It's a GAS, this 36 Nash

It's a GAS, this 36 Nash

Article and Photos by Gary Rosier

Ralph Schoenherr of Port Orange, Florida, now owns this all steel example of the 1936 Lafayette Nash. A few years ago It was noticed sitting next to a barn nearby where it was sold by the then owner, having lost her husband. He is believed to have transformed it into what you see here today. It quickly passed through the hands of a next-door neighbor before Ralph acquired it- he just HAD to have it!

This is a 1936 Lafayette Nash - Lafayette being previously a very high dollar automobile that was absorbed by Nash about 1924 because it didn't sell very well. Its name was being re-introduced as a companion to the main model Nash about 1934 and ceased altogether to be an independent marque with the introduction of the 1937 models. (Info: Nash eventually led to AMC Corporation.)

Nash was an American Auto manufacturer based out of Wisconsin started in the early 20th century (1916). Charles Nash got it all going, was the President, and his motto was "Give the customer more than he paid for"!

Originally born in the Neptune, NJ area he graduated and joined the Naval Air Reserve after graduating high school. Shortly after, he moved to Florida where he graduated from Daytona Beach College with a Mechanical Engineering Degree.

 Ralph had many cool cars as a youth. He loved mostly MOPARS, having owned several early Dodge's, a Plymouth "Wedge", Dart Swinger and Corvette "Fuelie" cars (Wishes he had THAT "Fuelie" Vette back!). Like so many of us Muscle Car Era enthusiasts, working to make ends meet, family, etc just got in the way- at least temporarily!

He had so many passions; Cars, Flipping houses, Boats - Fishing and airplanes too! He eliminated one right off the bat because "Airplanes were just so expensive-for one he said with a laugh". 

A career in the Engineering Dept of Southern Bell and then Public's Works Director eased the financial burden of having a few "Toys" but cars were always at the forefront of his hobby passion.

This '36 LaFayette Nash was painted Chrysler Blue over an all steel body. It's powered by a Chevy 400, bored .40 over with a stroker kit. It's balanced, features aluminum heads, headers, Holley 4 bbl carb - all topped off with a Weiand Supercharger making over 500hp! A push/pull dual fan system with aluminum radiator keep her plenty cool.

All that power is transmitted through a Chevy Turbo 700R4 trans back to a Ford 9 inch "Locker" rear with 3:89 gears and traction bars to keep it firmly planted. It rolls on a set of Centerline Billet wheels with 205/60R15's in front and 235/60R15's out back. Front disc (Rear drum) brakes bring her to a safe stop.

Its interior is a gorgeous tan leather with blue carpeting. Gauges are by Autometer (Phantom series). Ididit tilt column with a cut-down Banjo style wheel steers her straight. Its Mustang II front suspension hides nicely under and behind those custom fabricated nerf bars and unique-cool 36 Nash Grill.

Ralph doesn't baby this beauty either as evidenced by our little "test drive" around the block. While Ralph didn't build this car, his experience as an engineer told him this car was built properly. Everything works so well together he says. You can pile the whole family in and it'll still go like stink!

Ralph feels like he did get "More than he paid for" as the logo went. Mash the Gas alright and it's one heck of a "Kick-Ass" '36 Nash!


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