Nash metropolitan

I have fallen in love with the nash metropolitan and am considering buying a fully restored one for minor recreational fair weather driving --is this a terrible idea or can i do it? I have no car repair experience myself but am willing to try. my husband restored a '69 jaguar e-type but is not particularly interested in working on mine but would probably be of some help if needed. what do you think?

my ONLY concern with this is finding parts. thats it. older cars are easier to work on then new ones. period. since your husband restored a Jag, I think your in good hands (assuming you can get him to help).

There is nothing high tech or complicated about maintaining a Nash Metro. It is a simple car. Parts could pose a problem but there are active “owners” groups dedicated to this car. If you hook up with one of them they can lead you in the proper direction if parts are needed.

If you buy it and use it as described it should hold value well. I’d want to keep a car like this in a garage.

There is nothing complicated about a Metropolitan. If you buy a properly restored example it should be very easy to keep it running, and you don’t need much garage space.

A service/repair manual will be a necessity, but that should be easy to find. I don’t even think parts will be much of a problem. These vehicles have a following. Check for parts sources and information.

It’s extremely important to understand also that in addition to there being nothing complicated about a Nash Metropolitan, there is also nothing SAFE about a Nash Metropolitan!

This is a vehicle extremely ill-equipped for today’s roads. It even has mechanical brakes. It’s better brought to cruise nights on a trailer. It cannot keep up with modern traffic, cannot stop with modern traffic, and if you get hit you’re toast. As long as you understand that it’s a great idea.

Here’s a link you might enjoy:

I didn’t know that the Nash Metropolitan had mechanical brakes. I thought mechanical brakes disappeared with the 1938 Ford. The Nash Metropolitan was powered by an Austin engine. I think the bodies were made in this country then shipped to England where the Austin engine and drivetrain was installed, then the entire car was shipped back. As I remember, the Austin and MG engines had many interchangeable parts, but I could be mistaken.

I see a restored Nash Metropolitan almost every day parked at a house in the midwestern city where I live. The car has been restored and looks very nice. I see the car parked in different places, so I know that it is driven. I would agree that the cars aren’t meant for busy roads or interstate highways.

If, in fact, the Nash Metropolitan does have mechanical brakes, there may be a way to convert the car to hydraulic brakes. I know that people did this with Fords made before 1939.

Yeah we even have a Nash Metro club somewhere in NH. I’ve stopped at one of their outings at Greeley Park in Nashua NH.

Yeah, the early ones had mechanical brakes.

Like I said, as long as that’s understood, it’s a great idea. I wouldn’t mind one myself. I think they’re cool.

Make sure you check it out good, they could have just throne it together.

If it checks out GO for it!!!

I think MG made the entire car…They had juice brakes…

It is true the Nash Metro would score awfully low on anyone’s safety list, and it just can’t be compared to today’s cars. The lack of safety argument could be made for juat about any “hobby” or collectible car. If you actually buy the Nash Metro you do need to understand its limitations as well as the “cute” factor. If your recreational fair weather driving means limited stints on 70 mph interstate highways it makes sense to me.

When Nash put the Metro on the roads American cars were just getting bigger and bigger, with more fins, chrome, and increasingly powerful engines. The Metropolitan broke the mold back then and was cute in its day; still is.

From the information I accessed and a book I have, the Metropolitan had Girling hydraulic brakes. They were drum brakes, but this is typical of the cars of the period. These cars were available from 1954-1961. When Nash merged with Hudson and formed AMC, there were some Hudson Metropolitans around 1955-6 just as there were some Hudson Ramblers. By 1957, the car was just an AMC Metropolitan. I really have a hard time believing that any car of the 1950’s had mechanical brakes, at least cars sold in the U.S.

If your husband could handle an E-type restoration, he will be able to help you with the small stuff on your Nash in his sleep! These things are VERY simple, which, unfortunately, isn’t the same thing as reliable, but at least the fixes won’t be tough.

According to the “Standard Catalog of American Motors 1902-1987”, the brakes were Girling hydraulic drum in both front and rear. This was for the first series 1954-55 model, as well as the second series 1956-61 models. On page 107 of this book is the statement “Thousands of owners burst brake lines by pouring mineral-based American brake fluid into the Girling brake system. It was designed for vegetable-oil brake fluids”. Maybe the Metropolitans should have had mechanical brakes.

One place where the Metropolitan was ahead of most U.S. makes was that the Metropolitan always had a 12 volt electrical system. This was due to its roots as an English Austin. In 1954, only the Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac had 12 volt electrical systems of the U.S. built cars. In 1955,the entire G.M. line had 12 volt systems, but no other U.S. autombile except for the Imperial made by Chrysler had a 12 volt system. In 1956, all the U.S. built cars had the 12 volt system. The Metropolitan was two years ahead of many U.S. makes.

Buying a fully restored one is a good idea. The restorer will never get his money out of it, and you can have a car in top condition. There are 6 on for sale right now. Even if you don’t want one of these, it will give you an idea of the asking price. You might also look at and as references, too. BJ shows the sales price on past auctions; maybe Mecum does, too.

  1. Buy the best restored one you can find.
  2. Have it checked out by a qualified classic car mechanic who knows Metropolitans
  3. Up your life insurance policy
  4. Lower your medical insurance deductible


Since it was manufactured in The UK, was that 12 volt system of the “positive earth” type?

(The Brits use the term “earth” where we use the term “ground”, and back in those days, they used positive ground electrical systems, unlike the negative ground system used by US car companies.)

“Make sure you check it out good, they could have just throne it together.”

These cars had very ordinary seats.
They definitely did not qualify for “throne” status.
If they did, Queen Elizabeth might have driven one of these instead of Land Rovers.


NEVER pay the asking price…With 6 on Hemmings, one of them will cave in if they really want to move the car…terminal RUST is the big issue here. These cars are unibody and rust can be a fatal flaw…

You’ve got me on that one–I don’t have any idea which pole was “earthed” on these cars. In this country, GM was the only manufacturer that had the negative side going to the chassis, and some very early GM cars had positive ground. I know Ford and Chrysler products were positive ground as were most independents. The systems were 6 volt. GM went from 6 volt negative ground to 12 volt negative ground on the 1953 senior Buick line, the Oldsmobile models and the Cadillac. By 1955, all GM cars were 12 volt. In 1956, the other manufacturers in the U.S.switched from 6 volt positive ground to 12 volt negative ground. As I remember, the VW Beetles had 6 volt systems until 1967 when the VW went to a 12 volt system. I have no idea which pole was “earthed”. I used to hang around in a dealership that sold Morris Minor, MG’s and Austins when I was in high school in the 1950’s, but I can’t remember which pole went to the chassis on these cars. I do remember that these cars were 12 volt.