At a time when many American families had adopted a “bigger is better” mindset and were buying cars with tall tailfins and toothy chrome grilles, one automaker took a different approach to the new car market.
Nash’s idea was to combine the small-car expertise of the British automakers with the style of American cars, and built specifically for the US market. The result was the Nash Metropolitan, an economy car with a wheelbase shorter than that of a Volkswagen Beetle, produced by Austin in England and imported to the United States for model years 1954 through 1962.
The Pick of the Day is a 1959 Nash Metropolitan coupe that has been in the same family for about 45 years. Offered by a private seller on ClassicCars.com in Burbank, California, this “Met” has a longstanding history as a father-son project that began when the seller was just eight years old.
“My dad and I restored it in 1985 and it became my day-driver while I was in high school and college,” the seller says in the ad.
While the Metropoitan’s drivetrain and color have veered from its original configuration, it shows well for being more than 60 years old, thanks to a professional repaint in 1998 and a custom upholstered interior. According to the seller, it runs as well as it looks.
The original engine was replaced with a unit from a 1958 Metropolitan after the original one threw a rod. “The engine starts right up and purrs like a kitten,” the seller states.
Nash designer William Flajole envisioned the Metropolitan as the second car in a two-car family. Its credentials as an economy car were impressive, delivering nearly 40 miles per gallon at 45 miles per hour. The 1.5-liter inline-four maxed out at 55 horsepower, and it was mated to a three-speed manual transmission.
Model year 1959 was the Metropolitan’s peak year for yearly shipments, with more than 22,000 units making their way to the U.S. and Canadian markets.
One of those Metropolitan was today’s example, which originally was painted in yellow and white but resprayed in 1985 in its current color scheme of red and white. The interior is finished in black and white with “tuck-and-roll” upholstery that was custom fabricated by the seller’s late father. The car comes with extra parts, among those a spare gasket that would be needed in order to resolve an engine oil leak.
The seller is hopeful that the Metropolitan will find a good home now that his father has passed away, stating, “This was our hobby car together and now that he is gone, I want to find a new home for it, someone who will love it as much as I have over the years.”
The seller is asking $16,000 or best offer.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.