Saturday, October 12, 2013

1957 Nash Ambassador Super 4-door Sedan



"If you like to get off the beaten path — away from crawling, horn-honking traffic — there's just one car for you — the 1957 Nash Ambassador. You're king of the wide open spaces when you slide into the widest 'driver's seat' in any car . . . look through the broadest windshield . . . enjoy the greatest shoulder room  and head room. At throttle touch, the all-new, all-Nash 255 Horsepower Ambassador V-8 engine can flatten out the steepest mountains. A new kind of springing floats you over the roughest roads for the finest shock-proof ride in the industry. All-new 14-inch wheels and oversize tubeless tires offer greater traction power and riding comfort. Travel-Test the new '57 Nash today. See why Nash families go more places together, have more fun and spend lots less."

The Ambassador was quite an extraordinary car when presented in late 1956. Styled by Edmund E. Anderson and his design team, this Nash had more to offer than just a fancy look: Quad headlights, vertically stacked, were a previously unseen "first" on American roads. An all-new "Ambassador" V-8 engine, and "Airliner reclining seats" which could fold down to become "Nash Twin Travel Beds" all came standard on the Ambassador. And instead of a typical body-on-frame chassis, the Ambassador was based on the "A.M.C. Double Safe Single Unit Construction", a monocoque body, that Nash had pioneered since the 40s. Other american car brands should adopt this modern construction principle much later.

Too bad that the Ambassador was Nash's swan-song: after just 3,098 Ambassadors produced in the 1957 model year, the Nash nameplate should disappear. Only the tiny Nash Metropolitan "survived" until 1962, when the last cars, built in spring 1961, finally were sold.

Anyway, the fate of Nash and Hudson was already at stake when the two companies merged in 1954 to become the American Motors Corporation (AMC). Even this bigger joint venture couldn't cope with the economies of scale that made the "Big Three" so successful. Yet, one AMC product fared well in the market because it didn't have any direct competition: the "compact" Rambler, initially offered as Nash Rambler and Hudson Rambler alike, sold well even before compact cars became en vogue in the latter 50s. Soon, Rambler became an own make. The bigger cars from Nash and Hudson, though, were shunned by the public, and after discouraging sales Nash and Hudson ceased operations in mid-1957, leaving Rambler behind as AMC's only brand.

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