5-6 October 2017

The Thomas F. Derro Collection

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Lot 256

1948 Nash Ambassador Suburban

  • Engine no. RE45244

Sold for $126,500

  • Offered from The Thomas F. Derro Collection
  • One of just 130 examples produced; among the rarest “woodies”
  • Beautiful restoration by the late Lloyd Mayes

After World War II, Nash, like many American automakers, faced a double-edged sword. The market for new automobiles was roaring and unlike any ever before, but at the same time, competition was absolutely brutal. Virtually every automaker was returning to post-war production with its warmed-over 1942 design. Nash required something new and different, that may not, necessarily, sell in large quantities, but would serve as a “draw” for showrooms.

That car was the Ambassador Suburban, a four-door fastback sedan with handsome “woodie” bodywork, in the fashion of the Chrysler Town and Country. By far the costliest Nash product, it was always extraordinarily rare. Estimates are that, in three years of production, fewer than 1,000 were produced, with the most scarce being the 1948 model, of which just 130 were made. Of the entire Suburban run, about a dozen survivors remain in existence worldwide.

The 1948 model in Thomas F. Derro’s collection was acquired from the late Lloyd Mayes, a well-known “woodie” expert known for his painstaking restorations. This was the last restoration that Mr. Mayes completed, and has been maintained to the same high standards in the Derro stable. Fit and finish throughout is still largely immaculate, including wonderful woodwork done for Mr. Mayes, and an authentic appearance completed by a Nash service sticker still in the door jamb. Finished in gleaming Sunset Maroon, it boasts a factory-correct interior with plaid inserts, as well as a metal sun visor, dual spotlights and amber driving lights, Weather Eye climate control, factory overdrive Cruising Gear, optional roof rack, and a correct full-size spare in the trunk. As was common on Nashes of the era, the rear seat folds down into a bed!

To the dedicated Nash enthusiast, this is, quite simply, the Holy Grail.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more