The Playmates

Full-throttle Thursday

Charles Nash.  Never heard of him? That's not entirely surprising, although it is an unfortunate side effect of history that some pretty impressive figures get lost in the shuffle. Nash was a very accomplished businessman who specialized in automobiles and automotive companies. In 1916, he bought the Thomas B. Jeffrey Company, known at the time for their Ramblers. You may have heard of the little Nash Rambler (popularly remembered in the song "Beep Beep" by the Playmates, below). But Nash also produced a truck, originally called a Jeffrey Quad but after his acquisition the Nash Quad.  It is widely regarded as the most effective vehicle used during World War I. 

1918 Nash Quad.jpg

The Nash Quad went over the omnipresent muddy roads better than anyone else's vehicles. It was widely considered the workhorse of the Allied Expeditionary Force (we didn't make up that phrase, honest). The truck had four-wheel brakes, four-wheel drive, and four-wheel steering.  This last feature made it possible for the rear wheels to follow the front wheels into muddy ruts in the dirt roads, which allowed them to follow more smoothly than they would were they creating new ruts. An odd sort of bonus. Nash Quads continued to be produced into the late-1920's, but have become extremely rare now, with only around thirty-five examples of them known to survive.  In 1954, the Nash Motor Company merged with Hudson Motors to create the American Motors Corporation (AMC), which also acquired the rights to manufacture the Willy's Jeep.