The Metropolitan



 
 


1956 Metropolitan
This car was owned by Rick Martin, Vancouver, BC Canada and was loving known as Larry.  He appeared in several commercials (paid for a brake job).  Rick just sold him last year, with great regret.

 

John's Old Car and Truck Pictures.com Memory ane

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A number of years ago I saw a one page calendar that showed all the Ford 
pickup trucks from the first one to the present day. I thought , what a nice idea.
I thought that I might try something similar with some of the car pictures and
postcards I have collected. I have been collecting pictures of Studebakers, Packards Nash, Hudson and Jeeps for some time now and I first wrote a web page on the Studebaker. Then one on Jeeps  and Packard followed. Now I thought I it's the Metropolitan. "Feel free to send me international pics too, whether you see a car at hotels in Jamaica or on your Dominican Republic vacation. These pictures came for a number of sources including web pages of the manufacture, news groups and my own. Since most of these pictures came from news groups there may be a chance that your car is shown here.
I would like to invite any one that has a favorite 
Nash or Hudson or Met picture or a Web Page that they would like added to this page to E mail me a copy.

John MacDonald
johnmacdoanld@summerville-novascotia.com


 
 

 

A Brief History of the Metropolitan

NASH METROPOLITAN, 1954-1962
Bill Flajole, the designer of the Metropolitan, was a believer in small cars.
   With World War II coming to an end, he believed that a small "second" car, would be welcomed by families, whom he predicted, would be moving from the cities to the suburbs. He also believed that it would be great for the housewives to use on short trips, instead of gas guzzling large 8 cylinder autos.
   George Mason, chairman of the Nash-Kelvinator Corp., and also interested in small cars, commissioned Flajole to design such a car, and it had to be of unit-body construction.
   Flajole's design resulted in a metal prototype in 1949 and was called the NXI (Nash Experimental International). It was based on a Fiat Topolino and weighed just 1350 pounds, with an 18 horsepower Fiat engine.
   A marketing poll was taken in 1950, as the NKI was shown in various prominent places across the U.S. Some 235,000 potential customers were asked to complete a questionnaire about the car and the things they liked and disliked about it. The results of the questionnaire were favorable, overall, and plans for the car's production began.
   Knowing that the cost of building the car in the U.S. would be prohibitive, they chose Austin of England to build the car. The Austin 1200cc (later changed to a 1500cc) was a proven engine, and most of the parts were already being used in other Austin cars.
   Starting in March of 1954, Nash began selling the car (then calling it the NKI for Nash Kelvinator International). It was available in hard top and soft top models. The price of the hardtop was $1445 and the convertible was $1469.
   The 1954 (and 1955) models were painted a solid color, using Spruce Green, Canyon Red, Caribbean Blue, and Croton Green and the wheels and tops (hardtops) were Mist Gray.
   Beginning in 1956, the color scheme was changed to a two tone, divided by a "chrome" side strip. The roof (on hardtops and the lower body), were painted Frost White. The main colors were Black, Sunburst Yellow, Coral Red, Berkshire Green, 
Mardi Gras Red, and Autumn Yellow. This color scheme remained through the end of production in 1962.
   An estimated 94,968 cars were made for sale to the U. S. and Canada (75,569 hardtops, and 19,399 convertibles).
   Today, the convertibles are worth twice as much as the hardtops. Twelve to fifteen thousand dollar selling prices are not unusual for restored models, with the later two toned ones being favored.
The cars also were built with right hand drive or sold in other countries other than the U.S. and Canada.
Approx. 101,000 were sold altogether.
Rich McGarty, Port Washington, Wisconsin, USA



 

The Metropolitan through the years
Metropolitans were solid color through '55, but the '56 model year* introduced the two-tone colors, separated with the stainless "Z." In '58 a trunklid, vent windows and a one-piece rear window were introduced.  Prior to '58 there was no exterior trunk access - the only way to access the trunk was through the rear seatback.

* Metropolitans did not change by model year, but by serial number.  Therefore at serial number 21008 (which happened to be Jan. 1956) the colors introduced were Carribean Blue, Sunburst Yellow and Coral Red coupled with Snowberry White.  In May 1956, at serial number 23545, Mardi Gras Red and Berkshire Green were introduced. In May 1957, at serial number 35810 Snowberry White was dropped and replaced with Frost White until end of production.

-Cigar lighter style changed at serial number 34077 (Mar. '57)
-A glovebox door was standard at serial number 44800 (Dec. '57).
-One-piece rear window was fitted at serial number 45672 (Jan. '58)
-New handbrake assembly at serial number 57528 (Sept. '58)
-Trunklid introduced at serial number 58620 (Jan. '59)
-New dipstick at serial number 74192 (Sept. '59)
-New windshield rubber and surround at serial number 79091 (Dec. '59)

Gaines Evans
Mesquite, TX

This page was last updated on  Feb 23, 2017


 


Dr. John Booth submitted the follow series of pictures of his 1954 Nash Metropolitan Convertible. He had the following to say about his car.
"It's a great little car. I owned a hardtop back in 1954 when stationed with the
USAF in Britain. This was before they came onto the British market. 
Wherever I went there were always people around it as they had never seen one before.  They refused to believe it was made by Austin in England. I had to pop the hood and show them the tags.
Now 58 years later, I managed to find a convertible one.  I am going though 
it's history right now. All I know at the moment is that it came from a 
museum where apparently it has been all it's life.  I have just 2,031 miles 
on it at the moment."

 
   
   

 
 
 1953 Metropolitan Convertible
 1954 Metropolitan Convertible
 1954 Metropolitan
 1954 Metropolitan Convertible
Click on this image for a larger view in a new window
Click on this image for a larger view in a new window
1954 Metropolitan Convertible
1954 Metropolitan Convertible
This car is owned by Dale Carrington of Puyallup, Washington
The background building is the Teapot Gas Station in 
Zillah, Washington.
This Met used to be a hardtop and is painted in the 56 
and later paint style
 1954 Metropolitan Convertible
 1955 Metropolitan Convertible
 1955 Metropolitan Convertible
 1955 Metropolitan
 1955 Metropolitan
 1956 Metropolitan Convertible
This picture was submitted by Richard G. Boyd,
Rogers City,Michigan. He had the following to say about his Met.
"In case anyone is wonder what is sitting on the little trailer; it is a
case of Strohs beer.  I have never been a beer drinker, but at the 
time Strohs had an ad on TV that was similar.   One was a MG and 
another was a vette which had a case of Strohs on the luggage rack 
and a beautiful blond in the drivers seat. 
There were several different ads and they were attention getters. 
At least that is where I got the idea.  A Strohs beer distributor
talked to me about making an ad but we found out they had ended
that ad promotion. 
Are you old enough to remember those ads?

The little trailer was neat.  In the front of the trailer I mounted a 
door and could carry various items there. 
The trailer was made from a 1960 or 1961 and therefore had 
a deck/trunk lid, unlike the 1955. 

I bought the car in San Bernardino, CA in 1977 and it was 
completely rust free and ran like a top. I put it in a trailer and
brought it back to Michigan where I live."

Richard also mentioned that he has two other Metropolitans 
for sale for parts. That is also a variety of other parts and books.

 
 1956 Metropolitan
 1956 Metropolitan
 
 1956 Metropolitan
 
 1957 Metrowagon
 1957 Metropolitan
This car is owned by
Dale Carrington of Puyallup, Washington
Click on this image for a larger view in a new window
Click on this image for a larger view in a new window
Click on this image for a larger view in a new window
Click on this image for a larger view in a new window
1957 Metropolitan
1957 Metropolitan
This car is owned by Lauri Brownson, Shady Cove, OR
She calls her car Dino as she is extinct like a Dinosaur.
She is the Official Photographer for the Metropolitan 
Owners Club of North America and President of Cascade
Metropolitan Owners Club of Southern Oregon & 
Northern California.
The first picture was taken at Elk Creek Dam, Trail Oregon,in 
the Autumn The second one was taken in front of Woods House, 
Eagle Point, Oregon
 1958 Metropolitan
 1958 Metropolitan Convertible
 1958 Metropolitan Convertible
 1958 Metropolitan Convertible
This 1958 (AMC) Metropolitan were submitted by
Mark and  Rhonda Gelstein, Union Lake,  MI, U.S.A
These pictures were taken at the 50th anniversary
International Meet for the Met that was held in Auburn Hills, 
MI in 2003. Rhonda was the chair for the event.
 1958 Metropolitan Convertible
 1958 Metropolitan Convertible
1958 Metropolitan
1958 Metropolitan
This car is owned by Gaines Evans, Mesquite, TX, USA This car is owned by Gaines Evans, Mesquite, TX, USA
 1958 Metropolitan
 1958 Metropolitan
This car is owned by Larry Grant, Stoneham Ma.
 1959 Metropolitan California Convertible
 1959 Metropolitan California Convertible
This car is owned by Rich McGarty This car is owned by Rich McGarty
 1959 Metropolitan
  1960 Metropolitan
Click on this image for a larger view in a new window
Click on this image for a larger view in a new window
1960 Metropolitan
 1960 Metropolitan
This car is owned by  Joe Wait, Hutchinson Kansas
Click on this image for a larger view in a new window
Click on this image for a larger view in a new window
Click on this image for a larger view in a new window
Click on this image for a larger view in a new window
1960 Metropolitan (May 13 2014)
1960 Metropolitan
This car is owned by Dale Carrington of Puyallup, Washington
Dale also has a 1954 Metropolitan Convertible which is shown above on this page. Dale bought this one last year out of the basement of a funeral home where it had been parked for over 35 years. It is completely original, and with gas and a battery it started right up.  One photo shows the first half of the first washing. The other photo is the same car clean and original wide whites fitted. 29,600 miles on this car!
1960 Metropolitan
This car is owned by Ron Wallacefrom Texas
 1961 Metropolitan
 1961 Metropolitan
 1962 Metropolitan
1962 Metropolitan Convertible
 1962 Metropolitan Convertible
 1962 Metropolitan
 
 1962 Metropolitan
 
1957 Metro Sled
1957 Metro Sled
1957 Metro Sled
1957 Metro Sled
 
How about a boat ? Look out Amphicar

 
 
The following pictures were submitted by Rich McGarty, Port Washington, Wisconsin, USA
They show some very early 1953 pictures of the Met
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Metropolitan postcard from Switserland.
This picture was submitted by Thomas Coomans

 
 
The following pictures were submitted by Rich McGarty, Port Washington, Wisconsin, USA
That little Metropolitan had quite a following all over the world
The NXI (Nash Experimental International) was shown to the public in 1949, 1950
1950 Drawing by Wm. Flajole the Metropolitan's designer
Chris Custin, Wayne, New Jersey has given his permission to reproduce this item from the original which he owns.
Nothing needs to be said about this one except that it's a 1954
There were however RHD Met police cars painted black and white, not for catching bad guys, 
but for meter maids/tire marking. The police cars were 1957 and up.
And had the other small North American car makes looking
1958 Metropolitan
Metropolitans are big to members of the Metropolitan Club of North America 
(MOCNA). 112 of them were displayed at the club National in Detroit in 2003.

Mets Waiting to be Saved
Not all Metropolitans are fortunate enough to find a owner that will restore them.
Some have to wait a long time to be saved. Gaines Evans has made one quite happy,
a 59 that he plans to restore so that it can keep his 1958 company.


 

 
 
Gaines Evans' 59 Met being brought home in Dallas Texas from Oklahoma.
The following are his words:
"A little history on how I got the pink Met:  I woman from OKC contacted me asking if I'd run an ad on our website to sell the pink Met. The ad was placed but the car didn't sell for what she was asking for it.
I then made her an offer and I owned a second Met. 
A fellow club member and I took off for OKC Saturday morning, March 17th, 2007.  The owner confirmed in an email that the car would start and run smoothly, but when we got there it wouldn't even start. Because of this I bought the car for a much lower price then we had at first agreed on. 
Upon getting it home, I washed it and cleaned the windows and only a few days later we got her running; after draining the gas tank and adding fresh fuel and cleaning the carb thoroughly.This car now runs better than my yellow/white '58.  On top of that, it has the original jack and handle in the trunk, original spare tire lock (rare) and besides needing new paint and mechanicals, it's all there."
"You may have noticed the trailer that we brought the pink Met back to Dallas on...it was designed for a VW dunebuggy; that's why I loaded the Met backwards on the trailer.  The trailer wheels are located further back than regular car trailers to allow the weight of the rear engine of the VW.  Also, you should have noted the VW hubcaps."

 
 
 
 
It seems that the Met was used for just about everything

 
 
 
Links
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The North Texas chapter of MOCNA (Metropolitan Owners Club of N. America) 
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Convertible Convertion
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A website featuring many articles on many different cars If you can't find it anywhere else, try here
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A very imformative AM site
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Owners Association
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Visit Lonnie Hedgepeth's 
of Rocky Mount, North Carolina site.
He has used the plans provided on my web page and is building a Covered Bridge for his Live Steam train.
Tour the 64 remaining Covered Bridges of New Brunswick
The Covered Bridges that once
dotted Nova Scotia.
If any one is interested in Microsoft's Flight Simulator I have written some scenery files for Summerville. Maitland, Windsor and Hantsport.
Summerville now has an Airport
E Mail
johnmacdoanld@summerville-novascotia.com

 
 

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