The Metropolitan was designed as an economical vehicle alternative for the family. Known as “Hudson” when and Nash, and Hudson merged.
The car was designed in 1949 by Nash Motor Corporation of America. They worked on a small car and gave the codename NXI or Nash Experimental International. The company took a significant risk and a brave step of producing a miniature vehicle when everyone was working on bigger cars. The mindset of people during this days was “bigger is better.” The company presented the car to the public, and it sparked interests. The small audience accepted a small, economical car that would become the second car for the family. But they all gave a remark that the car had to be properly priced.
The Nash Metropolitan parts were economically chosen. It has an engine from Austin which is a 1.2 liter four-cylinder A-40 engine. The engine had aluminum pistons, overhead valves, a counterbalanced crankshaft and a Zenith downdraft carburetor. Its low compression of 7.2:1 made it an economical car that can use an average of 41.57 miles per gallons consumption of gasoline. The transmission of the car was a three-speed manual column shift.
The company manufactured the car in two models, both with two doors – the convertible and hardtop. The vehicles were unit-body designs when at the time most cars were body-on-frame. The car was one of the smallest during the era. It had an 85-inch wheelbase and 150-inch length, with a height of under 55 inches. The modern shape stood out, and the short wheelbase and long overhangs made the ride more interesting for users.
The car has been upgraded several times. After building the first 10,000 vehicles, the engine was changed to a B-series. It was still using a 1,200 cc engine. New modifications, such as a new gearbox and hydraulic actuation for the clutch. The change to a new engine and gearbox added some weight to the car. It was then referred to as Series II or the NK2.
On November 1955 they developed NK3. They added polished stainless steel sweep spears on the body sides, allowing a new two-tone finish. They redesigned the grille and the non-functional hood scoop removed. Changed the interior to incorporate a “houndstooth” check material for the seats. The dashboard was also painted black. It was then named as Metropolitan 1500 to differentiate it from the earlier 1,200cc models.
The Series IV was developed in January 1959, and they saw a significant redesigning for the Metropolitan. The external decklid was added and vent windows. The engines were upgraded to an increased compression ratio from 7.2:1 to 8.3:1.
The Nash Metropolitan went to several series of upgrades and redesigning, but they still proved to be one of the most comfortable car and safest to use.