition with such cars as the redesigned and lower priced LaSalle, Auburn V-12, REO-Royale 8, Buick Series 34-90, and the Chrysler Imperial Airflow.

The 1935 model year saw yet another complete re-styling known as "Aeroform" with a further trimming of body styles, but a new two-door sedan was added to the Ambassador Eight series. However, the 1935 Ambassador Eight was now built on a shorter 125-inch (3,175 mm) wheelbase, and used the smaller, former Advanced Eight engine. No longer would Nash build the big, classic cars of 1930-1934.

While the Ambassador had been offered only with Nash's in-line eight from mid-1932 to 1935, the 1936 Ambassador Six added Nash's largest in-line six as well, in a 121-inch (3,073 mm) wheelbase model, formerly known as the Advanced Six.

In 1937 Nash acquired the Kelvinator Corporation as part of a deal that allowed Charlie Nash's handpicked successor, George W. Mason, to become President of the new Nash-Kelvinator Corporation. The 1937 models saw the return of coupes and convertibles to the Ambassador lines.

From 1936 onward, the senior Nash models used identical bodies, relying on a longer wheelbase as well as the hood and front fenders (plus subtle trim augmentations) to provide visual cues to differentiate the more expensive Eights from the less expensive Six models.

Beginning in 1937, even the low-priced LaFayette series came under this plan. This basic formula was used through the final AMC Ambassador in 1974, with the exception of 1962-1964, when the Rambler Ambassador and the Rambler Classic shared the same wheelbase and front sheet metal.

In 1937, Sinclair Oil Corporation teamed up with Babe Ruth in a baseball contest where a 1937 Nash Ambassador Eight sedan was awarded every week.

A custom-designed and specialty-built convertible model was marketed for 1940, the Sakhnoffsky Special Cabriolet.

For the 1941 and 1942 model years (only) all Nash vehicles became Ambassadors and rode both long and short wheelbases. The Ambassador Eight now shared the Ambassador Six's 121-inch wheelbase.

The Nash Ambassador 600, built on a 112-inch (2,845 mm) wheelbase, became the first popular domestic automobile to be built using the single-welded "unibody" type of monocoque construction that Nash called "Unitized", rather than body-on-frame.

From 1941 through 1948, Nash Ambassador models placed this unibody structure on top of a conventional frame,[20] thus creating a solid and sturdy automobile. It was also one of the first in the "low-priced" market segment with coil spring suspension in front and back, "giving it the best ride in its class." In the spirit of wartime conservation, the Ambassador Six and Eight lost their twin ignition feature for 1942, reverting to a single spark plug per cylinder. The 1941-42 Ambassador 600 was also the only Ambassador ever powered by an L-head engine. Nash would remain with this model arrangement through the post-war 1946-1948 model years, although the 600 would no longer be known as an Ambassador.

As ordered by the Federal government, Nash suspended passenger car production during World War II (1942-1945).

When production was resumed after the war, the Eights were no longer part of the program. The 1946 Ambassador Six was now the top of the Nash line.

In 1946 Nash introduced a wood-paneled version of the Ambassador called the "Suburban".[21] Featuring high-quality ash framing, with mahogany paneling supplied by Mitchell-Bentley of Owosso, Michigan, the Suburban coachwork was based on the handsome “slipstream” sedan, a classic 1940s streamlined design.

Intended as a halo car, the Suburban, like all other Nashes, featured options such as “Cruising Gear” overdrive, a trend-setting “Weather-Eye” heater, and a remote control Zenith radio, which enabled the driver to change stations at the touch of their toe.[21] Production was limited, with Nash selling exactly 1,000 examples between 1946 and 1948.

A convertible was added to the Ambassador range for 1948, and an even 1,000 of this one-year-only body style was produced. The automaker allocated only one convertible to its major dealerships.

The chage to a new unibody design for the 1949 model year meant the end of the convertible body style until the compact-sized 1950 Nash Rambler.

 

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