A Baby Nash, Featuring The “Foreign Look”

This adorable turquoise and white Metropolitan was sold at a recent auction in our area:

This is a 1958 model, but the Metropolitan was first introduced by Nash in 1954 after 11 years of research in the small-car field.  It was not intended to replace the family car but to “provide a discriminating answer for the suburban housewife” as a second car.  The diminutive Metropolitan had a wheelbase of only 85 inches, an overall length of 149.5”, width of 61.5” and height of 54.5”. 

In order to keep production costs down, Nash farmed out the manufacture of the Metropolitan to Austin in Birmingham, England.  It was initially powered by the A-40, a 4-cylinder OHV 42-hp Austin engine, had a top speed of around 80 mph and achieved 40 mpg at “normal highway speeds”. The A-40 was replaced by the larger 52-hp A-50 in 1956.

In 1954, the hardtop sold for $1445 and the convertible for $1469.  The Metropolitan incorporated many of the styling details of the full-size Nash automobiles, but was said to feature “the foreign look” (as if that were a good thing) while still being built to American standards.

The Metropolitan survived Nash’s merger with Hudson and the creation of the American Motors Corporation, but it’s styling was dated by the time the 1960s rolled around and the last Metropolitans were sold in 1962.


“Nash Motors Unveils New Small Car.”  The Chattanooga Times, 18 March 1954, p. 45.

“Nash Motors Unveils the Metropolitan.”  The Selma Times-Journal, 21 March 1954, p. 25.

“Nash Offers Newest Small Car.”  The Miami News, 19 March 1954, p. 20-A.

“Nash Unveils 40 Miles Per Gallon Model.” Pittsburgh Sun Telegraph, 18 March 1954, p. 8.

“New Nash Metropolitan Features Economy, Ruggedness, Fine Styling.” The Knoxville Journal, 18 March 1954, p. 12.

“New U.S. Cars Combine Beauty, Style, Economy.” The Iola Register, 11 March 1954, p. 12.