Cold Start: This One’s For David Tracy

Cs Metropolitan

As you likely remember from reading this article here or, perhaps more likely, hearing recent sermons from your local clergyperson, our own David Tracy was gifted that finest of gifts one human can bestow upon another: a Nash Metropolitan. That’s why today I picked this lovely image from a 1954 Nash Metropolitan brochure, showing a Metropolitan doing what it does best: preparing to tear ass around a track. Don’t believe me, just because Metropolitans made between 42 and 52 horsepower and took over 20 seconds to get to 60 MPH? Well, don’t take my word for it – look at what Nash’s own brochure has to say!

Cs Metroclippings

An average of 61.24 mph! That’s faster than one mile every minute! It handles like a dream, an unnamed “famous racing driver” said! Sound incredible? Can’t believe it? Well, another unnamed famous racing driver thinks it’s “Incredible. You couldn’t believe it.”

That should settle that.

Also, just for fun, look at what the Metropolitan concept car, called the Nash NXI, looked like:

Cs Nashnxi

You can see a lot of styling cues, like those same-on-both-sides door skins and general proportions, but boy is the production front end an improvement. This one has a face like a lamprey. Yeesh.

 

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27 Responses

    1. Is that what it’s called?? If not, it damn well should be.

      Your comment nearly made me spit my coffee out. Now I can’t unthink this when I recall all the advertising visuals over the years for anything that can be put in motion.

      Kids toys really come to mind, but also some kitchen appliances I think.

  1. The NXI was actually a heavily reworked Fiat 500 Topolino (aka, the original F/R 500) that Nash-Kelvinator bought overseas and imported specifically to modify into a proof of concept vehicle, since they couldn’t find one for sale locally.

    Wasn’t the only domestic small car at the time to have a Fiat connection, either, since Hudson specifically modeled their Jet after the Fiat 1400, since the wife of a senior executive had just bought one from an importer in Detroit and seemed to really like it

  2. Beep! Beep!
    Beep! Beep!
    His horn went beep beep beep
    Now we’re doing a hundred and twenty –
    As fast as I could go
    The Rambler pulled along side of me
    As if we were going slow
    The fellow rolled down his window
    And yelled for me to hear
    “Hey, Buddy, how can I get this car
    Out of second gear!”

    Respect the Nash

  3. my dad has a late 90’s Wrangler that he only drives on Sundays. Last week I visited him and took a quick video of him chugging by me in his Jeep.

    I brought my phone in to work, plugged it into my laptop so I could play the video backwards. Sure enough, I heard what I needed to hear.

    The Jeep noise played in reverse unambiguously sounds just like a mechanized voice droning ‘DT is ded’

  4. I encountered my first Met in the mid-90s, walking along Venice Beach. There were a whole bunch of movie trucks and off to one side was a ’56 Met convertible. I spent the next five years trying to find one I could afford near me (internet searches then weren’t what they are now) and eventually gave up and got a TR-6 (decent consolation prize).

    Metropolitan + Los Angeles = Met Pit Stop. Mets in LA have no excuse to be derelict (and it’s worth the trip just to see the Astra-Gnome):
    https://metpitstop.com

    The movie turned out to be Chairman of the Board starring Carrot Top. Don’t blame the Met for that.

  5. except David’s has a trunk, so it is a 59 or newer with a 8.3:1 MG Motor belting out a whopping 55hp. Mind Boggling. and my that time the name Nash as well as Hudson were both long gone and it was just a Metropolitan sold by Rambler.

  6. Quite seriously, I would love to see David take his Metropolitan and (since he will be too busy to do it himself) have some demented shop put a modern engine in it, along with A/C. Naturally, it will also need a serious brake upgrade so maybe just grab the whole suspension from ….? (Here is where I pause to wonder what the best/ most practical choices would be).

    It would be a chance to write about the experience of working with a builder and the difficulty for David to let somebody else do the work. For me, at least, having to only describe what I want and keeping my hands in my pockets while somebody else does the work, is really, really hard.

    1. Ford 1.0 3-cylinder? I’d hope 1) it would fit, it would be FF.
      Boxer engine from a BMW motorcycle (as has been done with the 2CV) could be good too!
      Honestly assuming David is going to use his metro as a local runabout… this could be a candidate for an electric conversion, much like the kit put together by Electric Classic Cars out of Wales for the classic Fiat 500
      https://www.electricclassiccars.co.uk/

    2. If it doesn’t have an engine get an air cooled V-twin motorcycle engine out of a Japanese cruiser like a V-star 1300. Lots of displacement, lots of torque and they are plentiful and dirt cheap. No running cooling lines and transmission built in.

    1. I feel they were also told “yeah, we may edit your quotes, just for clarity and space, just because you know how Reader’s Digest can be.”

      “Incredible. You couldn’t believe it. *that this is real. It’s a joke, right?*”

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