The Nash is a crazy dude - he'll even be the first to admit it.
The owner of a flame covered hot rod named “The Pussy Wagon”, The Nash stands out from the Japanese crowd like a sore thumb. While The Pussy Wagon coupled with Nash’s self-proclaimed craziness draws to mind a scene in Kill Bill, fortunately Nash is a different kind of strange.
See, crazy always needs a normal to compare to. In the case of The Nash, Japanese society is the normal that allows him to be the awesomely weird dude he is.
I’m painting in very broad, stereotyping strokes, but the typical Japanese man aspires to be what’s called a salaryman. A salaryman went to a good University, landed a good paying job at a good company, and does his very best to save a good amount of money so he can have a good early retirement. Effectively, a Salaryman does everything he is supposed to and avoids unnecessary risks along the way.
In contrast, The Nash is a 50 year old hot rodding journalist who doesn’t care about saving money and publishes an old-school zine called Burnout Magazine. To underscore “avoiding unnecessary risks” he surfs and recently picked up skateboarding, and to really fight against typical Japanese conservatism, he has “Suck Pussy” written all over his roof and chrome woman for the passenger side dashboard handle.
But more than his car and its interesting paint job, The Nash is a supremely friendly guy. If you spend time in Japan, you’ll notice beyond the general politeness, people are slow to open up. In contrast, I met The Nash at the Mooneyes Nationals, and within a week, he was candidly talking to me about the Japanese car culture and what he thinks will happen in the future. This openness was quite refreshing, but as said before, quite weird for a Japanese guy.
The Nash’s Origin Story
The Nash’s connection with cars begins in his childhood. Before he was born, his father drove bigshot businessmen and CEOs in the 1950s. At that time, American luxury cars were the pinnacle of opulence in Japan, so his father almost exclusively drove leather lined Hudsons, Cadillacs, and Lincolns.
When The Nash was 15, he saw photos of his father’s cars and was blown away by the styling. He then instantly decided that he would own a car from that era and began saving up money for a license and car. Fast forward five years, and he was the proud owner of a 1955 Nash Rambler.
Once he got that car, it was inevitable that he would get into Hot Rods. The Nash’s aforementioned weirdness is rooted in a childhood desire to be different, so naturally, the rebellious ‘do what you want’ attitude of Hot Rods attracted him.
He purchased the first parts for the Rambler in 1999 at the Paso Robles Custom Car Show. There he picked up some ’37 reproduction Ford headlights and the ’55 Cadillac bumper that is mounted upside down on the front. Subsequent years morphed the rear of the car around a set of 1957 De Soto Wagon taillights and dressed the wheels in one-of-a-kind pinstriped Moondiscs from Mooneyes. In the near future he plans to replace the 305 V8 since the block is getting worn out.
While these “large parts on a small car” draw the eye to the macro aspects of the car, The Nash was careful to focus on the small details as well. All the rotating control surfaces have been replaced with Steve Caballero skateboard wheels, and the interior matches red and black of the paint. And of course, the chrome woman oh shit bar, custom front emblem and intricate roof painting helps tie everything together.
As mentioned several times, The Nash is a weird dude. But it’s that weirdness that allows him to standout in a Japanese parking lot, and it’s his awesome strangeness that says just as much about Japanese Culture as it says about himself.