1956 Nash Metropolitan Convertible

Sold For $24,750

Amelia Island - A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith

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  • An adorable little car; wonderful and fun to drive
  • Charming overall condition, including original, correct colors
  • Strange but true: the most popular automobile in virtually any collection
Model 1500. 50 bhp, 1,489 cc inline four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, front independent coil-spring suspension with wishbones, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 85 in.

At a time in automotive history when American manufacturers were consistently making every new model bigger and more elaborate than the last, Nash dared to be different. After creating the well-received concept car called the NXI, as well as several other concept and prototype vehicles, Nash believed that a small, efficient car could be successful amongst the sea of large cars being offered by Ford, GM, and Chrysler. In 1953, Nash put the redeveloped NKI concept into production, and starting in 1954, the car would be marketed as the Metropolitan. Interestingly enough, this would be the first car designed by an American company to be manufactured overseas for the United States, and Metropolitan sales were counted against England’s war debt to the United States.

Unlike other small cars made by European manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, the Metropolitan had distinctively American styling, which made the car much more approachable to the American consumer when considering its size. From behind the wheel, it felt like an American car. The ride was soft and supple, and the interior was well appointed, with options that included electric windshield wipers and an AM radio. After getting over the size of the Metropolitan, or lack thereof, potential owners would find that their new car was not too dissimilar from their old one.

The Metropolitan offered here, perhaps the car that Stephanie Smith will miss the most, retains its original serial number and trim tags, with the latter identifying it as being built in the same color scheme shown today, Snowberry White and Sunburst Yellow. Equipped with yellow-finished wheels and whitewall tires, its interior is correctly upholstered in white vinyl with black-and-white houndstooth inserts. The finishes inside and out are highly attractive, including a spic-and-span engine bay, and the car would be a pleasure to continue driving and enjoying. Especially charming is the hood ornament, a bird dog fetching the spoil of its owner’s hunt!

This lovely little car is bound to be the most popular addition to any collection that invites it home.

Lot Number
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6 December 2017

New York - ICONS

Sotheby's 10th Floor Galleries, New York, New York

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18 - 19 January 2018


Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona

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