Personal Car – The Mighty Metropolitan

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When you think of motor cars you generally think of car doors. Some have two, some have four, and some have five. And some have none – like the Goggomobile Dart. But we are concerned with the Nash Metropolitan here. A bottle of raging horsepower with supercharged torque that could twist the top off a rice pudding if you tilt the bowl…

The Metro was an import for Nash from Austin of England. It must have seemed a good idea at the time – get British industry up and running again and give the American market a convenient town runabout that everyone would want. Except everyone didn’t want them and some people made a point of not wanting them big time. The fact that they were a sub0compact before there was anything else to compete and that they were marketed as a second car…and marketed specifically to women…may have made a stick for American Motors’ back. Niche marketing needs to be good if it is to work – ie. The T Bird.

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Well, the Metro was apparently better than people might have expected and did not get panned by the big reviewers. They made 95,000 of them eventually in a run of eight years. A lot still exist – I’ve seen two of them here in Western Australia and there may be more. The odd thing is every time I see one it is for sale…

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I’d buy if I had a garage, a set of tools, and the skills necessary to hunt down rare parts and maintain vintage iron. They are no smaller than a Baby Austin and miles more stylish. If one could bear to do it, a Metro might make a great custom car – though from the styling it would probably end up looking like something the Jetsons would drive – or a 1950’s kitchen appliance. The nice thing about Metropolitans is they are two-tone and for the most part the colour scheme has been pasteled to match the white. Here’s a turquoise/white and I have a coral/white in my 1:18 toy car collection. I plan to shoot a sexy 50’s housewife for the matchup to the model car.

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