The 1954-1956 Nash Metropolitan Series 54 was Nash president George Mason's idea of the ultimate commuter/shopping car. Styling was based on the Bill Flajole design for the NXI show car and bore a resemblance to the big Nash, but the scale was tiny: The Met's wheelbase was shorter than a VW Beetle's.
1954 Nash Metropolitan convertible.
Bodies were built in England by Fisher & Ludlow, and the four-cylinder engines came from Austin, which also did final assembly. A three-passenger convertible and fixed-roof hardtop were offered. Later cars had flashy two-tone paint that reminded one stylist of "Neapolitan ice cream."
The Met met with modest success in the United States and was continued by AMC even after Nash and Hudson had left the scene -- both badges were used on the car so both sets of dealers could sell it.
The little 1.2-liter engine was bored out to 1.5 liters during the 1956 model year to produce the Met 1500, and the car would remain basically unaltered until sales ceased in the early '60's.
Pluses of the 1954-1956 Nash Metropolitan Series 54:
Still makes sense for around-town use
A certain charm
Minuses of the 1954-1956 Nash Metropolitan Series 54:
Unreliable Austin engine
Production of the 1954-1956 Nash Metropolitan Series 54 (figures based on shipments from Great Britain):
1956: 3,000 (estimated)
Specifications of the 1954-1956 Nash Metropolitan Series 54:
Wheelbase, inches: 85.0
Length, inches: 149.5
Weight, pounds: 1,803/1,843 (convertible/coupe)
Price, new: $1,445/1,469 (coupe/convertible)
Engines for the 1954-1956 Nash Metropolitan Series 54:
Type Size Horsepower Years
ohv I-4 73.8 cid 42 1954-1956