2 for 1 Project: 1959 Nash Metropolitan

The Metropolitan was a British-made, 2-seat subcompact that was built largely for consumption in the U.S. between 1953-61. It was a product of the Austin Motor Co. and was the first post-war American car whose principal target audience was women. The automobile was sold with both Nash and Hudson badging when American Motors was formed in 1954 and later as a standalone marque at Rambler dealers. The seller has two of them with Nash branding, with one car intended to be a donor for the other. Located in Pueblo, Colorado, the pair is available here on craigslist for $5,000 OBO. Kudos to Gunter Kramer for the tip!

Powered at first by a 1,200-cc inline-4 engine, later models would get a larger 1,500-cc edition of the same motor. Both were paired with a column-shifted 3-speed manual transmission. The Metro was produced across four series in eight years, with the last series going into production in early 1959. These versions came with an external decklid for access to the trunk rather than having to go through the back seat. The little machines were offered in hardtop and convertible configurations, with both selling for under $1,700, equal to about $16,000 today.

Total production would reach nearly 95,000 units before the cars were discontinued in 1961. The best-selling year for the Metro was 1959 – the year the seller’s two cars were built – at just over 22,000 automobiles. Though shadowed by the likes of the VW Beetle, the Metropolitan was one of the top-selling imported cars at the time.

Though the photos provided only show one two-tone Metropolitan, the seller says two of them come with the deal. Presumably, you could borrow from the one to help restore the other. The only mention of extra parts coming with the cars is two carburetor set-ups. When in good condition, these cars can fetch $10-15,000, so not knowing what it will take to merge the seller’s two cars into one suggest the asking price is optimistic.

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Comments

  1. Boatman Member

    My first car at 16. Boy did the kids make fun of me!

    Like 7
    • Gary D. Oliver

      Boatman…;.My Grandma had one and I was driving it when I was 14. It was also pink and white. You can imagine what the kids said to me. Who cares when you are 14 or 15 and you got something to drive. One thing I can say is no VW Bug ever beat me.

      Like 2
    • John Traylor

      But did they have wheels? A friend had one but not this color

  2. That AMC Guy

    The Featured Vehicle in the Weird Al movie “UHF”.

    https://www.imcdb.org/i048533.jpg

    Like 2
  3. Malcolm Boyes

    If I had the space and talent I’d love that pink and white one. The motors in these, the 1500’s, are basically the same as an MGA and other BMC cars so there is a lot you can do to up the power. Slightly lowered with slightly wider steel wheels and this would be a really cool baby cruiser IMHO..

    Like 1
  4. bachldrs Member

    And any car designed to take the Austin-based “B-series” 1500 engine will also allow the 1800 version (used in MGBs and a bunch of others). An 1800 with a five-speed gearbox and a 3.9 MGB rear end would make quite a difference in this little car!

    Like 4
  5. Steve

    Little pricey, I paid 2,000. on barnfind . The 1960 Metro I purchase was parked in the garage for 48 years before I rescued it and did a complete restoration on it. It was a hardtop. I enjoyed driving the little car the value on it probably 15,000

  6. ramblergarage

    My first car in 1970 and loved it. Got a better one later in the 70’s. Always want a convertible and still looking for one. Of course I had the strangest car in high school.

    Like 1
  7. Bobcat Goldthwait

    The way this write up appeared on my phone the page break was at, “whose target audience was……” I half expected it to end with “clowns” 🤣 Sorry, I could not resist

    Like 1
  8. William R Hall

    A couple of things on a Metro. FIrst does anyone recall that this was Superman’s Girl Friend’ s car?

    Next is something I learned in a Service Station, the oil filter is impossible !

    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Lois Lane’s car was a convertible Nash, but not a Metropolitan. Hers was a 5 passenger early 50s Rambler “rail top” convertible.

      Like 2
  9. Stu

    I loved these cars. Would get these 2 if I had a clue about how to fix them. At least no one has suggested “low rider” yet.

    Like 1
  10. bachldrs Member

    Hey Stu,

    If you ever get the crazy notion that you want to learn about auto mechanics, here’s your chance to start. I can’t think of a better car to learn on! And what’s more, you’ll learn lots of stuff about which most modern mechanics are clueless. If they can’t find where to plug in their computer-diagnostic devices, they’re outa luck. You’ll learn about carburetors and distributors, ignition points and rotors, drum brakes, chokes, bullet connectors… “Whazatt? Whazatt? Whazatt?” they’ll exclaim. You can gather them around a campfire and tell ‘em some stories: “Once upon a time… there was a spark that didn’t know how to get to its own spark plug…” “And where did the spark come from?” they’ll ask. “Why the coil, of course…” you’ll explain, “every time the points open, an angel gets its wings…”

    Or something like that. There’s hardly a town in all of North America where there aren’t one or two old guys just itching to show you how to do this stuff.
    Then you’ll learn the human side of auto mechanics. You’ll bond with these guys. Eventually, they will die off – all too soon. You have since learned what they taught you but you’ll miss these wonderful old friends. And then one day your phone will ring. It will be your turn…

    Like 4

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