There was a bit of a restyling for 1954. Lead designer Ed Anderson came up with a concave grille and new headlight bezels featuring a thinner band of chrome around the lights. A continental spare tire was now standard equipment on Custom models. A big feature was the completely new interior, again styled by Parisian designer Madame Helene Rother, who had first lent her talents to the 1952s.
1954 would be the last year for two-door
Ambassadors, as the end was nearing for Nash.
Model offerings contracted somewhat as Ambassador two-door sedans were no longer offered with Custom trim. (The body style would completely disappear from the senior Nash roster at the end of the model year.)
The compression ratio of the Ambassador Super Jetfire six was increased to 7.6:1, and horsepower to 130. The Le Mans six was also available, still rated at 140 horsepower. Statesman models also got a hop-up, with an aluminum cylinder head, 8.5:1 compression ratio, and dual carbs as standard equipment. The revised engine, dubbed the "Dual Powerflyte" six, generated 110 horsepower.
None of it did any good, however. Sales collapsed completely as if some invisible hand had turned off a tap somewhere. Calendar year Nash production dropped to 77,884. It was due partly to the Chevy-Ford war siphoning sales from the independents, and partly to the car entering its third year with essentially the same styling in a market that demanded "NEW!" and "BETTER!" almost every year.
Too, V-8 engines were gaining in popularity, and here Nash was caught unprepared. The company merged with Hudson midway through the year -- forming American Motors in the process -- and many shoppers were concerned that Nash might soon become an orphan make. The average buyer didn't know Nash was the strongest of the independents, but even if they had, few people like to gamble on a large purchase like an automobile.
So much was changed by the end of 1954. Nash president George Mason died suddenly in October, just five months after the merger. George Romney was elevated to head of the corporation. Studebaker and Packard also merged and new S-P President James Nance was privately predicting that AMC would soon be out of business. Tough times had arrived and the road ahead was a mist-shrouded trail. Where it was leading was anyone's guess.
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