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Challenge Met! A Pair of Metropolitans!


Do you like two-tone, Anglo-American cars that look like bathtubs? Have we got a deal for you! Not one, but two barn find Metropolitans are at auction right now. Thanks goes to Jim S for finding the yellow and white 1961 here on eBay in Pueblo, Colorado with no reserve, while the red and white 1957 version is in Dunsmuir, California and you can view its ad here. This is the car that proved that at least a few consumers in mid-century America approved of smaller transportation options.

Image Credit: Chuck's Toyland
Image Credit: Chuck’s Toyland

A total of almost 95,000 Metropolitans were sold from 1954 through 1962, proving that there was a market for a car this size in North America. That was Nash’s thought when they spent over a year using early prototypes for market research. Once the decision was made to produce the car, the decision was made to outsource both the tooling and the manufacturing of the car to British companies – Pressed Steel handling the bodyshells and Austin the assembly (and much of the mechanicals). MGA and MGB owners will recognize the lump under the hood of most Metropolitans, that trusty B-Series engine, albeit in slightly smaller displacement form.


The yellow car is the newer of the two, and is actually within the last 10,000 of the end of production. It’s being sold at no reserve as well. However, as the seller states, “The car has a lot of rust!” Pictures show rust on fender seams and throughout the underside, with at least one small hole being apparent in the pictures.


As I write this, the price is very low at $212.60, although I’m sure that will go up before the end of the auction. The ad says that the car has been in storage for 28 years, the drivetrain condition is unknown, and there are rust issues not just in the floor, but in the frame and fenders. One hubcap, both headlamp rings, some lenses and the radio are said to be missing. The interior appears tired but complete, or at least largely so. A closeup of the speedometer shows just under 53,000 miles – do you think that’s accurate?


On the other hand, the red car looks both more solid and complete, although the pictures aren’t any clearer. Hopefully the California black plate means it spent most of its time there and isn’t terribly rusty. The interior certainly looks nicer, with upholstery that may be quite useable after a good cleaning. Does anyone know if the odd single tuft on the driver’s seat is the original design on these cars?


The red car also has some unusual diagonal striping on both the hood and trunk… possibly two-tone wasn’t enough for a prior owner? This car has also been stored for a long time, supposedly stored in a corner of a warehouse (ok, it’s not a barn, but it’s close!) for over twenty years. It comes with all four hubcaps, but engine condition is again unknown and a BB has taken out the windshield. My question to you is would you buy one, the other, or both?


  1. Vince Habel

    The red one looks to be the better buy.

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  2. GaryMc

    Seat and door panels have been redone on the red one.

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  3. Mark E

    If the seller’s word can be trusted in both cases, the red one is more complete, supposedly less rust and it appears to have at least part of a continental kit on the back…

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  4. Tom S.

    RE: “A total of almost 95,000 Metropolitans were sold from 1954 through 1962…”

    That’s only slightly fewer than the number of MGAs sold during abut the same period.

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  5. Tim H

    I would go for the yellow one, I like having an opening trunk.

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  6. Anthony Anthony Wurthmann

    I am most interested.

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  7. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    So, Anthony…going to bid on one?

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    • Anthony Anthony Wurthmann

      White Metropolitan will be my choice @ $600.00

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  8. Horse Radish

    Looks like the CA car (‘red one’) used to be the same pale yellow as the other one offered …….

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  9. Moparman Elliott Member

    I’m 6’4″, but curiously I WANT!! So illogical; good thing they’re on the opposite coast!! :-)

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  10. Alex

    There’s a guy up the street from me with two of these things. He has a junkyard and a bunch of cars he seems to be putting out for sale little by little. Very cool cars.

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  11. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    @Elliott, I certainly understand that! @Alex–get the story for us :-)

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