The great looking automobile featured in the article is the 1954 Nash Statesman Custom Farina Sedan. The Nash Statesman was manufactured by Nash Motors for the 1950-1956 model years. Nash positioned the Statesman mid level above the Rambler and below the Ambassador. The 1954 Nash Statesman was of the second generation models, 1952-1956.
Nash Motors History
Charles Nash began building automobiles as early as 1903 and formed Nash Motors in 1916. Part of the early Nash history is that... the Mitchell Motor Car Company of Racine Wisconsin was acquired by Nash in 1923. Mitchell had been producing cars for twenty years under the Mitchell brand.
Nash Motors also went on to acquire Lafayette Motors in 1924. After beginning business in 1920 the company's majority stock was picked up by Nash Motors in 1924.
When Nash Motors was formed in 1916 World War One was not far away and during this war Nash was the largest truck builder in the United States. Over the next several decades Nash Motors would grow much larger due to several mergers and acquisitions some of which have already been mentioned.
Charles Nash was credited for two big accomplishments. He was able to keep his company competitive during the Roaring Twenties when competition was growing rapidly and Nash also was able to keep the company going through the Great Depression years of the 1930′s.
In 1954 Nash-Kelvinator merged with the Hudson Motor Car Company which was then formed as American Motors Corporation.
Of special note is that Nash introduced the industry’s first heating/air conditioning system using a single unit within the engine bay.
The Nash Statesman
Nash put designer Pininfarina of Italy on contract to design the new 1952 Statesman model. The car was produced in three models...the Two Door Sedan, the Four Door Sedan and the Two Door Coupe. The finished design actually ended up being a combination of a Nash in-house and Pinonfarina design. These were popular automobiles and many were purchased by police departments across the U.S. Because of the Statesman's lighter weight, the car had very good fuel economy.
The last of the Nash Statesman models were produced in August, 1956. Starting in 1957 all full-size Nash cars were Ambassadors.
1954 Nash Statesman Specifications
The 54 Nash Statesman came with a 196 Cubic Inch L:-Head Inline Six engine delivering 110 horsepower. While this type engine was used for many years by Nash, the 1954 model had the highest compression to date as well as sharing the highest U.S. stock car compression with Buick. Nash eliminated the cast iron head and replaced it with a high compression aluminum one. The aluminum head dissipates heat faster than the iron one.
Transmission was a three speed manual.
Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum. The front brake shoes were widened from 2 to 2 1/2 inch for 1954.
The Statesman rode on 114.3-inch wheelbase. Overall length of the model was 202.3 inches with the continental kits increasing that to 219 inches. Width 78.0 inches and height 61.75 inches. The top of the line Nash Ambassador had a 7 inch longer wheelbase. Estimated curb weight was 3,300 lbs.
See additional Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...
A few excellent books on the subject of Nash Motors and other independents include Storied Independent Automakers : Nash, Hudson and American Motors by author Charles K. Hyde... Nash: 1936-1957 Photo Archive by Byron Olsen and Charles Nash : From Buick To Rambler and Ambassador by Daniel Alef.
Nash Collector Cars and Values
During the early 1950's both the Nash Ambassador and Statesman models were volume and profit leaders for Nash.
When you look at a model such as the 1954 Nash Farina Statesman Custom Airflyte sedan it appears somewhat bulky but it also has an elegant touch and the Continental kit, while there is some disagreement on what it adds to a car, it's our opinion that with it's rear spare tire it does add class. The Nash Statesman is a popular collector car and some of the fully restored models like the one featured here make good cars to begin a collection with. There are many automobile enthusiasts that are real fans of the old independents such as Nash.
The automobile model featured in this article has a valuation in the area of $15,000 with $20,000 plus being at the high retail end.
(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)