Motoring Trailblazers - Nash Ambassador

Sat 8th Jun 2019

The world of motoring is hurtling headlong into a bright new future of all-electric, automated, connected technology - and Marty McFly is not behind the wheel! But what were the cars that were ‘back to the future’ of years gone by?

There have been many different trailblazing motors which were seen by the critics to be ahead of their time, and in this series, we will investigate and showcase many of the best in class.

Nash Ambassador
From their base in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Nash Motors was founded by former General Motors president, Charles W. Nash in 1916, with simple mantra of building cars ‘embodying honest worth [at] a price level which held out possibilities of a very wide market.

Though the company’s first car was the Model 671, it was the success of the Jeffery Quad truck which was their most important vehicle in the early days. The Jeffery Quad could move material in extremely difficult conditions and quickly earned a reputation as the best four-wheel drive truck in America.

From this early success, Nash Motors moved to the Ajax in the 1920s and then introduced a vehicle which would be ground-breaking in more than one way.

Believe it or not, the Nash Ambassador, in one form of another was in production for almost 50 years, with the Ambassador name ‘ one of the longest lived automobile nameplates in automotive history.

Though Nash introduced the Ambassador in 1927, it is the variant from mid-1932 through to 1948 which gained a place in history for its innovation.

The Ambassador Eight, as it was known, was offered in a range of body styles and became famous for their quality, durability, styling and speed. The launch of the Eight series in 1932 helped, Nash, along with General Motors as the only automobile manufacturers to turn a profit at the height of the Great Depression.

The company’s keen appetite for innovation was demonstrated perfectly in 1936, when the Ambassador introduced a ‘Bed In A Car’ feature which essential turned the passenger compartment and trunk into a good sized bed, allowing two adults to sleep comfortably. Nash named this innovation as ‘Airliner Reclining Sets’.

Maybe Nash had this innovation in mind when they were to change the face of modern car engineering forever by being the first manufacturer to introduce a air-conditioning heating and ventilation system. After all, if you are sleeping in the car you want to ensure you are warm and can breath. The system drew fresh air from outside the car and heated the air using hot water, a technology which is still in use by many cars today. Built in 1938, the system was improved one year later when the company added a thermostat, ensuring a good temperature could be guaranteed every time you drove an Ambassador Eight.