Full-Throttle Thursday

1918 Nash Quad.jpg

The American Treasure Tour loves motorized vehicles.  And self-propelled vehicles.  And pretty much any kind of vehicles.  But, it being full-throttle Thursday and all, today we are going to call out one of our favorite trucks - an odd looking boxy affair that looks amazingly unpractical today but, when it was brand new over a century ago, was all about innovation and technological advancement.  It is called a Nash Quad (originally a Jeffery Quad, until a guy named Nash bought the company from a guy named Jeffery.  We can explain it in more detail later on if you like.).  The Nash Quad earned its "quad" moniker because it worked off of a four-speed transmission.  It also had four-wheel brakes, four-wheel drive, and four-wheel steering (which meant that the rear tires moved along with the front tires - an invaluable assist in keeping the back of the truck aligned with the front when driving on narrow roads or in deeply-grooved dirt tracks). 

One fan of the Nash Quad was a guy named George Pershing, who just happened to be the Army General in charge of the American troops during World War I.  He commissioned a few thousand trucks to be used by the military in Europe and were so well regarded after their performance overseas that they remained in production for fifteen years. Maybe people took them for granted, because there aren't very many left to visit - about thirty-five, the last we counted.  But don't worry, there is one here at the Treasure Tour.  Check it out!

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.