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Early Subcompacts: Trio of Metropolitans

The Nash Metropolitan was a small, American car built in England from 1953-61. While being sold as a Nash, it also was peddled as a Hudson after Nash and Hudson merged to form American Motors. And later it was a standalone during the period when the Rambler name was prevalent. The seller has three of them for sale from different model years and in varying conditions. They’re located in Sandy, Oregon, and available here on Facebook Marketplace for $3,500 each.

Produced as a tiny two-seat car, 95,000 Mets would be shipped to the U.S. and Canada over 13 years, making it one of the most popular imported cars during that time. Other copies were built for consumption in England and other export markets. It was available in both coupe and convertible body styles and would be powered by a 1200 or 1500cc inline-4 engine, depending on the year. They weren’t fast or nimble enough to be considered sports cars.

As the story goes, the prior owner of these vehicles stopped driving them in the 1970s and they’ve been in a barn ever since. The property they reside in has been sold and the seller had to take them to get what else was there. He has no interest in the quirky little Metropolitans, so they’re available for a collector who might want all three. Let’s do a quick look at the cars, which are all hardtops:

1955 Metropolitan (white over blue/green)

This was a one-family car until 1986 when the owner of the property added it to his arsenal. If original, it’s likely to have the smaller of the two engines. Like the others, it looks mostly complete but missing things like headlights.

1956 Metropolitan (white over burgundy)

The seller refers to this as red, but that’s not the case. With a supposed 56,000 miles, this car was part of the prior owner’s “collection” since 1967. It looks to have been cleaned up and perhaps presents as the best of the three cars. It should have the 1500 cc motor under the hood.

1959 Metropolitan (white over aqua green over white)

This may be the worst of the three with body damage on the right front corner. The barn’s owner procured it sometime in the 1970s but never got around to titling it until 2017. The seller believes it and the two others may be made to run without too much trouble.

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    You talk about bad timing, the Met shines. 30 years later, it would have been a hit, but in the 50’s, economy was the last thing on peoples minds, even though, Rambler consistently did the best. Originally marketed as a Hudson Met, and early ones had a “H” or Hudson insignia on the grill. The blue one looks like it may be a Hudson. Later ones had an “M”. On an American Pickers show, they came across “The Hubcap Lady”, somewhere in Indiana. In her garage, was a ’55 Hudson Met, with like 24 miles on it. I read, in ’55, both Hudson and Nash Mets were made, and in ’56, it was just Nash. The late husband bought it for her in 1955, as an incentive to get her license, it was parked in the garage, the old man died, and she never did get her license, and the poor Met sat all those years. She wouldn’t sell it. Great find, this is how you do it. Plenty of parts, I’m sure NOS can still be found. A Met makes perfect sense today, provided it had a little more oomph, that is.
    https://www.imcdb.org/v420309.html

    Like 3
  2. Moondawg00

    The 56 is already sold.

    Like 2
  3. flynndawg

    i thought trunks didnt come out until 58, i had a 57 with no trunk…

    Like 1
    • ramblergarage

      actually it was 59 for the trunks and vent windows.

      Like 1
  4. Sam Shive
  5. steve

    My wife had one as her 1st car. I showed her the listing….”NO!”….
    Well..that’s that.. And she’s the one who actually owns “our” 65 Land Rover.
    Seems she got to walk a lot when she owned the Metropolitan. Tin and cardboard on the floor to kerp the leaves from blowing in..
    Metropolitan, makes everyone smile EXCEPT the owner..
    Oh..left and right outer door panels are the same stamping. Take a look!!

    Like 2
    • Robert White

      ‘Cardboard on the floor’?

      Does your wife not have a MIG Welder?

      Nash Metropolitans are way cool IMHO. I’m a Mechanical Engineering Technician too. I’d put a reliable engine & transmission in. I’d change the suspension, and front end, as well as rear differential.

      Mets make good drag cars if done right.

      Bob

      Like 2
      • steve

        Wife HAS access to a MIG welder but she didn’t in 1969….As a former long-haul trucker she can double-clutch the non-syncro Land Rover. She’s not anti-car but she had all the Metropolitan she needed way back then..

        Like 4
  6. Russell

    The coolest (pun intended) Metropolitan conversion I’ve seen was a body set on top a snow mobile chassis.

    Like 1
  7. Graham Line

    Nissan 1200 and 1400 cc engines/transmissions pretty much drop right in if you can find one set up for fore-and-aft use.

    Like 1
  8. Bob Mck Member

    I owned a 56 convertible. It got lots of attention, but I really didn’t like it very much. The guy I sold it to got a good car and good deal.

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