Two-Tone Two-Seater: 1957 Nash Metropolitan

The Nash Metropolitan was assembled by Austin in England for distribution in North America on behalf of Nash. It qualified as a subcompact years before that category was even created. It was also sold under the Hudson brand and as a standalone with Rambler, enjoying a long run from 1953-62 and nearly 95,000 copies. This one is in good shape and has recently been serviced. It’s available in Sanford, Maine and here on Barn Finds Classifieds for $16,500.

Metropolitans were largely sold during the American Motors days after Nash and Hudson merged to form that company. The little car would be popular in the U.S. as well as on its home turf in the United Kingdom. There were four series of the car over nearly 10 years, with the changes usually being to trim or to the powerplants the car used. Series III covered the Metropolitans built between 1955-58 and the car gained a larger engine, 1500cc (up from 1200c), the one used in the Austin A50 Cambridge. Two-tone paint jobs were available because of the polished stainless-steel sweep-spears used on the body going forward, and Coral Red and Snowberry White was available, as on the seller’s car.

North American distribution for 1957 was about 15,300 with most inventory going to the U.S. The ’57 models would be last carrying either Nash or Hudson prefixes. The seller of this nice red/white Metro tells us this car has been garaged and is mechanically sound even though the mileage is 185,000. The seller has kept a lot of the service records on the Nash that can be passed along to the buyer. We’re told it’s a pleasure to drive with its 3-speed manual and I’m inclined to agree as those have always been a car I’d like to own. Even with their ginormous steering wheels.

Online estimates for the resale value of these cars are in the $15-20,000 range, so the seller is right in the middle. It’s a beautiful car to have featured on Barn Finds Classifieds and we hope that it goes to another good home. We apologize for some of the images at low-resolution.

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    I love Metros, Russ.

    I still remember a friend in high school (don’t ask how long ago that was) whose Dad was handy with a welding torch and stuffed a SBC into one. I watched it evolve from a basically unchanged little car with too much engine into a tube-frame monster that could actually be driven without shedding vital parts. Of course by then little remained of the original car save the exterior panels and seats….

    I could use one in the small town where I now live. Narrow streets and a general speed limit of 25 mph would suit it perfectly. I like the style, too, and in my experience those BMC mechanical bits will go on and on.

    It’s not too far away, but at the price is a little too rich for my blood, alas. Which might be good because I do know where I could pick up a used-but-rebuildable 327 with a four-speed….

    Like 8
    • Doug

      I remember friend of a friend had one. Small block Chevy. Not much to room left inside to set. But I sure wished could have taken it out for a ride

      Like 1
  2. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    My wife has also become a big fan of these, but when I pointed out the lack of the later-model trunk lid and the need to stuff groceries behind the seats from the inside, she scratched her head in wonder.

    Nice car at a decent price, and I hope the owner has info on what has been done over the last 185k miles.

    Like 2
  3. Boatman Member

    Fun to drive, and great gas mileage. Drove to school and work all week on $3 worth of gas. (at .65/gal).

  4. Car Nut Tacoma

    Sweet looking car. I’ve always found the Nash Metropolitain to be an interesting car. I’ve never driven one, nor have I ridden in one as a passenger.

    Like 1
  5. luke arnott Member

    Thought these had chrome bumpers?The (few) sold in the UK did.

    Like 1
    • RayT Member

      They did.

    • Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

      This is a black-bumper Ammonite model; like the Amish, they cannot have reflective surfaces unless mandated (mirrors) but everything else gets painted. But at least they get to drive, instead of horsing around.

      Like 3
      • Bill McCoskey

        Fahrvergnugen,

        A long time friend of mine bought a 1955 Packard Clipper Deluxe [the most economical Packard for 1955] that had been owned by a Menonite family, and all the exterior bright chrome and stainless steel trim was painted black to match the car’s body color.

        Having been covered with paint since new, he thought in removing the protective paint from the trim, he would have beautiful chrome. He didn’t realize all the trim had been carefully sanded before the paint was applied!

        Like 1
  6. Jim

    You had a beautiful one a couple years back that had been converted to a raised four wheeler. I loved it.

    Like 2
  7. Howard A Member

    As usual, and I’m sure some are tiring of it, but I think there’s a few people in my camp, I never thought I’d see the day when a Met brought 5 figures. I mean, they were one step up from a King Midget. Even though it had
    Rambler roots, small cars were still unaccepted in Milwaukee. There just wasn’t a call for them. Even a Rambler American ( a Met on steroids) wasn’t very popular. I recall seeing very few, and the ones we saw, were laughed at. Very few were badged as Hudsons, I think ’55 was the only year, as Hudson went away in the AMC merger in ’54. A “Hudson” Met, is almost unheard of. American Pickers came across “The Hubcap Lady”, somewhere in Indiana, and in the garage was a 1955 Hudson Met with 53 miles on it. Her late husband bought it new, drove it home ( 53 miles) in the hopes she would get her license, she never did, and the car sat all those years. A 5 figure Met,,,wow.
    https://www.imcdb.org/v420309.html

    Like 3
  8. Gary D. Oliver

    My grandmother bought one in 1957. A PINK one! I was only 15 years old when I strarted driving it. Hell, at 15 I would drive anything. The main thing I remember is leaving VW bugs in the dust. Otherwise, racing any other car, I was left in the dust.

    Like 2
  9. Steve Clinton

    Perhaps, if he sells it, he can afford a decent camera.

    Like 3
  10. Daniel Gavin

    A sweet little old couple I caddied for in Smallwood NY in the late 50’s had one in a convertible……they would drive me home after the round….loved that car.
    But would consider a convertible as a purchase possibility.

  11. Derek
  12. Will Owen Member

    My brother had TWO of these in succession, an odd habit he repeated several years later with Gremlins … but I was visiting home after my USAF discharge, and my mom wanted us to spend a day driving around Southern Indiana. Of course I was driving, my first time in one of these, and immediately got my first big surprise …

    You know how some larger cars are so responsive and willing that the car magazines go on about how it seems to shrink around you? Well, little baby Metro gave the exact opposite sensation: it felt like a bloody Buick! And one with no power steering, no shock absorbers and 10 pounds of air in each tire. I had left my ’60 Mini in Alaska, and suddenly missed it very much, a feeling that lingered over every lumbering, lurching mile.

    We did survive the day; I did get more or less used to this bucket’s stodgy ways, and contented myself with enjoying the scenery … but I never begged to borrow John’s car for anything.

    Like 1
  13. Paul

    A family friend owned 1, do not know which brand
    It was teal and white. The lady enjoyed her Nash.

  14. chrlsful

    and here’s 1 now -speak of the lill devil (on other/Isetta post).

    I like how the company is ‘counter posting’ pic/write ups of like vehicles (even identical models a few times).

  15. ramblergarage

    My first car was one of these, had so much fun with it when it died I found another one. Back then they would go for $100. Wish I had one now.

  16. Jalopy

    I had two of these, only convertibles back in 1965. Paid $200.00 for one $150.00 for the other. The Austin power train was great, the steering not so much.

  17. Ted Land

    If I recall correctly, the 1500 cc engine was a detuned MG engine. I remember someone got ahold of an MGA twin cam head, and dual SU carburetors. Ran like a scalded dog.

  18. martinsane

    They are a cute car. But 16 large for a car with no brakes (see image 1 and the cement block wheel chock) is ridiculous.

    Like 1
    • Jalopy

      Easy fix, if back wheel was installed with the hole between the lug nuts aligned with the hole in the drum. Jack back up, remove hubcap, find screw slot, insert screw driver, turn clockwise, it clicks as you turn, max is about 8 clicks, turn till wheel locks up, turn back one click.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Jalopy [and other BF readers],

        Like many British vehicles, Mets were equipped with the Girling sliding rear wheel cylinders. These single ended units were designed to slide along a slot in the backing plate. They were also aluminum cylinders with steel pistons. Steel and aluminum, when touching for long periods of time, create a galvanic action that causes the aluminum to corrode, making it impossible for the piston to move. When this happens to both rear cylinders, no matter how well adjusted the brakes are, the car won’t have any working hydraulic rear brakes.

        It’s very important, before attempting to adjust the rear brakes, to ensure the rear hydraulics are working. To do this, have an assistant pump the brakes as you look behind the backing plate. There is a large rubber boot with a steel lever sticking out, along with a steel brake line. Each time the brakes are energized, the entire boot assembly [with the cylinder inside] should slide back & forth.

        If the rubber boot is not sliding, that brake cylinder is frozen, and no amount of adjusting will make that brake assembly work.

        When replacing one of these cylinders, even with an NOS Girling unit, the aluminum cylinder should first be sent out to a specialist who installs brass* or stainless steel sleeves into brake cylinders. A properly rebuilt & sleeved cylinder won’t have that problem in the future. *Aluminum cylinders need brass [non-ferrous metal] sleeves.

        Beginning in the early 1980s, my restoration shop only installed sleeved cylinders [or calipers] on cars we restored, always using DOT5 [silicone] brake fluid. I restored the brakes on my Tatra V8 back in 1992, and today the brakes are still working great, with no leaks.

        We always sent brake cylinders out for sleeving, and we used White Post Restorations, brake cylinder division. And always use brake cylinder assembly lube instead of brake fluid — brake fluid is not a lubricant!

        Like 1
    • Jalopy

      It was Austins go to engine for many applications from commercial vehicles to sports cars.

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