Vintage Pin Up: T.N. Thompson



The Nash Metropolitan

The Nash Metropolitan
makes for an interesting
piece of automotive history ..

.. originally called
the “NXI”
( short for Nash
Experimental International ):

It was the first time
that a car designed
in America was
in Europe exclusively
for the North American

Built between 1953 to 1961
in Birmingham, England by
what would soon become
the British Motor Corporation
( which absorbed Austin,
Morris, and Fisher/Ludlow ),
the car was also one of the
first that would qualify to
be called a ‘sub-compact’ –
before such a designation
even existed.

Primarily intended as a
‘commuter’ or ‘second’ car,
it was marketed specifically
to women as both cost-
effective and fashionably

During the period of
it’s manufacture, it carried
several corporate name
plates, starting with Nash,
then Hudson, and eventually,
American Motors –

— for the last four years
of it’s production, it was
sold exclusively at Rambler

Austin-BMC produced
a total of three model
changes or series :

The Series I and II: from
1953 to 1955, the car
underwent few functional
changes , and even though
the engine was changed
from the Austin “A-40”
to the BMC “B”, the engine
displacement and horsepower
stayed pretty much the same
(1200cc) – although the car
was heavier due to a change
in gearboxes.

The Series III:
from 1956 to 1961,
brought a bigger 1498 cc
engine, along with some
cosmetic body changes
that gave the car a lower,
elongated look.

In general, the car is
remembered as a unique
and well designed small
car that in some measure
opened a niche for compacts
in the American market:
just under 95,000 Metropolitans
were sold in North America –
making it one of the best
selling imports of it’s time.