1959 Nash Convertible
Displacement: 90.9 cu. in./1.5 L
Horsepower: 50hp at 4.250 RPM
Transmission: 3-on-the-tree manual
A Little History
The tiny Metropolitan was the brainchild of Nash president George Mason. It went on sale for the first time in 1954. Nash designed the car in America, then had them assembled at the Austin factory in England to American specification and shipped back.
Nash managed to sell 83,442 chassis throughout its 8 year production run, but were eventually taken off the market in 1962 due to Detroit’s “compact boom.” Initial reviews of the car were actually very mixed. It was introduced in an era of excessively large and decadent automobiles, like the Cadillac Eldorado.
However, after several magazine writers test drove the Metropolitan, it was concluded that they drove and handled far better than expected for a car of that size. Nash then began marketing the Metropolitan as a “personal car,” perfect for mothers and wives to run errands and transport the children.
Though Nash was one of the first American manufacturers to produce a tiny, compact car, foreign manufacturers, such as Fiat, Renault, Datsun, and Hillman, started exporting their models to the US in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The success of the foreign cars inadvertently forced the “Big Three,” Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors, to take notice and begin producing their own compact cars, which was the ultimate downfall for Nash.