Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Part 132 - The Little Nash Rambler

One doesn’t see a Nash Rambler or Nash Metropolitan anymore, except in car shows, but there was a time, in the 1950s and 1960s, when they were quite prolific; they were marketed as the compact car of their day.  Nash automobiles had their origins beginning in 1916, when Charles Nash, who at the time was president of General Motors, began production of his own line of cars.

Fast forward to the post WWII years when the Big Three automakers – Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler dominated the car market.  On the sidelines were a variety of smaller automakers vying for market shares like dogs scrambling for food scraps that fall from the kitchen table – Hudson, Nash, Kaiser, DeSoto, Packard, and Tucker.

In 1954, Nash and Hudson joined forces to create the American Motor Corporation. Shortly after the merger, George Romney, future governor of Michigan and father of presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, became CEO of the American Motor Corporation. (Wagner)

By 1957, the Nash and Hudson brands had been phased out and AMC concentrated on producing the compact Nash Rambler and Nash Metropolitan.  By 1969, these two cars were also discontinued and faded into history to become collector cars for later generations of antique-car enthusiasts. 

As a side note, after picking up my resupply package at the post office and returning to Alderbrook Manor B&B, I had a chance to talk with owner, Dave Harrison.  He’s a car enthusiast, so we had a great conversation.  I told him about the cars and panel trucks I had seen at the other end of town, and Dave said he remembers when the current owner of the panel trucks pulled them out of a farmer’s field; he said he didn’t pay more than a couple of hundred dollars for each of them, and now he was asking $5,000 for each one.

Just before 10:30 a.m., the shuttle driver with the large white Dodge Ram pickup truck pulled up in front of the B&B, and eight of us scramble to find a place in the vehicle for the ride back up the mountain to Etna Summit.  Cost of the shuttle was five dollars per person.  To my surprise, I saw Yashinka getting in the truck with us.  When I inquired later if he had been able to meet with the residents at Black Bear Ranch Commune, and obtained his interview, he said, “No.  They were all out in the woods somewhere participating in a religious ceremony.”

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