1958 Nash Metropolitan Coupe - $15,900
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With a huge enthusiast following, the lovable Met has become the smart hobby car for today's world, offering wonderful '50s styling in a compact package that's easy on the fuel as well as the eyes.

Unquestionably cute, the Nash Metropolitan was also a car ahead of its time. The company that would become AMC saw a need for a car that wouldn’t replace a full-sized automobile, but rather one that could be used around town for running errands—very similar to many of the electric cars that we’re starting to see today. It was economical to buy and to operate, yet still stylish and practical. The small size meant light control effort, so anyone could drive it and it was easy to park. It might rightfully be considered the first truly successful compact car in America and doing it during the 1950s seems like a rather remarkable feat. With a huge enthusiast following, the lovable Met has become the smart hobby car for today’s world, offering wonderful ‘50s styling in a compact package that’s easy on the fuel as well as the eyes.

This particular 1958 Nash Metropolitan coupe has a lot of charm for not a lot of money. It has spent most of the last decade in a museum-like environment and was recently serviced so it’s ready to enjoy. Now some experts might be able to find a few things that aren’t quite factory-correct, but the fact is the fit and finish on this car are light years better than original and befitting of a car worth several times as much. The jaunty two-tone Autumn Yellow over Frost White paint scheme is original, but was only applied after the diminutive body was worked to really sparkle and it really paid off. Check out how tight the door gaps are, how crisp the grooves in the window sill are, and how crisp the line between yellow and white is across the hood. You’ll note there’s a darker yellow pinstripe separating the two, a nice detail that’s probably not quite stock but gives this car a much more expensive look. It's not perfect, but it's far, far nicer than a car at this price point has any right to be. All the chrome was professionally refinished, too, including the egg crate grille and unique bumpers. Out back there’s a continental kit, which was standard equipment on the Met, and it is surrounded by a chrome shell and a matching Arctic White face plate. This is a little car that makes a big statement!

The car is small, no question about it, but you’ll find that it’s easy to get comfortable inside where there’s lots of room for two. The split bench seat has been upholstered in original style checkered fabric with vinyl accents, and legroom is good, even for six-footers. Dramatic black and gray door panels almost look like modern art and the black dashboard is handsome as well as functional. All the relevant instruments are clustered ahead of the driver, with secondary controls just underneath along with the unusual 3-speed shifter that looks odd but feels intuitive in use. The original AM radio is neatly integrated into the dash just above the ignition and offers big, easy-to-use knobs, although it is sadly not functional. New black carpets help it feel comfortable and quiet inside and while there's a back seat, it's probably best for storage or small children. With the spare tire stowed on the outside of the bodywork, the trunk will easily swallow a weekend’s worth of luggage and access is by tilting the rear seat back down. There’s also a jack assembly, just in case.

The Austin A90 donated its 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 50 horsepower and enough torque to feel peppy around town. Bearing in mind the car’s modest size and weight, performance is energetic and you’ll find yourself zipping around corners, one of the many benefits of the lightweight design. The engine has been rebuilt and detailed, with bright green paint on the engine itself and properly finished accessories around it. A 1-barrel Zenith carburetor handles induction chores and a reproduction exhaust system gives it an authentic sound that’s sporty without being annoying. Service work included a tune-up, so it starts easily, idles well, and doesn’t have any hiccups in its behavior on the road. It isn’t a long-distance cruiser, but if you use it as intended, you probably won’t be able to have more fun in a car. The three-speed manual transmission shifts nicely and clutch take-up is light, and the engine is torquey enough that you won’t need to do a lot of shifting on the road. Brakes are effective, with drums at all four corners, and steering effort is ideal for tight spots. You’ll also be pleased to note that tires are recent 175/80/13 whitewall radials, which ride well and are still quite affordable, making this a hobby car that’s easy on the wallet now and in the future.

A lovely little car, this Nash is way out at the far end of the quality scale with no hope of recovering the restoration costs. What that means is a big score for the lucky new owner, who gets to enjoy one of the nicest Mets we’ve seen for pennies on the dollar. Call today!

Vehicle: 1958 Nash Metropolitan Coupe
Price: $15,900
Stock Number: 115155
Mileage: 51,996
VIN: E49257
Engine: 91.4 cubic inch inline-4
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 4.22
Wheelbase: 85 inches
Wheels: 13-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 175/80/13 whitewall radial
Exterior Color: Frost White
Interior Color: Gray pattern cloth
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