1959 Nash Metropolitan
1959 Nash Metropolitan
-1.5L 4 Cylinder
-3 Speed Manual Transmission
(Please note: If you happen to be viewing this 1959 Nash Metropolitan on a website other than our Garage Kept Motors site, it's possible that you've only seen some of our many photographs of these vehicles due to website limitations. To be sure you access all the more than 175 photographs, as well as a short walk-around-and-startup video, please go to our main website: GarageKeptMotors.)
“The Metropolitan makes friends standing still. Driving one anywhere is a bonus.” –Automobile Magazine, October 2007
The story of the Metropolitan began just as Volkswagens were first being imported into America. As Automobile Magazine told it: “The idea that Americans might take to a small car--no, a really small car--was something that cigar-chomping Nash president George W. Mason pondered for quite some time. Despite his own king-size proportions, Mason believed that there would be a ready consumer base for a pint-sized runabout, as the two-car family was becoming a reality in postwar America. Noting the trickle of cars beginning to come over from Europe, he decided to outsource the manufacture of the little car of his dreams. The Metropolitan would be produced overseas to take advantage of lower labor costs and the availability of off-the-shelf small-car-appropriate components.” Austin in England would manufacture the engines and bodies, with final assembly in the States. The model was sold for nine years.
And the Metropolitan's charm according to the magazine? “Let's face it: the appeal now, as then, is the car's all-consuming cuteness. It has an eager puppy-dog look, highlighted by bulbous bodywork and finished with a continental kit. Most sport nifty, two-tone paint jobs recalling an ice cream 'n' sherbet treat on a stick.”
Every bit of that charm and cuteness is on full display in the '59 Metropolitan offered here, finished in the “ice cream 'n' sherbet” colors of strawberry red and vanilla white. The car's bodywork is unaltered, and presents in excellent condition. This Nash spent most of its life in Tennessee until it was brought to Michigan by our client approximately 7 years ago. Since it came to Michigan, it was driven minimally for special events like parades. Outside, the bug-eyed headlights, largely unnecessary hood scoop, angled chrome strip on the car's flanks separating the two colors, white hardtop, all four wheels almost hiding beneath the bodywork, and, of course, the continental-kit spare tire carrier are all present and accounted for. (Re-reading that list of characteristic features makes one realize how completely unique the Metropolitan really is.) Oh, and yes, there actually is a trunk! The car still wears its “M” badge in the center of the grille, rendered in exactly the same typeface as the “N” in the Nash logo of the time. The body appears to have been professionally repainted, and the chrome trim exhibits unrestored light patina characteristic of a 60 year-old vehicle.
Inside, the accuracy of the often-used “Lilliputian” description is evident. A tall person—assuming they fit inside the car in the first place—could easily operate both left and right roll-up window handles at the same time. The upholstery on the seats and doors is delightfully rendered in a combination of angular-design black vinyl and vertical-stripe gray cloth. The effect is pure 1950s, and is unmatched on any other car. Simple gauges (from Smiths, like in every Austin Healey) adorn a black-painted metal dashboard framed by a black steering wheel. The look is art-deco. The ignition is located in the lower-center of the dash. Black carpeting and black rubber floor mats cover the floors, and a perforated white vinyl headliner covers the roof. Overall, the condition of the metal, vinyl, cloth, and painted surfaces is very good. There are no obvious signs of abuse or neglect; the car has obviously been loved through the generations.
Under the hood, the 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine is clean, and the engine bay is properly fitted with all related components. The factory data plate is present. Performance, as noted by the automotive press was leisurely: “As an everyday driver, the Met lacks brio, with 0-to-60-mph times approaching half a minute.”
The car comes with its jacking tools, a full set of owner's manuals and literature, souvenir Nash pins, a Metropolitan-branded hat and literature pouch, and maybe most amazing, a framed British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate documenting the car's birth in England.
We expect and invite in-person inspection of this well cared-for, collector-condition '59 Nash Metropolitan. We ask only that you call or email us for an appointment in advance so that we can devote our full attention to you during your visit. Meanwhile, the more than 175 high-definition photographs of the car and the short walk-around-and-startup video on the GarageKeptMotors site faithfully represent the car's condition. Feel free to call or email with any questions.