The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 187
1957 Nash Metropolitan Convertible

Selling on Saturday

1957 Nash Metropolitan Convertible


• Eye-catching color combination
• Americas first production subcompact
• Built for economical fun with cheeky styling
• Engine rebuilt at Shook Enterprises

1,500 cc Austin A-50 OHV inline four-cylinder engine, Zenith downdraft carburetor, 52 HP at 4,500 RPM, three-speed manual transmission, independent coil-spring front suspension, live rear axle with leaf springs, four-wheel Girling hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 85

Nash emerged from World War II as a feisty independent automaker with strong overseas connections, ready to develop exciting and innovative new designs for the brave new postwar market. Capitalizing on fast-growing American enthusiasm for small cars led to the Metropolitan, widely acknowledged by many experts today as America's first subcompact automobile. Design was based on an early study penned by Bill Flajole, with a lengthy design and development cycle including his NXI and NKI prototypes, the production Metropolitan bore a number of visual cues from Turin, Italy's renowned Pinin Farina design house. Fisher & Ludlow of Birmingham, England built the bodies, and Austin performed final assembly at its Longbridge, England production facilities. Initially powered by a 1,200 cc Austin A40 engine mated to a three-speed gearbox, the cheeky Metropolitan delivered remarkable fuel economy of up to 42 MPG.

The Metropolitan debuted in May 1954 in both Coupe and Convertible forms and it was an unqualified hit with 8,000 examples sold during its first four months of availability alone. An early Motor Trend magazine road test enthusiastically described the Metropolitan as a scaled down version of everything good in a Nash, which is saying plenty. Following the late-1954 merger of Nash with Hudson to form American Motors, the Metropolitan was also offered as a Hudson model. In 1956, the Metropolitan was upgraded to the larger, more powerful Austin 1,500 cc (91 cubic-inch) engine. Styling was updated as well, including the addition of a chrome side slash for two-toning, and the dated faux hood scoop was removed for a cleaner look. By 1957, the industry, Hudson, and Nash had changed. American Motors dropped both respected nameplates and, from 1958 to 1962, the car was known as the AMC Metropolitan.

Captivating in pink-over-white two-tone livery with matching upholstery and a newer white convertible top, this 1957 Nash Metropolitan convertible carries a festive 1950s presence. Offered in nice condition, it benefits from an engine rebuild completed at Shook Enterprises. Accessories include a top-boot cover, added coolant temperature gauge, and twin air horns, plus a reproduction Metropolitan Series 1500 Owners Manual. Benefiting from climate-controlled storage, this 1957 Nash Metropolitan is a fun and attractive example of one of the earliest American small cars ever offered and offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy classic-car ownership.

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