Manufacturer: British Motor Corporation Limited (BMC), Longbridge – UK / Fisher & Ludlow, Castle Bromwich (near Birmingham) – UK for American Motors Corporation (AMC), Southfield, Michigan – U.S.A.
Type: 562 1500 Hardtop Series III (NK3)
Engine: 1489cc straight-4
Power: 51 bhp / 4.500 rpm
Speed: 128 km/h
Production time: 1955 – 1958
Production outlet: 43,609
Curb weight: 890 kg
– The styling for all Nash vehicles at that time was an amalgam of designs from Pininfarina of Italy and the in-house Nash design team.
– The first Metropolitan were built by William J. Flajole for Nash-Kelvinator Corporation.
– It was patterned from a concept car, the NXI (Nash Experimental International), and designed as the second car in a two car family, for Mom taking the kids to school or shopping or for Dad to drive to the railroad station to ride to work: the "commuter/shopping car".
– In 1954, Nash Kelvinator acquired Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan in what was called a mutually beneficial merger which formed the American Motors Corporation.
– The first Metropolitans were therefore sold as Nash Metropolitan or Hudson Metropolitan but in 1955 it became an independent brand: Metropolitan.
– This was the first time that an American designed car, sold exclusively in North America was built entirely in Europe.
– The bodywork was built by Fischer & Ludlow and on an Austin specially assembly line assembled (Austin engine and other A40 / A50 parts)..
– The only Nash heritage was their typical front suspension layout.
– It has a three-speed manual gearbox and rear wheel drive.
– Two-tone paint schemes and chrome trim could now be found on the exterior.
– A map light, electric windshield wipers, cigar lighter and even a " continental-type " rear-mounted spare tire with cover were standard.
– An AM radio, " Weather Eye " heater, and whitewall tires were offered as optional extras.
– Production continued until 1961 though there were still enough product to continue sales until March of 1962. In total, 95,000 examples of the Metropolitan had been sold to North-America. About 9,400 examples were sold to United Kingdom customers: 104,386 in total (Converibles and Hardtops).
– However, the Metropolitan came too early in the market. America was not yet "in" for small cars. And when that opinion changed, it was too late for AMC. America was flooded with cheap Volkswagens, Renaults and Japanese cars.