Everyone was rushing to introduce a new car after World War II. Studebaker was “first by far with a postwar car” and, other than airplane-influenced styling, it was rather conventional. Most of the new cars that followed through 1949 more of the same, but Nash took a different tack with the Airflyte.
This 1951 Nash Statesman Custom Club Coupe is a great example to demonstrate Nash’s relevant differentiating benefits while also offering extreme rarity, which is why it’s the ClassicCars.com Pick of the Day. It’s listed for sale by a Minnesota dealer. (Click the link to view the listing)
When Nash introduced its first postwar series for the 1949 model year, it looked unlike anything on the road. A unique feature was monocoque construction. “Ten minutes at the wheel of a 1951 Nash Airflyte will show you the wonderful differences in strength, in riding smoothness, in rattle-free quiet, in safety, that are made possibly only by Airflyte construction,” read the brochure. “Someday all cars will be built this new and better way,” which was no lie.
By 1951, Nash offered three models: the compact Rambler, the Statesman (112-inch wheelbase), and the long-wheelbase (121 inches) Ambassador. Within the latter two were trim levels like Deluxe, Super and Custom that dictated interior appointments and exterior brightwork. Statesman and Ambassador Custom models included foam cushions, two-tone upholstery in long-wearing needlepoint and diamond patterns, electric clock, directional signals, chrome wheel discs, and courtesy lights front and rear.
This particular Nash Statesman Custom Club Coupe is 1 of 38 built—that’s right, only 38 people ordered the Statesman Club Coupe in the Custom trim level. The rarity doesn’t necessarily come from the trim level but rather the body style, as the Club Coupe came with two lounge chairs out back (versus the 2-door Sedan came with a traditional rear bench).
Like all Statesmen, this black beauty is powered by an 85 gross horsepower 184ci inline-6 that the seller claims includes a new and correct Carter carburetor, rebuilt fuel pump, and general engine tune-up. You’d be correct in thinking the Hydra-Matic Drive automatic transmission was supplied from General Motors. Seller also indicates the interior is in “spectacular condition” and appears to have been recently restored, including the plastic seat covers. At $39,995, you can fly into Minnesota and drive home knowing you can sleep on the road thanks to Nash’s famous reclining seats.