by Fred C. Kerr
My parents were married on September 4, 1948 in Charlotte, NC. After the wedding, they traveled by car to Kerr, NC (a little town in the most southern part of Sampson County, NC) to visit my father’s family. I only have a few pictures of their visit – and only one with an automobile in it. It shows my parents standing in front of a car (a striking “wood-clad” sedan) is parked in front of the old Kerr house which was built in 1844. It was likely the first automobile they had as a married couple. I wanted to learn more about it.
I had a most pleasant surprise today when I opened an email from the research staff at the LeMay-America’s Car Museum® in Tacoma, Washington. They confirmed that it was a most special automobile indeed–a 1947 or 1948 Nash Ambassador Suburban. They told me that it is an extremely rare automobile today – with less than 20 surviving with collectors and museums. It was the top of the line back then, but production was limited and very few were made. There were only 595 of these vehicles made during 1947, and only 130 made in 1948.
It was special to them because it was very likely their first vehicle. It would have cost between $1,929 and $2,239 2 for it back then.
Of course, that vehicle isn’t around today but it would be really neat if it was. That’s because the few vehicles that remain command a King’s Ransom. One completely restored vehicle was valued at 100 times its original purchase price (between $150,000 and $225,000)…!!
1. For pictures of what a fully restored vehicle looks like, see the article An Attractive 1947 Nash Ambassador Suburban in The Old Motor Magazine (at http://theoldmotor.com/?p=68353).↩
2. Which converts to $19,740 – $22,910 in today’s dollars.↩