Saturday, January 9, 2010

1956-59 Nash Metropolitan

"The Metropolitan is completely different from any car you have known. It was born of our conviction that there is a need in America for a low-priced yet fine, shorter wheelbase car, luxuriously finished and precision-built, engineered to today's driving needs."

This funky little vehicle marks a very interesting point in automotive history, as it was the first american automobile to be produced entirely outside America. The Nash Metropolitan, introduced in 1954, was built in Birmingham, England with body parts made by Fisher & Ludlow, and then assembled by Austin Motors. This Nash from Matanzas has got some modifications over the years: the once half-closed wheel-arches have been cutted away to accommodate bigger wheels, and the chrome-decor had disappeared. If you look closer, you still can see the holes for the chrome molding, and where it once divided the original two-tone color.

As one of the smaller car-companies, Nash saw it's chances by sidestepping out of the competition with the "Big Three", GM, Ford and Chrysler. The Metropolitan, launched with a tiny 42 horsepower-engine, and "tuned" up to 52hp in 1956, was a total paradox in the world of the big, shiny U.S.-cars, but nevertheless sold very well: during the postwar-prosperity more and more people moved out of the cities and into the newly built suburbs. Cars became a necessity in (sub-)urban life. And the Metropolitan was the perfect secondary car beside the big "Detroit Iron".

It's not a strange thing that a Nash Metropolitan is a rare sight in Cuba, because here the economic demands were different: the new-wealthy Middle class in the cities dreamed of the american lifestyle as it was promised in the movies. The cubanos wanted a fullsize-car, preferably loaded with all the possible options. And then, of course, there was no money left for a second car...

1 Kommentare:

DL24 said...

o_0 o_0 o_0 It appears to have Lada axles and presumably engine/drive train... that's one crazy USA/USSR hybrid )))