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1949 Nash Ambassador

4-Door Airflyte Custom Sedan
VIN R527091/Model 4978

44K Original Miles
234.8 cui 112 HP  OHV 6-cylinder
3-speed/Automatic Overdrive
Radio w/Rear Speaker & Foot Remote
Weather Eye Heater/Clock
Nash Spotlights/ Back-up Lights
Front Bumper Guards with Grille Bar
Petty Hood Ornament/Nash Fog Lights
Factory Locking Gas Cap
Wheel Trim Rings/Whitewall Tires

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1949 Nash Sales Folder
(Click Here)
1949 Nash Salesman Training
(Click Here)
1949-51 Nash Buyer's Guide
(Click Here)
1949 Nash Popular
Mechanics Review
(Click Here)
1949 Nash 4978 Original Invoice
(Click Here)
1949 Nash Data Book
(Click Here)
1949 Nash Salesman Trifold
(Click Here)
1949 Nash Radio Folder
(Click Here)
1949 Nash 4948 Original Invoice
(Click Here)
Nash Tire Trifold
(Click Here)
1949 Nash Owner's Service Policy
(Click Here)

This 1949 Nash Ambassador Custom 4-door sedan (Model 4978) was bought new by Mrs. Ida Meyers Sordet (Widow of Peter Sordet) from Hobbs Auto & Supply Company in Meridian Mississippi on March 3, 1949. She traded in a 1947 Nash 600 sedan for $1323.05 against the $2938.89 total price of the 1949 Nash, paying the balance of $1615.86 in cash. Mrs. Sordet was 73 when she purchased the car, and ran the Sordet Grocery Store at Davis Street and 31st Avenue with her two daughters, Louise and Marie. She left the car to her daughters when she passed in 1965, and the daughters sold the car in the mid-1970s. The Nash had its only damage while being used as a promotional tool for Thad Ryan AMC, Jackson MS, in the late 1970s. When some vandals shot through the dealership's plate glass window, the bullet bounced off the Nash's front passenger door. Employees found the spent bullet on the floor next to the car, which only had a small dent in the door. The Nash had a few owners afterwards, including a stint in Florida with Robert W. Young. Collector Reggie Nash bought the car in March of 2011, and the Ambassador Custom was featured in Hemmings Classic Car magazine in 2016 (The Diplomat from Kenosha). The Seller bought the car from Reggie in 2022 and had the brake system rebuilt, replaced tires and deteriorated motor mounts, and performed other work, then decided he wanted to focus on his Packards and mentioned he wanted to sell the car at a car club Garage Tour.  I bought the Nash the next day.

February 28, 2024 - I lucked out on eBay and was able to get a nice front hood emblem for the front of the Nash The original had cracked plastic that can't be fixed, while the replacement has decent plastic and just needed some repainting of the black and red sections. Not a big thing, but it does look nicer.
December 31, 2023 - How do you kill an old car battery?  Drain it fully.  I left the ignition on in the Packard and had to replace that battery Thursday.  Two days later I tried to start the Nash and had no luck.  When I hooked up the battery charger, it ran a bit then announced the battery was sulphated. The new battery brought the headlights on - that's what killed THAT battery.  There are no markings on the one in the Nash, but the battery in the Packard was from 2015, so I am OK with that one.
December 25, 2023 - Santa brought a nice spare instrument cluster for the Nash as a Christmas gift. Not that it needs it, but the instrument cluster was only used in 1949, and all of the gauges in this pod were tested and checked out. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
December 15, 2023 - The Nash got a nice cruise in today - I drove it out to Richard's to check on a tool for the 1941 Packard (No luck, but one is coming from eBay). It got a lot of looks and thumbs-up, and drew the techs out of a service station when I stopped for gas. I can't remember ever having seen one of the Airflyte Nashes in person before, but I took the photo at right of friend Andy Furhman in what is now MY Nash back in 2015 when my car club hosted a National AACA meet! Apparently he had some issues with the car, which he was driving for Reggie Nash. All fixed before I bought it, it seems.
November 25, 2023 - I attacked the muffler today and got it swapped out. The original 74-year-old part was pretty bad - besides the many holes around the seams, the sections under the support strap were rotted out top and bottom, plus the outlet end was rusted out.  I cut the ends of the muffler off and then slotted the ends so I could peel them off the head and tail pipes. The support bracket got bead blasted and painted, and I used new clamps.  Extra care had to be taken to protect the original headpipe - happily the tailpipe was new and up to more wrangling.  The NOS Walker 606 works great - I took the car for a long test drive.  Very nice to have it almost silent at idle!
November 24, 2023 - Plans to replace the muffler today got side-railed when it turned out the new muffler from Waldon's (top) was made incorrectly. They put the outlet in the middle instead of on the left, which meant the pipes would not line up. Happily, the NOS muffler I ordered from Brent Havecost (bottom) arrived today and looks to be set up right. We'll try to work something out with Waldon's - maybe I'll end up with a good spare. The hardware looked good on the existing muffler.  I was able to remove both clamps and loosen the muffler bracket bolt and plan to cut the ends off the muffler and peel the outer pipes away. That should allow me slide the NOS muffler onto the original 74-year-old headpipe with minimal fuss.  I'll get the muffler locked in place with the bracket, and then work on putting the exhaust pipe on. That's the plan, anyway.
November 23, 2023 - I was able to finish up wiring today.  The fog lights are powered by a keyed circuit, so that they go off when the ignition is off.  This will prevent accidentally leaving them on and killing the battery!  It's nice to have a factory option - note the fog light switch (left side of left image) matches the wiper knob on the right.  And the lights not only look nice, they are fully functional! For those wondering, yes, the fog lights have 'Nash' badges on top.
November 22, 2023 - What should have been an absurdly simple job took most of the afternoon and still did not get finished. The Nash factory fog light kit arrived with instructions, templates and wiring.  While the instructions were clear, the person writing them hadn't figured on 74-year-old seals that have gotten a lot stiffer.  I messed up one of the power wires trying to push it through the headlight wire grommet, and had to create a new section and transplant the unique connector.  Happily, I have pieces of a 1950 Studebaker harness that had the right color and gauge of wire, and I soldered the brass connector on.  Installation of the lights was simple with the provided template, and it does look nice to have some color up there.  You can tell a factory set up - the power switch matches the other controls.  And Bruce contacted me yesterday - the new muffler from Waldron's arrived, and I picked it up today. Hopefully a job for this weekend!
November 19, 2023 - A busy and nice day today.  I met up with freind and long-time car enthusiast Tom Cox at the 2023 Coastal Virginia Auto Show, where he was a featured guest. We went out to lunch in the Nash, and he posed for a photo behind the wheel (right).  The car did great, and had people asking to take its photo when we were having lunch.  Then tonight I got a call from Rev Milhone of the Nash Owner's Club.  He may have a good rear bumper for the Nash, and also had some great stories and information.  For example, he knew that Reggie Nash, a prior owner, had bought the deluxe front bumper and grille guard accessory for the Nash.
November 17, 2023 - My poor mailperson William probably thinks he should move to Detroit and build cars based on  his deliveries to my house. A NOS headpipe for the Nash, at least 7 feet long, was purchased from Havecost Nash Parts last week and arrived today, along with two boxes of things for the Packard. Why bother when the Nash has a solid headpipe already on it?  See the inset?  Nash had no exhaust manifold.  They used a headpipe with cutouts for the exhaust that bolted directly to the head. Given that the one on the Nash is 74 years old, it seemed prudent to have such a critical item on hand. I got an email from Havecost this morning saying that he had also found a NOS muffler, an Item I have been looking for since the Nash's had not survived the 74 years as well. I bought it this morning, only to get a call from Bruce that the new muffler he had ordered long ago has been shipped, and I should be able get it next week. Oh, well. Better to have a part and not need it than need it and not have it.  That is the biggest issue with these unusual cars. Finding parts can be difficult.
November 16, 2023 - I binged on eBay tonight - a NOS1949 Nash factory fog light set in the original box showed up - one of the few options my Nash doesn't already have.  Between this and the spare parts I am gathering, I should be pretty well prepared for long-term ownership. I also got an EV Warrior sales folder, something I didn't have.
 
November 12, 2023 - I had a 1952 Motor manual to drop off for Bruce, and ended up being given a Nash clear bag.  Best guess was that it went over the driver's sun visor to protect it during shipping.  And that is exactly what it was! 
November 11, 2023 - Our car club's Square Car Tour was today, and I took the Nash.  My sister Tracy was up from the Raleigh NC area, and we had Jennifer Beach (Chip's sister) riding along as well.  The 55-mile tour rolled through country roads in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, and North Carolina, with a rest stop at Northwest River Park.  The pace was set by a 1925 Model T Ford, but that didn't mean much.  One close call came when I saw a Conservation Officer's truck in the woods and looked over at it just long enough to not see the cars ahead stopping.  Happily, the Nash has excellent brakes and came to a screeching, but smooth stop. Other than that bit of drama, the drive was uneventful and really nice, with unusually nice weather for November.
November 2, 2023 - The wide whitewalls and trim rings are on the Nash, and really help the look a lot.  Yes, it was pure vanity that had me replacing the brand-new blackwalls, but the car just didn't look right to me.  Especially after seeing it in the 2016 article when it had the original trim rings and wide whites. Besides, it had them when it was new, specifically listed as options on the invoice.
October 31, 2023 - The Nash is on jack stands so I could remove the wheels.  New wide whitewalls are due in and should be installed tomorrow. I'll keep the old tires, which are less than a year old and have almost no miles on them. Finding good places to jack was a little hard, as there was a protruding edge on one side of the unibody support. (Side Note - Bruce bought the tires back for his mechanic, who is also working on a Nash and prefers blackwalls.)
October 30, 2023 - I got the cabin air filter in for the Nash today and got it installed.  Amazing to get a factory part in the original box 74 years after the car was made!  A couple of the nuts were missing so I replaced the whole set with stainless steel bolts from Ace Hardware.  Same basic look, but too shiny, so I bead-blasted them to dull the finish. Much more appropriate looking.
October 26, 2023 - More bling for the Nash - the wheel trip rings came in today and add a lot.  Since the car came new with trim rings and wide whitewall tires, putting them back on is more restoration than fancying up. At least, that what I keep telling my wallet. The new tires should be installed Wednesday if they come in on time. When I installed the trim rings I jacked the front up high enough to get the tire off the ground.  She'll go up on jack stands next Tuesday so I can remove the wheels myself. Come evening I decided to attack a small coolant leak at the thermostat housing. (See the green liquid near the bottom of the picture) The gasket was sourced from O'Reilly's Auto Parts for $1.36.  However, what should have been a quick and easy job got very messy.  The hose is stiff, there is very little clearance to work with, and I ended up getting sealer all over my hands.  However, I was successful and the cooling system is fixed.
49-51 600/Statesman/Ambassador?
(3/8 x 15-1/2 x 6-3/4)
Heater Air Filter
 
3125433 NOS, $39  

October 25, 2023 - Some big stuff and little things for the Nash - I have ordered a full set of wide whitewall tires even though the blackwalls on it are almost new. A big hit financially, but cars are my thing and I might as well enjoy them fully.  On the plus side, the car came with the wide whitewalls when it was new (listed as optional on the invoice), and I have pictures in the Hemmings feature when it had wide whitewalls as well.  I also ordered a set of trim rings in case the originals don't show up. The mailman brought a Nash key ring, a Nash logo key, and an intake manifold that turned out to be for the smaller flathead 6. (My fault).  Tonight I started searching for what I thought would be a hopeless case - the cabin air filter!  Yes, Nash had a cabin air filter in 1949.  And Nashparts.com has the NOS cabin air filter in stock in 2023! Ordered and on the way.
October 23, 2023 - I took the Nash for its first long run since it became mine, almost going back to where I bought it from.  The car rolls great on the Interstate, and tracks straight and true. When I got home the mailbox was stuffed with literature bought off eBay. From left to right (front) are a color sales folder, the Weather Eye heater brochure, an owner's manual, and a brown-tone sales folder. Above them is the October 2016 Hemmings Classic Car magazine, which features MY Nash! Only bad thing is it looks so nice with the wide whitewalls, and that would be $1500-$2000 to change back.  More goodies on the way!
October 20, 2023 - A couple of interesting discoveries today.  First, I discovered that a floor button that the seller couldn't explain was a remote for the radio to change preset channels! Better yet, I discovered that the clock is working. I set it earlier today and it is keeping good time. A lot of around-town driving today, getting used to the car. A minor coolant leak at the thermostat housing should go away with a new gasket.
October 19, 2023 - The1949 plates arrived yesterday, and the Nash is now tagged and titled in my name. I spent some time cleaning it today, and discovered the seat covers that came with the car are too small.  They are obviously designed for smaller seats.  The new plates are a big improvement over the old ones, which were worn and had holes in them.  I also discovered that the car was featured in a 2016 Hemmings Classic Car magazine article!  The interior got a thorough vacuuming, and I found a full set of seat belts under the cushions.  I was able to document the car's odometer with the many oil change stickers in the door jambs.
October 17, 2023 - The Nash is home - our 23-mile drive was smooth and easy rolling on the Interstate.  The speedometer actually registers a bit slow, so I was going 62  mph at an indicated 55. Some of that might be due to taller tires. In any case, the car is in my garage and I spent the past hour buying things on eBay.  The title should get switched Thursday.  No buyer's remorse, though I think the seller might have had second thoughts as I drove away. Some minor leaks - nothing out of the ordinary for a 74-year-old machine.  I did remove the battery shut off (green object in the engine photo) as soon as I got home.  Bad experience with those leeching starting power. The plates should arrive tomorrow, and I am set to get the car titles and tagged Thursday.
October 15, 2023 - My antique car club had a 'Garage Tour' yesterday where I saw the host's 1949 Nash for the first time.  An all-original car with 44K miles, it has almost every option offered in 1949.  I've loved these cars since I saw them featured in 'The Adventures of Superman' on TV (They were in reruns, but still a LONG time ago). I heard Bruce say he wanted to sell the car, and ...  well, I bought it.  The car is amazing, with good acceleration, strong brakes, and smooth shifting including the overdrive. The Seller installed new Auburn 7.10R15 radials (bias look), rebuilt the brake system, and even found an NOS rear engine mount. He got the car from Reggie Nash, a well-known collector of Nash products. I ordered some 1949 plates from Wayne Tyler in Montpelier (his last set!).  The car has been added to my insurance already, though I won't actually own it until later this week. It's a bird!  It's a plane! It's Super-Nash!

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