1948 Nash Ambassador Suburban

Sold For $126,500

Hershey - The Thomas F. Derro Collection

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  • Offered from The Thomas F. Derro Collection
  • One of just 130 examples produced; among the rarest “woodies”
  • Beautiful restoration by the late Lloyd Mayes
After World War II, Nash, like many American automakers, faced a double-edged sword. The market for new automobiles was roaring and unlike any ever before, but at the same time, competition was absolutely brutal. Virtually every automaker was returning to post-war production with its warmed-over 1942 design. Nash required something new and different, that may not, necessarily, sell in large quantities, but would serve as a “draw” for showrooms.

That car was the Ambassador Suburban, a four-door fastback sedan with handsome “woodie” bodywork, in the fashion of the Chrysler Town and Country. By far the costliest Nash product, it was always extraordinarily rare. Estimates are that, in three years of production, fewer than 1,000 were produced, with the most scarce being the 1948 model, of which just 130 were made. Of the entire Suburban run, about a dozen survivors remain in existence worldwide.

The 1948 model in Thomas F. Derro’s collection was acquired from the late Lloyd Mayes, a well-known “woodie” expert known for his painstaking restorations. This was the last restoration that Mr. Mayes completed, and has been maintained to the same high standards in the Derro stable. Fit and finish throughout is still largely immaculate, including wonderful woodwork done for Mr. Mayes, and an authentic appearance completed by a Nash service sticker still in the door jamb. Finished in gleaming Sunset Maroon, it boasts a factory-correct interior with plaid inserts, as well as a metal sun visor, dual spotlights and amber driving lights, Weather Eye climate control, factory overdrive Cruising Gear, optional roof rack, and a correct full-size spare in the trunk. As was common on Nashes of the era, the rear seat folds down into a bed!

To the dedicated Nash enthusiast, this is, quite simply, the Holy Grail.

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