Great Cars For 50 Years.

1952 Nash Metopolitan Model 541



This year (1988) we saw another auto manufacturer disappear from the list of auto independence.  American Motors was purchased by Chrysler Corporation. Chrysler kept two Marques, the famous Jeep and Eagle.  American Motors was the decendant of Nah Motors.  Charles W. Nash, a former president of General Motors, in 1916 purchased the Thomas B. Jeffery Company of Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Jeffery had first built the Rambler in 1902. 

     Above picture is of the 1952 Nash, so  add another 35 years which would make it 85 years for this company.  This company was around for many years, and many Marques have come from their factory.  The first being “Rambler” which name Jeffery retained from his bikes which He manufactured.  He also became well known for his invention of the clincher tire.  When Nash took over, he had the cars named for himself. Yet some other Marques were produced through the years.  In 1952 there was a low priced car called the Ajax.  A Lafayette V-8 was also tied.  In the 1960’s the name Rambler was revived, we also saw the Hornets, Gremlins, Javalin and AMX sport cars. There was also a small fat compact called Pacer.  One other car needs mentionig, the Metropolitan.   This was a joint venture with Austin of England.

           Lets go back a few years.  In 1954 Nash took over the Hudson Automobile Companay and formed American Motors Corporation.  The Nash Name on cars remained till 1957.  The Hudson cars disappeard in 1957.  For at least 30 years the company was AMC (American Motors Corporation)


Farewell to A.M.C

AMC started life at the turn of the century producing cars by Thomas Jeffery under the Rambler name.  In 1916 the company was sold to Charles Nash, who resigned as president of General motors to produce cars under his own name.  In 1954, Nash merged with Hudson to form American Motors Corp.,  which continued to produce cars until the buyout of Chrysler ended the AMC nameplate in 1987.





Behind the Rambler Revolution

       Rambler has the unusual distinction of having participated dramatically in two significant eras of automotive history.  The original Rambler was one of the first mass-produced automobiles.  The modern Rambler precipitated one of the greatest revolutions in the industry’s history.

            The history of any company is as much the story of the men who guide  and direct it’s destiny as it is of the product it sells or the service it offers.

Thomas B. Jeffery, 1845-1910 a native of England, built the original onecylinder Rambler at the turn of the century and established a manufacturing plant at Kenosha, Wisconsin.  The inventor of the clincher tie and railroad velocipede, he produced and sold Rambler bicycles in Chicago from 1878 to 1900.  When the first Jeffery-built Rambler automobile was offered for sale in the spring of 1902, it marked the introduction of the world’s second mass-produced car-a year after Olds and a year ahead of Ford.   Charles W. Nash  had a strong hand in building General Motors Corporation, which he served as president before World War I, into a position of international eminence.  He resigned in 1916 to build a car under his own name, purchasing the Thomas B. Jeffery Company of Kenosha.  The latter company had dropped the Rambler name in 1914, renaming it’s car the Jeffery to honor the founder.  Nash established a reputation for exceptional emphasis on quality.

George W. Mason, 1891-1954, a brilliant engineer and administrator, was the first production boss of Chrysler Corporation after i’ts formation in the 1920’s.  Later He brought Kelvinator to the forefront in the appliance field.  After Kelvinator’s merger with Nash Motors in 1937, Mason made many major contributions to the automotive field, the most notable being the successful development of single-unit construction in 1940, and his conception of the idea of the compact car.  Under his leadership, the Rambler name was revived in 1950.  He was the first president of American Motors, formed by the merger of Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson on May 1, 1954.

  Roy D. Chapin, 1880-1936 one of the industry’s earliest pioneers, was one of the founders and the chief executive officer of Hudson Motor Company, and won early fame by driving a 1901 Oldsmobile from Detroit to New York.  Chapin was among the first to call attention to the need to build and improve the nation’s highway system.

George Romney became president of American Motors in October, 1954, following Mason’s sudden death.  Romney envisioned the compact car as the automobile of the future.  Despite heavy odds, He resolutely concentrated all of the efforts of American Motors on the Rambler-and sold the compact-car concept.  The first four years were critical for the new company, which experienced heavy losses.  But Romney’s dynamic leadership led to profitable operations by 1958.  All-time sales, production and earnings records were established in subsequent years–records never before achieved by an independent automobile company.  Romney left American motors in 1962 following His election as governor of Michigan.

  Roy Abernethy, who became president of American Motors in November, 1962, has spent his entire adult life in the automobile business.  he started out as and apprentice mechanic for a Packard dealer in Pittsburgh and progressed through every major dealer and field position into the top sales management of the Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit.  He joined Willys as sales vice president in October, 1954.  As automotive sales vice-president, He performed an outstanding achievement in building Rambler dealer and merchandising strength, and then rose to general manager of the company before being elected president and chief executive officer.
The  Rambler Spare Wheel
  The Rambler spare wheel, offered as early as 1909, was later called the “Fifth Wheel” and was supplied complete with inflated tire, but without hub center.  By removing only six nuts, with special tools provided, a tire could be changed in three minutes. The Model Forty-four in the advertisement seated seven persons comfortably.
  1918 Nash Touring Car with six-cylinder overhead-valve engine.  Nash took over the Jeffery Company in 1916, but this is actually the first Nash-designed car to be offered for sale.

1925 AJAX, Model 221–A separate complany was formed to merchandise the Ajax line, which included the sedan and this $925 touting model.
  1928 Nash, Model 338–Nash motors built 138, 137 cars in 1928, a record that was not to be surpassed until 1949.
1932 Nash was a very prestigious looking automobile.

1941–The industry’s first completely new automobile in more than a decade was this Nash “600” a revolutionary new concept of automotive construction.  It was the first Nash with “unitized” construction, featuring a single-unit steel frame and body for greater strength, rigidity and operational economy. This is the four-door sedan 
  1948 Nash with changes from the previous year models from after World War II.
1950 Nash with the unique front wheel covered set up.   1956 RAMBLER, Model 5615-2–An all new Rambler series, with the latest in compact styling and engineering, was introduced in 1956.  A new body style was this four-door hardtop sedan.
NASH:  The post- war market was though on independents.  Yet Nash would survive as an auto maker.  In 1953, Nash was pumping it’s Air-flyte design with styling by Pinin Farina, as showcased on this Statesman sedan.  
1961 Rambler American.  The first convertible for Rambler after a number of years. without them.

1957 Rambler Station Wagon
1957 Nash.  Different frill from Rambler
1967 Javelin SST came with a number of different sport option packages.
1970 AMX. Another sport car from AMC that made a hit with the young groups.