The ability to write quality, compelling advertising copy is a rare and precious gift, like the ability to heal with one’s mind, or levitate feet off the ground, gently bobbing in the wind. As a result, not all ad copy is created equal, and for every Think Small ad campaign there’s bags and bags of absolute garbage. Kind of like this 1957 Nash ad, which boasts about how the ’57 Nash is the “World’s Newest, Finest Travel Car!” Huh. That’s the sort of clever wordsmithery that makes one wonder “what the fuck is a travel car?”
Aren’t all cars “travel cars?” Isn’t that the whole point of cars, and, really, all wheeled things, forever and always?
Travel car. What a great way to move around in one of your wear shirts as you go out to a bar to get a nice glass of swallow booze and some chewing gum. Oh, wait. That’s a thing.
Of course, there were plenty of other fantastic features of the Nash for a likely drunk advertising copywriter to focus on. Like the new four-lamp headlight setup, which somehow “reduces glare for oncoming drivers,” even though I’ll bet nobody tested that.
Plus, “sweep-type” exhaust manifolds, which I suspect nearly all drivers were demanding. That continental-style spare tire mount provided a nice little rear diving board to enjoy, one that brought the Nash’s length to over 18 feet. And, if you need more smartness, say, some additional smartness, you could always stick some little chrome ends on your exhaust pipes.
Man, a travel car! Sounds even better than one of those fancy new motion-vehicles!
If there are any followers of Vice Grip Garage, here…For clarification, a Travel Car is one step above a “Goin’ Ta Town Rig”.
Pretty sure this is referring to the landyacht-like ride and big V8 making for smooth, effortless road trips, plus the fact that the seats folded down into a bed (and you could order privacy curtains as an option), which made Nashes unusually well suited for overnight travel. Or extracurricular activities.
Allegedly, George Mason went on a business trip in the ’40s and was appalled at what roadside motels were charging, so demanded that Nash engineers design car seats that would fold into a useable full-size bed so traveling businessmen wouldn’t have to be price gouged anymore. Kind of hard to think of an automotive/consumer appliance company CEO being that bothered over the rates at fleabag motels in this day and age.
My father and his not-automotive-inclined father got suckered into buying a Nash Rambler in about 1960. He did many tuneups on the side of the road since that “Travel Car” only traveled a few hundred miles before it fouled the plugs. On the flip (down) side, the seats folded into beds so if you did get stranded it was its own “Motel”. A travel car indeed.
“Somewhere West of Laramie…”
“added smartness”? I gotta get me some of that.
The opposite of the Travel Car is the Project Car! Something I’m sure more than a few of the readers and writers are familiar with. And heck, there are a few brands (well cherished on this site) that can give you a Perennial Project Car!
Not all cars are travel cars. For example, some of the more rustic types have ‘storage cars’ or ‘shooting cars’
The brag about having the biggest of the big V8s really ties it all together for me. I give this ad the smoochiest of chef kisses.
That was pretty good, but they lose a kajillion points for using an apostrophe to pluralize V-8.
…To say nothing about using the phrase “world’s newest” in a print ad.
That’s fair. It reads more like something from the turn of the century when they would write “wheel-barrow” or “horse-power”. It was like they had just invented the hyphen and wanted to use it for every-thing.
I really liked the looks of the ’55 Nash, but what was unique seems to have become somewhat homely by ’57. Continental kits always give me the warm fuzzies though.
I have a feeling if a person walked into a present-day dealership, test drove something and asked “Does this car have sweep-type exhaust manifolds? I like to keep my exhaust back-pressure to a minimum.”, most salesmen would fall all over themselves to assure the customer that the vehicle indeed does, and that they also hate back-pressure as it takes away from the car’s smartness.
I always laugh at the grocery store at the sign above one of the aisles that reads “Eating nuts.”
Look, they have to make sure you don’t accidentally wind up in the aisle for sleeping nuts or deez nuts.
Maybe they do really good business selling truck nuts, too?
I’d have guessed travel car was ’50s American for touring car, but they’re wearing…formal wear? Even in ’50s ads, you didn’t tour like that…a man wore a sweater, smoked a pipe maybe, and a woman would have sunglasses and a scarf on her head. And there’d be a dog and usually a large, oddly-shaped hat box somewhere. Madness.
I read the woman’s dress as a wedding gown, so this is a couple about to embark on a honeymoon. I could be wrong, of course, because they may have just wanted to convey how fancy it is.
Thank you for the reading words.
A travel car is what “sovereign citizens” use to convey themselves and their stuff hither and thither, thus exempting themselves from the government interference of having a “driving” license.
At least that’s what the YouTube videos tell me.
IS THAT A GOLD FRINGE ON THAT FLAG?!? IS THIS AN ADMIRALTY COURT?!!
Forgot the obligatory “AM I BEING DETAINED?!?”
Please continue going about your business.
And you’re still not a Tony because you don’t accept your government name and the responsibilities attached to that. Rights, sure. Privileges? Those, too. Just not anything you dislike.
If you drive your travel car to Philadelphia, be sure to stop for some water ice.
I mean, maybe somebody might get you some dry ice by mistake if water ice wasn’t specified.
“Would you like to smash in a Nash?”
Some cars are racing cars. But I guess that’s technically just travelling in circles mostly.
And it feels like this website, of all websites, should understand that some vehicles are NOT travel cars. Notably, like half David’s fleet at any given time.
Jason, do you mean to say that you don’t have a travel car, a commuter car, a utility car, and a pleasure car?
(I suspect that Nash was offering this car as a particularly good choice for cross-country touring, as opposed to a simple commuter car, but I could be wrong.)
Yes, this is the reason. Enjoyable snark aside, Nash added a bunch of features to their cars to make them ideal for economical travel – most famous among them the seats that fold flat into a bed. The idea was that if you could sleep in your car, you wouldn’t have to spend any money on motels on a trip. Things like that made Nash the preferred brand for travelling salesmen, for instance. So ‘travel car’ for long distance, as distinct from, say, a commuter car (which Nash also had covered with the Metropolitan!)
I thought that would be the case. Thank you for the confirmation.
Isn’t half of the Autopian fleet technically just stationary decor?
I understand “shabby chic”, “farmhouse modern”, and “warehouse industrial” but is “liberated landfill” really a decor?
It’s certainly stationary. Not sure if it’s “decor” or “debris” though.