1960 AMC Metropolitan
1960 AMC Metropolitan
The Nash Metropolitan used a conventional front-engine, rear-wheel drive format, but with body and frame welded as a single unit. This unibody design, produced by Fisher and Ludlow of England, was advanced for a time when most manufacturers were still using body-on-frame construction. Drivetrain and suspension were supplied by the Austin Motor Company, who also did final assembly.
For consignment a cute little bean of a car, with its low profile wheel wells, and large metal unibody construction, it was built like a fortress. A snazzy triangular “B” pillar formed by a wrap around rear window, utilitarian simplistic interior, and a snappy 1.5 liter 4-cylinder, this car was economical, and space saving. A “cute” design that reminds me of the old tub washers. This could hold somewhat true as Nash/Kelvinator was once the owner!
Bathed in a two tone Autumn yellow over snowberry white the exterior panels are straight. Some repairs are noted on the metal, and on the rockers there is repaired rust. Its fantastic bean shape, looking like it might actually have all wheel fender skirts, and that triangular B pillar and wrap around rear glass, this was one of the smallest car ever produced. On front, a small oval egg crate chromed grille is flanked by a singular headlight fronting a bulbous front quarter. The paint delineation helped work the overall design of the car with its ZigZag chromed trim which starts at the headlights, runs rearward on top of the fender, then takes a deep dive downward as it gets to the door. It eventually levels off and wraps around the rear quarter. The back of the car on the sides looks much like the front, and way back we see a trunk lid, and the continental spare tire hanging off the back. Oval vertical shaped taillights are perched on either rear quarter tops. Wide whites are on all 4 corners, and Autumn yellow steel wheels are capped by italic M badged moon caps.
It would not be the 1960s if it were not for some metal thread, broadcloth covered seats in split bench form up front. The cloth is surrounded by white solid vinyl and piping. The driver's side has seen extensive wear and shows worn through to the foam. Door panels take the white from the bolsters and utilize black for the lower panels on the doors. A rear utilitarian bench in full black vinyl inserts, and white bolsters, and a lock on top of the bench back, to allow more access to the trunk. A simple large round bakelite knobbed and circular speedometer dash all in black metal jacket fronts an original bakelite steering wheel. Some shiny knobs and pulls are added, and this car is a 3 on the tree version. A white headliner still tight but some water damage near the side windows is noted. Dark rubber flooring is in front, and a gray carpet is in back. All good and clean and very simplistic.
1.5 Liters makes up the 4-cylinder engine a 1-barrel carburetor and a 3-speed manual transmission is your drivetrain. and will allow this car to get up to around 55MPH max speed. Engine bay is mostly original looking.
Some surface rust is noted on various parts underneath, and on the rockers on the outside and inside of these rockers. Some oil blowback and plenty of years of greasing have accumulated on the suspension parts, especially ones closest to the wheels. Drum brakes are all around and things are looking mostly solid and structurally sound underneath.
This car fired up on full choke, and after a warmup period, still needed a bit of choke. The 3-speed on the tree, shifted smoothly, although the clutch only catches at the bitter top of the throw (fully extended). Radio is in operable, and all else was in working order. A fun little eye catcher and head turner, something not everyone has seen in person. All this and 41 average MPG.
This was America's first economy small car, and it offers up reliability, great gas mileage (although at 25 cents a gallon no one cared). Easy to get around in tight spaces, and a great little design, this steel “bean” is definitely a rare bird. You'll love it due to its size, and a drive will yield a lot of fun. It's like driving an early 1960's piece of modern art.
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.