HomePick of the Day1951 Nash Rambler Country Club

1951 Nash Rambler Country Club


Cuteness counts for the 1951 Nash Rambler Country Club hardtop
Cuteness counts for the 1951 Nash Rambler Country Club hardtop

The Pick of the Day is conceivably the cutest car in the known universe, as chubby and round as a baby panda.

This sparkling 1951 Nash Rambler Country Club hardtop is a red-and-white concoction that looks like an ice-cream sundae on wheels. The cheery little Nash is offered for sale by a classic car dealer in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which somehow seems fitting. Although you might recall seeing this same little car sold in January at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction.

The interior features high-quality trim and materials
The interior features high-quality trim and materials

The gallery of photos shows an apparently restored coupe looking fresh and clean, inside and out. The bright-red interior is especially impressive; manufacturer Nash-Kelvinator wanted to show the American public that a compact car could have the same classy style, features and appointments as a full-sized model, and the interesting dashboard and doors shows the effort.

Nash named its small car Rambler before that became its own standalone brand under American Motors Corp. Rambler had already been a highly regarded brand in the early days of motoring. Nash boasted that its cars were built using the latest “Airflyte” construction, which essentially meant unibody, with decent passenger accommodations despite the car’s mere 100-inch wheelbase.

The hardtop roofline enhances the 'bathtub' styling
The hardtop roofline enhances the ‘bathtub’ styling

The Nash Rambler features signature “inverted bathtub” styling with fender skirts that covered both the front and rear wheels, which looked either stylishly modern or hopelessly dorky, depending on your point of view. In retrospect, the design is appealing on a number of levels – the hardtop roofline adds tremendously to the overall style – and more than one radical street rod has been built from the bones of a compact Nash or its successor, the Rambler American.

Hopefully, this cutie will not suffer that fate but will be appreciated for the unique expression of automotive design that it is. That would include appreciating its 173 cid flathead six-cylinder engine that churned just over 80 horsepower, which should be enough to propel this aerodynamic 2,500-pound car at highway speeds.

“The car is a lot of fun to drive, and always turns heads wherever it goes,” the dealer says in the ad description on ClassicCars.com.

The price for the Nash has been reduced to $21,975, according to the dealer, who notes that the car runs well, the tires are new and its “ready to drive and enjoy on a fair weather day.”

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.
  1. OMG , a car without actual wheel wells.! My Brother had one gifted by my Father as his “First Car” in 1962. I never figured how it could turn sharply ( let alone change a tire) as the wheels were ‘trapped’ inside the fenders. My Brother ran that poor thing to death ‘speed shifting’ the ‘3-on-the-tree’ which shifter extended out of the dashboard. It’s a miracle it didn’t implode. He finally sold it for next to nothing and bought a real car: a1958 Chevy Impala 348, which ate Turboglide transmissions, faster then he could buy them at the junkyard. Truly a Great American Classic…. the Nash Rambler Club Coupe!

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