Drive It Anywhere: 1961 Nash Metropolitan

The last year of production for the Met was 1961 and just under 1,000 of them were sold that year with the remaining cars being sold in 1962. This nice-looking 1961 Nash Metropolitan can be found here on Craigslist in Bremerton, Washington. The seller is asking $7,500 for this yellow beauty. They say that it’s “mechanically excellent” and they’d drive it anywhere. Thanks to Roger for submitting this Met!

I have loved these cars for a few decades now but after reading Pat Foster’s book on them, The Metropolitan Story, I was totally hooked. Most of us know the story behind the Met from previous posts here at Barn Finds and elsewhere so I won’t go into too much detail. They were basically a way to get a small car for the U.S. market by Nash and also for the company to enter the overseas market again in the years following WWII. Austin Motor Company in Birmingham, England won the bid to build the Metropolitan and supply the engines and then ship them back to the U.S. This is a Series IV car, the last of the breed, and they included a trunk for the first time instead of having to access that space from behind the rear seat.

The seller of this nice little Nash says “Some rust bubbles indoors, and the bodywork isn’t perfect, but I’d drive her anywhere. We’ve owned this for 25 years but just don’t drive her much anymore.” The interior fabric should be a diamond black and white pattern but I kind of like this random brocade-like fabric. They also mention that it has a “Complete new wiring harness front to back.” These cars were three-speed manuals and were column-shifted (three-on-the-tree) which is fun and probably 99% theft-proof today.

The engine is Austin’s A-50 1.5L inline-four with 55 hp. They’d cruise at 60 mph all day long and get close to 30 mpg doing that. The seller says that this engine has been “professionally rebuilt, rebuilt transmission, rear differential, brakes, pretty much the entire drivetrain”. This looks like a nice example and if the rust work isn’t overwhelming, it could be a fun winter project that won’t take up your whole garage. Are there any Metropolitan fans out there?

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Comments

  1. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Not for everybody – but that looks like a good price.

    Like 6
  2. Howard A Member

    ” Beep, beep,,, beep, beep, his horn went beep, beep, beep”,,

    Like 10
    • madbrit

      The song was about a Nash Rambler, not a Metropolitan. But it does sorta fit the little car better.
      I have the Met disease, own 3 of them, two are rust free projects and the third, I drive. Has a 153″ Mercrusier motor rated at 140hp with a 4 speed overdrive automatic, so she does get going quite nicely thank you very much……. LOL.

      Like 6
  3. Coventrycat

    Really nice Met. The “I’d drive her anywhere” I’d take with a grain of salt. I heard my friend tell me that when I bought his 71 XJ6 but every rubber hose on that car told me otherwise. First thing I replaced, and for 12 years could actually drive it anywhere.

    Like 5
  4. That AMC Guy

    Very cool. A friend had one years ago. It was a rust-bucket but still a lot of fun to tool around in. The Austin drivetrain makes it easy to keep one of these going. Strangely the transmission is actually a 4-speed box, but Nash/AMC had 1st gear blocked off. They believed their customers would find a 4-speed transmission too exotic and unfamiliar.

    There were Metropolitan wagon prototypes built but AMC decided not to pursue the project. The “Metropolitan Pit Stop” in California has one of the prototypes, along with the futuristic Astra Gnome which is right out of the year 2000. (I’ve been to their museum and it is a must-see for anyone interested in Metropolitans.)

    https://www.metpitstop.com/museum/

    Like 7
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Thanks for the link That AMC Guy. How cool is that wagon! Then there is that fire truck, wow. If you feel good about, it send me an email with your address. I have a little AMC trinket to send you. canoe@tds.net

      Like 1
    • Gay Car Nut

      It’s a shame that we never got the 4-spd manual Met. It may have been exotic and unfamiliar to people, but it could’ve been driven with practice. If you can drive a Mercedes-Benz, most Mercedes-Benz had 4-spd. on the tree transmission, you probably could drive a Nash Met. :)

      Like 1
  5. Gaspumpchas

    Built in Brit-tain.MGA engine–Lucas Electrical system, King of Darkness. When these would come in for service, we would road test them and run the crap out of em, Could Chirp the tires in second gear.Ahh tp be young and foolish, plus stupid. This one looks like a beauty and has stood the test of time, not sure if 7500 is a tad high, but you couldn’t restore anything for that, Good luck to the new owner.

    Cheers

    GPC

    Like 4
  6. Joe Defelice

    Ah… Childhood memories…. My sister had a red and white Met. I fondly recall her taking our mom to the store… Beatles on the AM radio… Me and my little brother behind the seats in that cubby hole… and not even making it out of the driveway due to a flat tire. Had to be about ’65… lol

    Like 3
  7. Camaro Joe

    The 3 speed on the column is 95% theft proof. A 4 speed on the column is damn near 100% theft proof, even if you leave the keys in the ignition. I drove a Citroen in the mid 1960’s, it took some getting used to but wasn’t bad. Not for the average US driver though.

    The 140 HP/4 speed Metro is what it should have been “back in the day.” It could have been the first muscle car. I hope it has enough steering / brakes / suspension to keep up with the power.

    I’m still working on a 1943 MB Jeep that my cousin built with a SBC and 36″ tires. At least he gave it a roll bar after he almost killed himself with the ’42 Jeep before it. The big problem with it is it’s top heavy, has no traction on pavement with Desert Dog cleated tires, and the fuel tank is under the driver’s seat. It’s going to dump 10 gallons of gas on the drive if it turns over. I drive it with GREAT respect until I get all that fixed.

    Like 2
    • madbrit

      Having grown up with column shift for both 3 and 4 speeds I don’t have a problem but I can see why many do.

      I fitted Midget front disc brakes and a VW Beetle master cylinder to achieve dual circuit brakes. Steering is still stock and does work just fine with the lighter 153″ Chevy (Mercruiser). Stock rear axle with 4.22 gears works great with the overdrive automatic. Got to be careful as I don’t want to twist the rear axle shafts with all that new power. Cruises the freeways easily at 70+mph and we have had it to 90mph with more to go.

      Next project Met will have a much bigger motor, but all under hood. This one will have frame strengthening, Fat Man Mustang ll front end and a sturdier rear axle. There are aftermarket frames available but at $16K, I feel that is a little over the top for a hobby car.

      When we take it to car shows, everyone says to the wife, “Like your car” and she points at me and says, “It’s his, not mine”…… LOL.

      Like 2
  8. Boatman Member

    I had a ’61 in high school. Drove it hard but never broke it. And mine got 40+ MPG.

    Like 4
  9. Robert Rossi

    I’ve restored and sold a few of these Metropolitan’s throughout the years. They are certainly fun cars and bring in great money if they are done right. This one seems pretty fair on the price buy the photos. Here’s a photo of the last one I sold. It was the first year, 1954. Note the solid color, only offered in ’54/’55. 1956 they introduced the 1500 series with a two tone paint and a 1500 cc engine, replacing the 1200cc from the previous years.
    In 1959 they added an higher compression engine, vent windows and an outside trunk lid just to name a few to make life easier. These cars were way ahead of their time……

    Like 6
    • Robert Rossi

      I forgot to mention in my comment that the Metropolitan for sale here is painted the wrong yellow. Looks like the PO chose Sunburst yellow, a previous year color over the original Autumn Yellow which was a pale yellow.

      Like 1
      • ctmphrs

        Well hell I was gonna buy it tell you said that.

        Like 3
  10. Gay Car Nut

    Lovely looking Nash Metropolitain. It’s a shame that it was discontinued when it was. It would’ve been fun to drive a Rambler Metropolitain. I’ve always found them to be quite attractive.

    Like 1
  11. mikestuff

    There’s a guy here in the Salt Lake City area who brings a cool Metro to shows locally, during the season. I’ve taken one of my grandsons to a few of the shows and he got so he could spot the same cars that were at different shows. He really liked this Metro that we saw more than once. This picture is him close to the car and another grandson trying to make him laugh. This was taken at the American Fork, UT Steel Days show in August this year. I remember going to Steel Days with my parents in the 60’s.

    Like 7
  12. David Frank David Frank Member

    The museum’s metro gets lots of attention at events and people love to ride in it on Sunday drives. (https://www.calautomuseum.org/) It has the optional “Flying Lady” hood ornament which really gets attention. The odd starter switch can be a bit troublesome, but otherwise, these are a hoot to drive.

    Like 3
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Very nice David, love the Flying Lady hood ornament. Added this to my old Willys wagon. Not original but I enjoy it. Take care, Mike.

      Like 1
  13. Todd

    Knew a guy in Florida( St. Pete area) that has one. Same color and everything. It has a 455 Buick engine in it. It’s tubbed with wheelie bars but if you walk up to it from the front you’d never realize it at first glance. Very cool car.

    Like 1
  14. Bob Member

    I have a really nice Metropolitan convertible that I plan to put up for sale soon. Fun little car. I sure hope it finds a good home.

    Like 1
  15. Bob V.

    I have a 1960 Metropolitan with 19,000 original miles that Eli Lilly (drug firm) bought new for his wife and daughter. I spoke with a retired employee that heard that he would have his chauffeur drive them in this car. It’s for sale if anyone is interested.

    Like 1
  16. Carey Hill

    we have had ours since the 70’s… fitted a later 1622cc engine from an mid 60’s morris oxford (same engine just a bit bigger bore with an SU carb- can hit 80mph anytime.. would think a different diff ratio or overdrive would make them a bit more of a distance cruiser

    Like 2
  17. Bob McK Member

    I have a 56 Convertible that I really need to pull out and sell.

  18. Bob vlasic

    I would be interested call Bob @ 219-757-1148

  19. madbrit

    Depending upon location and condition, if he doesn’t buy it, call oe text me……… 9two8- 7one5-66five5.

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