The Ultimate Vintage Literature: Let’s Build a Nash Dealership – Or Maybe Not!

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Hi Gang…

I love finding “stuff” I’m not looking for.  It’s similar to how I often think about what Rick D’Louhy and I do.  That is, we like to say “we specialize in finding cars no one’s looking for.”  And that’s how it is about today’s story.

In our quest to find the rare and often coveted literature associated with small fiberglass sports car companies, we’ve been fortunate to become friends with some pretty powerful literature collectors out there.  And one of the most impressive people we’ve found in this area is good friend Alden Jewell.

Alden has been collecting literature since he was very young – writing to companies and visiting dealerships to find very rare and desirable items.  And he’s been sharing with me some of this favorite pieces via his website he maintains via flickr.  Click here to visit Alden’s flickr photostream.

So one day Alden mentioned to me he had just found a great new piece that he had been searching for – for quite a while.  This was a piece from 1953 that allowed children to build a Nash Dealership – cars, buildings, people, and even an elevator.

Wow!

Of course I had to start looking for one and sure enough…some months later….I found one on ebay.  And what an amazingly detailed piece this is.  First of all, the entire package is quite large – about 18” x 18”.  Second, the set of instructions opens into a sheet that is nearly 2 feet tall.  These instructions show how to assemble everything that is part of the dealership which includes the building, the cars, and all of the equipment.

It is amazingly complex!  I started to wonder just who were these kids who would be assembling such a thing.  The detail on each piece is wonderful.  The colors, the cars, the building….what a neat piece this would be to assemble and display.  Let’s have a look at all of the pieces that are part of this package.  And remember…you can click on any of the photos below to make the image larger on your screen.

Envelope-Front

Envelope-Back

Instruction Sheet-Back

Instruction Sheet-Front

Sheet 1-Side A

Sheet 1-Side B

Sheet  2 - Side A

Sheet 2 - Side B

Sheet 3 - Side A

Sheet 3 - Side B

Sheet 4 - Side A

Sheet 4 - Side B

Summary:

So Alden and I wonder how many of these were actually built?  No doubt many were started, but did anyone out there have the tenacity and the patience, and capability to finish such a project?  And are there any built ones still in existence?

And thus I made a proposal to Alden.  Next time he is in Tampa, Florida I offered to have him help build this kit into a finished project.  But the more I look at it, the more I wonder if Alden and I can actually complete such a thing?  I would guess this is a many, many, many hour project – not something that could be completed in just one or two evenings.

Anyone want to join Alden on his trip to Florida to visit Fiberglass Farms?  I know we’ll put you to work helping us test the waters and see if just one more 1953 Nash Dealership could be built.  I would be honored to display this prominently in my home.  What fun!

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Geoff

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Update: 4/18/2014
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Hi Gang….

Marshall Foxworthy found a photo of a Nash Dealership that was actually built on the following website:  Click here to view the website, and I’ve posted the photo below:

NashDealer

And….Alden Jewell found some wonderful advertising showing the “Nash Dealership Kits” announced in a newspaper – see below:

1953 NashAd

 

2014-04-18_002821

Many thanks to both Marshall Foxworthy and Alden Jewell for these contributions :-)

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Update: 4/22/2014
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Hi Gang…

Mike Reilly contact me this week with additional information about this model – and some beautiful photos of it assembled.  He has quite a story to tell for Mike is the Catalog Librarian of the AACA Library and Research Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

As part of their story on this same literature, Mike discussed the assembly and build of this Nash Dealership model – a story that I recommend reviewing to all of you to review.  Thanks to Mike for contacting me and sharing a bit more information with our readers, and here is what Mike shared with me earlier this week:

Hey Geoff,

I saw your post get mentioned on the Hemmings blog and thought I’d chime in a bit. Here at the AACA Library we received one of these models a little over year ago. We also put it together for it to be put on display. 

I wrote an article for our publication Antique Automobile  in the July/Aug 2013 Issue. I photo documented the whole process, as it was quite a process. I don’t know how they expected kids to put these things together. Feel free to link to the article on our website and check out the pics.

I too was curious about how many were out there, and we didn’t have any info on them here in the library. That advertisement was awesome to see as we don’t have that here as well. 

Here is the direct link to the article on our website page (this one has more pics)

http://www.aacalibrary.org/articles/antique-automobile/playtime-at-the-library/

and here it is as a pdf as it appeared in the magazine

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dc1omhtqrq1d89h/Antique%20Auto%202013%204%20JA%20%200001.PDF

Glad to see more of these pop up out there.

Take Care,

Mike Reilly

Catalog Librarian
AACA Library and Research Center
501 West Governor Road, Hershey, PA 17033
(717) 534-2082

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* Click on the following link to view all stories on:  And Now For Something Completely Different

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Comments

The Ultimate Vintage Literature: Let’s Build a Nash Dealership – Or Maybe Not! — 16 Comments

  1. Geoff,

    Great piece, but you shouldn’t encourage such behavior.
    You know what happens to some of us when we are teased with the improbable and “impossible.”

  2. Darren…you should come down when Alden visits Florida. We’ll build this thing together! Pizza and beer on me :-)

    Geoff

  3. Beer and pizza – now there’s a reason to help build this dealership! LOL! Nice find Alden – hope you’re up for the challenge.

  4. Geoff,
    Perhaps you can enlist the help of someone with a 3D printer and software to build the cars and other objects.

  5. Please remember guys, that these were created for children to assemble and play with!

    I did see one of these in an antique shop here a year ago. They wanted $10 and I offered $5. So, someone else is now playing with it. The fact that there were no instructions with it was why I didn’t buy it. As I thought it would be too complicated for me to assemble.

  6. Nash Dealers always had neat stuff for kids. They had a magazine like the Ford Times with things to do while traveling.

    There was one Nash Healey in our town of 16,000 – still have a sales catalog I got in 1953. They carried several Lucas parts that worked on MGs at a lower cost than at MG dealers. I even found one NOS aluminum N-H head left over from the pre-AMC days.

    This paper building would be great for toy train layouts – not hard to clean up on a computer. American Flyer and Marx had stuff like this during WWII when there was a metal shortage.

  7. Stop! Am I the only one who thinks this is better left un-touched? I think it is far more interesting, and collectible, as it is.

    To disturb its present form would not be unlike the high school football captain, infatuated by the head cheerleader. So infatuated that he marries her to fulfill his desire to see her “completed”. A decision he regrets for the rest of his life.

    Please don’t do something you’ll regret!

  8. I have built one , put it under glass and it is displayed at the Charles W. Nash School in Kenosha . Yes , tenacity is required.

  9. Thanks for sharing that website, Marshall! Mel, I intend to keep mine unbuilt. Geoff knows there isn’t enough pizza and beer in the world to get me started on a project like this. I’m pleased to hear of the one on display at the Charles W. Nash School, Rev. Milhone. Thanks to all for their helpful comments.

  10. I am one of those kids that built not just one but several of these kits when they were first available in the dealerships…I drove my dad about half crazy nagging him into taking test drives so I could replace the model after it fell apart from too many play sessions. I’ve posted about this kit on papermodelers.com but had misremembered it as being a Studebaker kit, not a Nash…the fog of years. I recently bought a partially assembled kit on ebay for far, far more that the budget allowed…and plan on building it again as soon as I can get it scanned. I don’t know if it’s been mentioned, but the kit included working parts like the elevator and the car lift. I know of at least three of my playmates “back then” who also put together their copies of the kits…I don’t know exactly what that says about 8-year-olds in the early 50s compared with those of today.

  11. I built one in 1953 @ age 11,so isn’t that hard! A friend has one built, under plexigla, in his living room.

  12. I had one. Local dealer in small town Indiana gave it to my dad. My mother who was quite handy with projects put it together for me. She really liked it I was 7 at the time and Dad & I built most of the Revell Highway Pioneers.

  13. My dad worked for Nash-Kelvinator until the merger in ’54. Our Christmas presents always included the newest Nash promotional models,and one year,I got this kit. Very exciting of course,although the thin cardboard construction was not suited for young hands,and it quickly disintegrated from too much “playing daddy’s Nash place”. Still,the article brought back a flood of memories from a time when I believed anyone who was anyone drove a Nash.

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