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bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
9/2/18 10:10 a.m.

Fairly uneventful, "bring a trailer" style adventure yesterday.

This thing had been listed on Craigslist and Facebook for 2+ months, I found it soon after it was originally listed in one of my usual obscure car searches, even had a friend send me a link to it at some point.  It haunted me for a while, I tried to get my dad to buy it, but he declined.   SWMBO is usually up for an adventure, and amenable to my orphan car affliction, so it didn't take much convincing to get her on board with hooking up the trailer (just in case) and at least going to look at it.  It helped that it was really cheap too.

So, we were there, the car was there, we had a trailer, the seller was willing to come down a little off of his already low price, it was inevitable really.



SWMBO approves!  She's 5' 1-1/4" tall (she'd demand I include that 1/4") this thing is tiny!


Yesterday's haul included what you see in the pictures, basically a rolling shell, that needs a lot of TLC, i.e. the floors are Swiss cheese, one of the rear spring hangers has broken through the trunk floor, rocker panels need replaced, rear valance is basically rusted away, plus various dents, scratches, at least 2 previous paint jobs, and bondoed over rust.  So it's basically perfect! laugh

I allegedly got almost all of the parts, and then some to put it all back together, only things I know I'm missing are the radiator, and spare tire mount.  I got 2 hoods, 2 deck lids, 2 transmissions, all the window glass (in perfect condition), all the trim, lenses, seat frames, etc., and an allegedly, freshly rebuilt BMC B-series engine.

I've wanted one of these things for a long time, but wanted one I wouldn't feel bad about hacking up and "resto-modding," I believe this one will do nicely.

The seller, and title both claim this is '58 Nash Metropolitan, but based on my nascent understanding, it's actually a '59+ since it has a deck lid, glove box door, and window vents.

Look forward to a Nash Metropolitan build thread in the next 3-15 years. wink

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
9/2/18 12:36 p.m.

In reply to bigdaddylee82 :

Looks like fun! I’ve always been drawn to these, but know nothing about them. 

Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
9/2/18 12:40 p.m.

Welcome to British car ownership!

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
9/2/18 9:47 p.m.

In reply to Jumper K Balls :

The Metropolitan did have a BMC engine, but Nash was an American company.

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
9/2/18 9:49 p.m.

Looks a little better with a hood on.  Got it unloaded and in it's mid-term storage location today.


Jumper K Balls
Jumper K Balls PowerDork
9/2/18 9:57 p.m.
bigdaddylee82 said:

In reply to Jumper K Balls :

The Metropolitan did have a BCM engine, but Nash was an American company.

Made in Birmingham England by Austin with an Austin power train and Lucas electrics. I don't care what the badge says, that thing is British! laugh

Crxpilot Reader
9/2/18 9:58 p.m.

Awesome find!  I too have always been drawn to these cars, and even more so after reading this article. http://www.raleighspeedway.org/secondary-sources/2010_proving_the_metropolitan

My dad was born in 1950 in Raleigh and his parents worked at the Raleigh speedway concession stand during races.  They'd put him in a crib or suitable fenced-in area and he'd sometimes fall asleep during races while they worked.  All three generations of us have poor hearing...

Enjoy the build and snap some pics of your arm in that little door divot when you're able.

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
9/2/18 9:59 p.m.
Pete Gossett said:

In reply to bigdaddylee82 :

Looks like fun! I’ve always been drawn to these, but know nothing about them. 

I didn't really know much about them, but have always had an affection for them.  I'm still learning.  There's a little shop/store front in a small town I go through frequently that has a few Metropolitans and Air Cooled VWs parked in the lot, and I always admire and comment about them as I drive by.

I actually had 2 different great uncles, on different branches of the family tree, that each had Metropolitans when new.  Both uncles were named Charles too.  During the slide show of photos at one of their funeral visitations last Summer, I saw an old picture of a young uncle Charles and his Metropolitan, that pretty much settled the matter in my mind, I was going to own a Metropolitan some day.

JamesMcD SuperDork
9/2/18 10:33 p.m.

Wally MegaDork
9/3/18 1:58 a.m.

Congratulations, I love those little cars.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
9/3/18 5:05 a.m.
Jumper K Balls said:
bigdaddylee82 said:

In reply to Jumper K Balls :

The Metropolitan did have a BCM engine, but Nash was an American company.

Made in Birmingham England by Austin with an Austin power train and Lucas electrics. I don't care what the badge says, that thing is British! laugh

I never knew that! Is the chassis shared with an Austin model too?

Danny Shields
Danny Shields Reader
9/3/18 5:37 a.m.

Those are cute, distinctive little cars. Should be a fun project. With BMTA and the internet parts sources, it seems easier to get parts for British cars today than when they were new.

DeadSkunk PowerDork
9/3/18 6:51 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

You can basically bolt Spridget drive trains and suspension into one of these. I missed one locally right after my first visit to the Challenge. It was only $500 and sold in hours. There's a build thread someplace of the turquoise one and videos of it racing at Goodwood.


DeadSkunk PowerDork
9/3/18 6:54 a.m.

In reply to bigdaddylee82 :

Coincidence......I first became aware of these when my Uncle Charlie bought one in the 1960s.

DeadSkunk PowerDork
9/3/18 6:58 a.m.

To keep costs down the doors were both stamped on the same tooling and the holes for the handles punched afterwards.

vwcorvette SuperDork
9/3/18 7:42 a.m.

In reply to bigdaddylee82 :

Look forward to a Nash Metropolitan build thread in the next 3-15 years.



mad_machine MegaDork
9/3/18 8:06 a.m.

My grandfather, who was a large and muscular Iron Ore Miner at one time, wanted one of these in the worst way when new. According to my Mother, he came home with one once and parked it next to the Black and Yellow Packard they owned. It too was yellow and black but with the colours reversed. It looked like the family car had given birth to a baby.

My Grandmother did not approve, so he did not get to buy and keep it

Floating Doc
Floating Doc HalfDork
9/3/18 8:37 a.m.

My second grade teacher had one. She picked me up one morning while I was walking to school, about 1962. 

Still my only ride in one. I didn't think it was that small. cheeky

759NRNG SuperDork
9/3/18 8:39 a.m.

BigDlee82 ..........there is one of these, yella and white near me sportin' a blower w/scoop that is taller

than the roof. It's tubbed,  with no flares and maybe three inches clear between the insides of the rear tires. It comes out fairly often I'll try and a get a pic. A true Ed Roth tshirt  brought to life....  

Dirtydog Dork
9/3/18 9:09 a.m.
Appleseed MegaDork
9/3/18 9:21 a.m.

Ever seen "UHF?" I've always had a soft spot for those cars. Weird Al's George Neumann drove one in the movie.

Flat_Black13z New Reader
9/3/18 9:54 a.m.


I've got the same dilemma but I'm thinking 4wd tracker/sidekick frame swap 

Chesterfield New Reader
9/3/18 10:04 a.m.

I have wanted one of these since I was a kid. I used to ride my bike by the neighborhood auto repair shop, and one of their employees drove it to work regularly. I thought it was so cool, but I have tended to like orphan cars. Good luck with the build.

RossD MegaDork
9/3/18 10:35 a.m.

Those are so unique! What are your plans?

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
9/3/18 12:17 p.m.

To say that I have a plan at the moment, would be a misrepresentation of the current state of development.  I've got some ideas, but no real plan yet.

We can rule out; blower through the hood, 4x4, and art deco bubble top future-mobile though.  The little Nash has enough character all on its own.

SWMBO and I can't agree on a color at the moment, I made the mistake of showing her a sheet of paint chips for original color options, which led to her searching for pictures of dark green, "saranac green" Metropolitans.  Like this:


We're both native Arkansans, UofA grads, and huge Razorback fans, so I thought "Cardinal and White" would be a great option, and who wouldn't want to tailgate in a Razorback Metropolitan?  SWMBO is still on the fence.

We have agreed to keep it two tone, but flip the colors, white on top, other color on bottom, as apposed to white on bottom and color on top that they all seemed to have had originally.

Drivetrain wise, I've got a lot of ideas...

Bike engine is high on the lust list, but pretty low on the practical list.  I want A/C, reverse, and not to worry about wearing out the clutch every 5K miles (might be an exaggeration).  I know there are solutions to all of those issues, but add more complication and expense than I think I'm willing to deal with.

Currently thinking about sitting it on top of a Miata roller skate, similar to Nohome's P1800 Volvo.

Just about any modern 4 cylinder made in the past 30 years will be an improvement over the Metropolitan's whopping 52 hp, and a Mazda BP is probably the easy answer if I go with a Miata donor.  That's a little pedestrian though.

I've seen GM 60° V6 swaps done in these a few times, they're popular in other LBCs, but the Metropolitan needs to be different.  I believe I learned about the Mazda KL V6 here, they look sweet with ITBs, and sound even sweeter, I think that'd be a hoot.

SWMBO thinks it needs to remain a 4 cylinder though, and I'm kind of leaning that direction too.

I find myself researching light 200-ish HP, N/A, 4 cylinders frequently.

Top of my list right now, is one of the JDM Toyota 3SGE Beams imports.  Seems like a great value, 50-60K mile engines, with all accessories, ECM, and a 6 speed transmission still attached are all over the JDM importer sites and eBay for a bit over a $grand.

That's basically what's going on in my head.

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