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Nash Metropolitan (1953 - 1961)

Last updated 25 August 2013

 
3
Charismatic and fun
Handles like a yacht in a storm

Introduction

The Nash Metropolitan (also sold as a Hudson in the United States and an Austin in Europe) was one of the more curious Anglo-American motoring collaborations, which sadly proved ill-fated, despite the car’s many merits. The result of a partnership between Nash and Austin, and effected by Donald Healey, the Metropolitan had all the ingredients of a winner. Nash President, George Mason, wanted to build a small and economical car that would appeal to the US market, and the new car promised to bring together American styling with British small car know how.

However, the Metropolitan was suffered from corrosion, and the high-sided and stubby styling was ill at ease in both the American and European marketplaces. Handling that was at best erratic and at worst, dangerous, and it wasn’t very practical either – despite its boxy styling, an opening boot wasn't offered until 1960. Yet despite these major deficiencies, the Metropolitan sold reasonably well, notably in the USA. Over 100,000 Metropolitans found homes during its seven-year production life – and ended up being fitted with a variety of Austin-sourced engines, including long-lived A- and B-Series units.

 

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