The Mermaid

Photos provided by Bob Westervelt #5819 -

The Mermaid hood ornament is thought to have been used on the 1932 Nash, but was it Officially?

From: Neil Maken -

Subject: Question for MOL


Someone mentioned to me this evening something about a

'Mermaid Radiator/hood ornament' for a '32 Nash.

Was this an after-market accessory? An option? or

something used on one of the larger cars?


Neil Maken NCCA 8388

Hi Jim:

Saw Neil's request for info on the Mermaid hood ornament and since I now own three of them I thought I pass on what I know about them. I first heard some years ago that an owner of one of the senior Nash cars thought that the flat standard radiator cap needed embellishiment similar to the Cad/LaSalle flying lady and had the Mermaid designed and made. The story was that he felt that others would want one so he had 50 cast. Well, after I found and bought three of them, having seen several others through the years at Hershey and other flea markets, I realized the number cast had to have been wrong. I later asked one of the Mascot sellers at Hershey about them and his feeling was that they were made by someone like JC Whitney. However, they compliment the "fish scale" appearance of the Nash logo that was first used on the 1929 models. I was able to purchase the last one at Hershey and it was a reproduction in stainless steel and of much better quality that my originals that I had re-chromed.

Hope this will be helpful.

Charles Newton # 3778 -


I see a people are asking about the 32 Nash Hood ornament. I'll tell you what I know. I found three of them over the past 20 years. There are two different types. The most common seen around is the smaller one with straight hair and a small wave at the base. The rarer one looks very similar but the hair has a wave in it, the scales are smaller and the wave at base is bigger. They are both pot metal. Many people saved them after scrapping the car because they are so nice. I found that you can get them at odd ball swap meets fairly cheap because they look like a 70's J.C. Whitney item. When people know they are for a 32 Nash the price jumps to between two and four hundred dollars. The interesting thing is that they do not appear in the Nash Master Parts List (No. 1) or in the 1931 900 series salesman's accessory handbook (Issued June 1931) that I have. If you look in the Nash family album you will see at least two cars with one. The famous picture of the mayor of Chicago in the summer of 32 has a white 32 990 sedan with a flying mermaid. One thing I can tell you is that they really don't sit right on a 29 to 31 fish scale cap, but it matches well. I think that Nash must have sold them to people after they broke the original cap which was fairly common. I once heard someone describe an earlier Nash Mermaid with a motor meter built into it. Why a mermaid? I think it comes from the scales in the Nash crest, gas/radiator/crankhole caps and if you look on the Seaman body plate you'll see sea horses, a continuation of the nautical theme. I'm interested to hearing from anyone who has more information.

Thank you

Bob Westervelt #5819 -

Return to NASH Classified's page.