The Metropolitan is an interesting little car, and with a wheel base shorter than a VW, little it is. Though badged as an American Nash, Hudson, and even as its own sub-brand of AMC, the Metropolitan has a strong English accent. After initial design work and protyping was completed in Kenosha, WI, Nash executives realized it’d be too expensive to build from scratch. They contracted with England’s Austin to build the car, using European underpinnings that’d help bring the cost down further. For the first time, a North American designed car, meant for the North American market, had assembly completed outside of the US. The goal to save money worked, and the vehicle destined to be American’s “second car” began rolling out of English factories in October 1953.
It seems this seller had a soft spot for these commuter cars, which got up to 40 miles per gallon. When new, the cars earned praise for the ride comfort and handling, unfortunately this fleet haven’t handled the elements too well. This Craigslist ad for five Metropolitans for sale near Bellingham, WA, covers the full spectrum of models. They were available as a Nash or Hudson coupe or convertible until 1958, when they became their own brand, known as Metropolitan by American Motors. Available are a 1955 Hudson Metropolitan, 1956 Nash Metropolitan, 1957 Nash Metropolitan, a 1961 Metropolitan convertible and a 1962 Metropolitan coupe. Prices range from $500 to $3000 per car.
After taking your pick of the litter, you can also negotiate for extra engines, glass, fenders, doors and other parts from the seller. It seems there is more than enough here to pump out a few running and driving examples, if you’ve got the time. So, what say you, fellow car nuts, are any of these mid-century compacts worth saving?