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My favorite vintage car? Easy. The metropolitan!


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The year was 1950 and cars were big, bold and beautiful. Fins? Got ‘em! White wall tires? No problem! Which was what made the decision of the Nash Motor Corporation to concept a smaller “mini” car so revolutionary. For this very reason they decided they would test their idea first by creating a questionnaire brochure called a “surview” to gauge public interest. The brochure would show pictures of a prototype concept car, based on a design by auto designer William Flajole. It even included a postage-paid envelope for people to return their opinions on the car.


The survey was a hit! And as a result, one of the cutest little cars to ever roll off the assembly line was introduced to the public.

Can you even believe how cute this thing is?? It came in a sweet little two-toned version and even a convertible. Of course this strikingly cute car was popular. Even Nancy Drew, intrepid girl detective, drove a Nash Metropolitan!

With sparkling new power?? Sign me up!

I’m especially amazed by this prototype for the future they created, the Metropolitan “Astra-Gnome,” which was exhibited at the 1956 International Auto Show in New York. This bad boy was cooooool.  It was even featured on the September 3, 1956 cover of Newsweek magazine.

Alas it was only a concept car and never produced. The actual protoype still exists at the Metropolitan Pit Stop museum (see it here!). You can still see Metropolitans out on the road. (Remember, I saw one the other day!) Like look at this adorable police car? (Takes the sting outta getting pulled over….)

And this custom station wagon. LOVE IT! They never actually produced a station wagon version of the Metropolitan (well, they made two prototypes). If you ever see one, they were usually a sedan that was tricked out.


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So there she is! The beautiful Metropolitan. She’s one of my favorite cars. And I just found out she was Steve Job’s first car too. Is she your new favorite too??


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16 Responses

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  1. Amber Liddle says

    Ummmm, want one!

    • Alix says

      so cute huh! the only downside? no room for thrifting in the tiny trunk!!!

  2. kara rane says

    yes please~ & especially love the 2 toned color… wishing for smaller cars + eco-friendly + affordable*!

    • Alix says

      I know huh! i just love now much personality the old cars had!

  3. Melissa says

    Oh my, is that cute or what?!?! My favorite vintage car is the American Rambler. I love the sedan and the wagon – can’t get enough! I keep debating selling my volvo and getting an old car since we use our van mostly to haul the kids around – but I’m not comfortable driving a car that only has a lap belt as an every day driver. (sigh) I hate it when my practical side wins.

    • Alix says

      My mama had a Rambler! i can totally see you driving one. Did you see Becky’s comment about being able to retro fit lap belts?? I never knew you could do that!

  4. Becky says

    Ah, the Nash Metropolitan – a pretty good car with a classy design. Well liked among classic car buffs (or at least the ones I know).
    I’ll admit my favorite cars are the Ford Thunderbird and Mustang, and the Austin Healy Sprite, but the Metropolitan is definitely up there for looking so good and being extremely practical. Gotta love the space-age concept car. (I’d buy it).
    Awesome post!

    @Meliissa: You can retro-fit a modern shoulder/lap belt into most older cars. (My dad and I did about ten years ago in his 1960 F-100.) It does require you to take the seats out of the vehicle and do some creative welding and sewing along the way, though. Maybe you can find a classic car that already has that in it?

    • Alix says

      Becky you are so informative!! I had no idea you could retro fit lap belts. Cool!! The Austin Healy Sprite is SOOOO awesome (and the thunderbird & mustang are too….) It’s kind of hard to pick a favorite. I change my mind all the time. I love old station wagons too!!

  5. Brigitte says

    This reminds me of my first car: my brand new 1965 Rambler American. White, with red vinyl interior bucket seats, standard shifting at the wheel, manual windows , and stereo radio. And of course, white wall tires!!

    • Alix says

      I remember the Rambler! Do you remember how the passenger seat would sometimes spontaneously recline backwards??? haha

  6. Dottie says

    Did I tell you Eric and I almost bought a Metropolitan Nash? But it was a killer to drive. So tough! I”m still gunning to own an old volvo volkswagon from the 1960s…

    • Alix says

      NO! That is awesome!!! Well and sad. I love VWs and Volvos. Did you ever see Andrea Devil-Ettes old Mercededs? It was from the 60s and belonged to some diplomat and had little holes on either side of the trunk for those little FLAGS! So cool!

  7. Brigitte says

    haha. yes I do remember!. However that was not due to the manufacturer’s fault, but many years later when my husband–el Cheapo–your Daddy–took the car for reupholstering to Tijuana!! Big mistake. They ruined the seat mechanism.
    Still not as bad an experience as the infamous YUGO from the 80′s!!!!!

  8. Ward says

    OH! And I just posted some images of a cool Metropolitan on my Instagram! Love this car!

    • Alix says

      you did???? ooooooh i have to get on there and see!!!

Continuing the Discussion

  1. O mini automóvel americano no tempo dos maxi | Moda e Estilos de vida linked to this post on April 3, 2012

    [...] Sweetest Thing on Four Wheels. [...]



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