Metropolitan Revolution

Cities can be wonderfully diverse places, where different cultures, races, and even languages mix together to create a greater whole. The automotive industry is rather similar, although these days certain quarters see this as some kind of evil globalisation, rather than countries making what they’re best at to, again, create a greater whole.

However back in the 1950s sharing production between countries wasn’t really a thing yet, until Nash came along with their design for a new sort of car (in the U.S. at least), railing against ‘bigger is better’ by making something… smaller. Their revolutionary mindset continued to production, which wouldn’t have been profitable in the U.S.

Instead Nash turned to Austin/Rover in England, who were selected to produce the car on behalf of Nash and fitted it with their own B-Series engine. The car became the ‘Metropolitan’ upon it’s return to the U.S where, in yet more revolutionary thinking, it became the first post-war American car marketed specifically to women.

The Nash Metropolitan received mixed reviews from an American motoring press rather unwilling to try anything that wasn’t sixteen feet long, but these proved to be rather different when people bought the Metropolitan and actually used it, whereupon it surpassed expectations.

It wouldn’t be until the oil crisis of the 1970s that America really took small cars seriously though, and marketing to women was probably further behind that even, yet Nash and Austin’s collaboration had proved the concept some two decades earlier.

Fast forward to today and we seem to be in some sort of ‘Tenet’ style inversion, as ’50s style ‘bigger is better’ and ‘not foreign’ are climbing America’s agenda once again. We’ll stick with the little ’50s Nash Metropolitan though, a revolution ahead, and now perhaps behind, the times…

Oh yeah, Lego… This beautiful little 4-wide recreation of the Metropolitan comes from previous bloggee 1saac W., and there’s more to see at his photostream. Click the link to join the revolution.

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3 thoughts on “Metropolitan Revolution

  1. […] cars are different depending on where you live. Today’s other small car, a revolution in gas-guzzling America, had an engine more than three times the size of […]

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  2. Purple Dave says:

    I previously mentioned the trend with “market the heck out of trucks and SUVs” because emissions regulations weren’t as restrictive. The assumption is that if you reduce the Brand X line to expensive trucks and SUVs, the Brand X customers will simply start buying trucks and SUVs because sedans are no longer available. The Big 3 may come out of this more profitable, but they will certainly come out of this smaller for all the customers they lose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Dave

      Time for a small car revolution?

      Sadly we fear not – small cars are still the biggest sellers in Europe, but every year their % of the market falls, being replaced by – you guessed it – SUVs. Soon their market share lines will cross over, largely and ironically thanks to emissions regulations in the EU that penalise lightweight cars more than heavier ones.

      Kind regards
      TLCB Team

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