Historics take on elder salesman

Posted on: 22 Oct 2012
Historics take on elder salesman

An Airflyte Statesman from the lesser-known Nash Motors Company, rarely seen on these shores yet responsible for pioneering a raft of automotive designs, is set for auction at Historics' late autumn sale, at Brooklands on Saturday November 24th.

With designer Nils Wahlberg's desire to reduce a car body's drag coefficient, the Airflyte - costing $15 million to develop in 1949 - was one of the first cars created using a wind tunnel, and resulted in a smooth, wide, low shape with enclosed front fenders and a one-piece curved safety glass windshield.

Cutting-edge aerodynamics were just part of the first all-new post war offering from Nash, with the Airflyte also introducing seat belts to American motorists, along with the debut of a five-position Airliner reclining front passenger seat back.

Whilst both upgrades were optional, Nash undoubtedly led the way in luxury, introducing the Uniscope compact instrument panel, streamlined on top of the steering column for more efficient 'cockpit control', before developing an all-new conventional 'Pilot Panel' dashboard, colour-coded to the exterior.

Alongside the Ambassador model, the Statesman, originally called the 600, took its power from an 85hp, inline six cylinder engine, delivering approximately 25 to 30 mpg, while coil-spring suspension on the front and rear and torque-tube drive ensured unrivalled economy and comfort at the time.

The Nash Motors Company was widely acknowledged as a pioneer within the industry, having introduced unitary construction, a universally adopted single-unit heating and air conditioning system, as well as uniform manufacturing within the compact, subcompact and muscle car categorisations.

Historics' 1951 Nash Statesman in Super spec - one of three trim levels available - was one of 34,935 built and boasts the updated 'Pilot Panel' dashboard fitted as standard that year, when it cost $2,330.

Imported to the UK from Pennsylvania in July 2004, shortly after a sympathetic restoration was commissioned and completed, the revolutionary motor car is finished in black and silver with matching grey and black interior, and is expected to fetch offers in the region of £14,000 to £18,000 at auction at Brooklands on November 24th.

For more information on Historics at Brooklands next auction on the afternoon of Saturday November 24th, call 0800 988 3838, e-mail: auctions@historics.co.uk, or see the website, www.historics.co.uk.

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