Auctions and Brokerage
The Nash Metropolitan
Nash emerged from WWII as a strong and independent automaker with solid overseas connections, ready to develop exciting and innovative new designs. Capitalizing on fastgrowing American enthusiasm for small cars led to the Metropolitan, widely acknowledged by many experts as America’s first subcompact automobile. Based on an early design study by Bill Flajole, with a lengthy design and development cycle, the production Metropolitan bore a number of acclaimed styling cues from Pinin Farina, the renowned design house from Torino, Italy.
The Metropolitan debuted in May 1954 in both coupe and convertible forms, and it was an unqualified hit with 8,000 sold during its first four months of availability alone. An early Motor Trend road test enthusiastically described the Metropolitan as “…a scaled down version of everything good in a Nash, which is saying plenty.”
Distinctively finished in factory-correct Marina Blue and handsomely complemented by tan leather and Beige Bedford Cord cloth upholstery, this 1955 Metropolitan Series 541 Convertible is a very fine first-generation example of this truly delightful 1950s design. It clearly continues to benefit from a comprehensive restoration performed by noted expert Tom Maruska of Thunderbird Square in 2011. Starting with a very good example featuring a solid body, rust was found only at the lower front corner of the driver’s door and at the front of the passenger-side rocker panel. According to Mr. Maruska, both areas were cut out well beyond the rusted areas and repair patches were custom-fabricated and properly butt-welded in place. Hidden areas were then thoroughly coated with rust neutralizer and rust-preventative chemicals provided by the Eastwood Company.
A black cloth top, matching boot, and sparetire cover, plus very well-fitted upholstery and well-restored brightwork provide further evidence of this Metropolitan’s exceptional quality. All mechanical components were restored and properly refinished to match, and the original jack continues to occupy the trunk compartment. Extensive photographic documentation of the restoration work accompanies the Metropolitan at auction and with its unique color scheme and distinctive Pinin Farina styling, it simply remains wonderful. A fascinating Anglo-Italian- American 1950s hybrid, it is a delightful and highly economical classic automobile and one of the most unique 1950s automotive design statements.