10-11 October 2013

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Lot 114

1957 Nash Metropolitan Coupe

  • Chassis no. E36464

Sold for $44,000

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-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 85 in.

  • Recipient of numerous awards, including AACA Grand National Senior
  • Purchase includes a free membership in the Metropolitan Owners’ Club
  • Matching-numbers example

At a time in automotive history when American manufacturers were consistently making every new model bigger 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 a sea of large cars being offered by Ford, GM, and Chrysler. In 1953, Nash put the NKI 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 U.S.

Unlike other small cars made by European manufacturers, like Fiat, 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 luxurious, 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 wasn’t too dissimilar from their old one.

This 1957 Series III Metropolitan was the recipient of a concours-level restoration that truly brought it into a class of its own. The quality and authenticity of the restoration is proportionally displayed in the sheer number of awards that this car has received since its completion. Amongst the number of AACA awards, this car was also awarded with the Palmetto Award at the Hilton Head Concours in 2009, a Reserve Class Champion at the Keeneland Concours in 2009, and the Metropolitan Owners’ Club of North America Concours Gold Rating in 2010. Included in the sale are numerous photographs that illustrate the condition of the car immediately before, during, and after the restoration, as well as service receipts that detail the restoration efforts. The paint, which was repainted in its original two-tone combination of Berkshire Green over white, presents flawlessly and contrasts nicely with the two-tone black and white interior and houndstooth fabric seating. This Metropolitan’s odometer currently reads just over 15,500 original miles, which is a stunningly low number for a car over 50 years old.

Today, Metropolitans continue to have a strong following, and it is easy to see why. These small, fuel-efficient, and attractive cars bucked the trend at a time when Americans believed that bigger was better. The Nash Metropolitan dares to stand on its own, and this concours-ready example will surely continue to garner attention and awards for its new owner, as it has in the past.

Perhaps Automobile Magazine summed up the car best in their February 2009 issue, stating that “the Metropolitan makes friends standing still. Driving one anywhere is a bonus.”

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more