Nash Motors Company was an American automobile manufacturer that was active from 1916 to 1954. It was founded by Charles W. Nash, who had previously worked for General Motors. He had served as the president of Buick. Nash began his own company with a focus on building high-quality, affordable cars.
The first Nash car was the Nash Model 671, which was introduced in 1917. It was a four-cylinder car that was priced at $945. Nash quickly gained a reputation for building reliable and sturdy cars. The company expanded its line-up to include six-cylinder models as well.
In 1932, Nash introduced the advanced “Twin Ignition” engine. This had two spark plugs per cylinder and was more fuel-efficient than previous models. The company also pioneered the use of fully enclosed, streamlined bodies. An early example was its “Airflyte” models in the late 1940s. In 1934, Nash had also purchased struggling Kelvinator, maker of appliances.
During World War II, Nash contributed to the war effort by producing military vehicles. These included trucks, jeeps, and amphibious vehicles.
Formation of American Motors
In 1954, Nash merged with the Hudson Motor Car Company to form the American Motors Corporation (AMC). The new company continued to produce Nash-branded cars for a few more years. Eventually, the Nash name was phased out in favor of the more popular Rambler brand.
When Nash merged with Hudson to form the American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1954, both companies were facing challenges. The American auto industry was becoming increasingly competitive. Larger companies like General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler dominating the market. Nash and Hudson were both smaller companies that were struggling to keep up.
The merger of Nash and Hudson was seen as a smart move at the time. By combining their resources, the two companies hoped to achieve economies of scale. They could compete more effectively with the larger automakers. The merger also allowed Nash and Hudson to share their engineering and design expertise. This led to new models that were innovative and successful.
One of the most notable models produced by AMC was the Rambler. It was introduced by Nash in the 1950s and continued to be produced by AMC after the merger. The Rambler was a compact car that was designed to be fuel-efficient and affordable. It was well-received by consumers.
George Romney became the president of AMC after the death of George Mason in 1954. The company continued to produce a range of successful models. These included the AMC Javelin, the AMC Hornet, and the AMC Gremlin.
Nash was facing some challenges at the time of the merger. However, the combination of Nash and Hudson to form AMC was ultimately successful.
Nash Motors was known for its innovative designs and advanced engineering. Here are some of the distinctive features that set Nash apart from other auto makers:
Aerodynamic design: Nash was one of the first automakers to adopt aerodynamic design principles in its cars. The “Airflyte” models of the late 1940s featured a fully enclosed, streamlined body design. This reduced wind resistance and improved fuel efficiency.
Innovative engines: Nash was also known for its advanced engine designs. The “Twin Ignition” engine, introduced in 1932, had two spark plugs per cylinder. This was more fuel-efficient than previous engines. Nash also experimented with other engine technologies, such as the “Sonic Six” engine. It used a unique firing order to reduce engine vibration.
Comfortable interiors: Nash cars were designed with passenger comfort in mind. The company’s “Weather Eye” ventilation system, introduced in the 1950s, provided both heating and cooling. It was one of the most advanced systems of its time. Nash also offered reclining seats, and armrests that made its cars more comfortable for passengers.
Affordable prices: Nash was committed to producing high-quality cars that were also affordable. The company’s Rambler brand, introduced in the 1950s, was a precursor to the modern compact car. It was designed to be fuel-efficient and affordable.
Nash Motors produced a wide range of models over the course of its history. Here are some of the most notable models:
Nash Model 671 (1917): This was the first car produced by Nash Motors. It was a four-cylinder car that was priced at $945.
Nash Advanced Six (1925): This six-cylinder car was designed to compete with more expensive luxury cars of the time. It featured a powerful engine and a comfortable ride.
Nash Ambassador (1932-1957): The Ambassador was one of Nash’s most successful models. It was known for its high-quality construction, advanced features, and stylish design.
Nash Airflyte (1949-1951): The Airflyte was a series of cars that featured a fully enclosed, streamlined body design. It was one of the first cars to have a completely integrated body and chassis.
Nash Rambler (1950-1957): The Rambler was a compact car that was designed to be affordable and fuel-efficient. It was a precursor to the modern compact car.
Nash Healey (1951-1954): The Healey was a sports car that was produced in partnership with the British carmaker Donald Healey. It was designed to compete with European sports cars of the time.
Nash Metropolitan (1954-1962): The Metropolitan was a small car that was designed for urban driving. It was produced in partnership with the British carmaker Austin.
Owners of the Brand
Here is a more detailed ownership history:
The Nash Motors Company was founded in 1916 by Charles W. Nash. He served as the company’s president and chairman until 1936. In 1937, Nash retired and was succeeded by George W. Mason, who had previously worked for Kelvinator. This was a company that Nash had acquired in 1937.
Under Mason’s leadership, Nash introduced a number of innovative features, including the “Twin Ignition” engine and the “Airflyte” body design. In 1954, Nash merged with the Hudson Motor Car Company. They formed the American Motors Corporation (AMC). Mason served as the president of AMC until his death in 1954.
After Mason’s death, George Romney took over as the head of AMC. Romney was the father of Mitt Romney, who later became the governor of Massachusetts. Mitt Romney ran for president of the United States in 2012. Under Romney’s leadership, AMC continued to produce a range of cars. They included the popular Rambler brand.
In 1970, AMC introduced the Gremlin, a compact car that was designed to compete with the growing number of imported cars. The Gremlin was followed by other popular models. They included the Hornet, the Javelin, and the Pacer.
In 1979, AMC was purchased by the French automaker Renault. Renault introduced new models. They also closed some of AMC’s factories. However, Renault’s ownership of AMC was short-lived. In 1987, the company was sold to Chrysler Corporation.
Chrysler continued to produce some of AMC’s models, including the Jeep brand. They eventually phased out the Rambler and other AMC brands.
Nash Motors produced other products besides automobiles when it was still an independent company. Here are some examples:
Refrigerators: In the 1930s and 1940s, Nash Motors produced refrigerators under the brand name “Kelvinator.” The company had acquired Kelvinator Corporation in 1926. It continued to produce refrigerators under that name until it was sold to White Consolidated Industries in 1968.
Household appliances: Nash also produced other household appliances. They included washing machines and dryers, under the Kelvinator brand.
Military equipment: During World War II, Nash produced military vehicles and equipment for the U.S. military. This included trucks, ambulances, and missile guidance systems.
Engines for boats and airplanes: Nash also produced engines for boats and airplanes. These included the “Marine Six” engine, which was used in pleasure boats.
- Year Started: 1916
- Year Ended: 1954
- Origin Of Name: Name of Founder
- Location Sales: Worldwide
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: Chrysler
- Owner Original: Charles W. Nash
- Owner While In Use: Several
- Owner Successor: American Motors
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Toyota
- Naics Code: 336110
- Location Headquarters: Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA