History of the Metropolitan

The Metropolitan was built in England for the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation, soon to become the American Motors Corporation. It was available to American buyers from 1954 through 1962 and was the first American subcompact automobile. An estimated 10,000 Metros remain in the U.S. and Canada of the 94,986 produced.

Like so many others, the Metropolitan has been classified as a car ahead of its time. The Met production model was never taken seriously as a genuine mode of transportation except as a second or “teenagers” car.

As Karlyn Rieman writes in the Happy Wheels Publication:

“People were not taking the Met seriously. They liked it well enough, but not as a car. For example, all of the 1955 Miss America Candidates were paraded through Atlantic City in Mets. Princess Margaret was given a black and gold Met, and actress Ann Sothern had a duplicate of the pink lacquered show car, the ‘Fifth Avenue.’ With this kind of publicity, the Met gained a reputation as a mascot and a toy, but not as a reliable vehicle.”

Noted as America's first fuel economy car in a time when Americans thought that bigger is better, this little car really stood tall. Its good looks, beautiful colors and bright abundance of chrome really set this car off as one of the nicest little cars in American History. The Metropolitan was never noted of winning any races, but has been known to stop traffic with people looking, wondering and wanting their own Metro.

In June 2011 Hagarty published its list of the Top Ten Fuel Sipping Classics

As gasoline surpasses $4 a gallon in many places, more than a few people are thinking about fuel economy even in their collector cars. A weekend of fun or a long tour can turn mighty expensive in a 12 mpg muscle car.

The Nash Metropolitan — 37.5 mpg

It’s surprising and gratifying to those who have kept their Mets the past 50+ years to see its popularity regenerated. The monetary value of the Metropolitan has steadily increased since sales ceased in 1962.

And who knows, look what’s happened to the value of Henry Ford’s 1965-66 Mustang in recent years!

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