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History A Hot Rodder's Economy Car

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,502

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

  2. BeatnikPirate
    Joined: May 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,416

    BeatnikPirate
    Member
    from Media, Pa.

    I guess he felt a need to keep up with other small economy cars, like Crosley and Bantam. ;)
     

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  3. Model A John
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 1,767

    Model A John
    Member
    from wichita ks

    Best use of a Metropolitan body that I've ever seen.
     
  4. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,759

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL


    Are you saying that Flajole was a designer for NASH/AMC ? I am not disputing that, just asking. I do recall Flajole's name from a wild looking one off coupe that he designed, and perhaps built himself, but had not seen references to his association with the Metropolitan before.
     

  5. The 1955 Flajole...

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    That Nash dragster ain't the prettiest. Might have thought they'd narrow the body a bit.
     
  6. Another Flajole design...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Slow day at work :D
     
    kiwijeff likes this.
  8. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 4,592

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hey Big, great looking model. Long winters up there, ay?
     
  9. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,409

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Flajole was an independent designer who was hired by Nash to do that one car. The original prototype was called the NXI for Nash Experimental International. It used Fiat 4 cylinder engine and running gear.

    Nash had the car on the car show circuit for quite some time before they contracted with Austin of England to build the car. The final design differed significantly from Flajole's prototype but you could see a family resemblance.

    The Metropolitan had a unit body designed by Nash's in house design team, with engine and running gear from the Austin parts shelves.

    Austin laughed all the way to the bank, their tooling cost was nil and they sold 20,000 of them to Nash.

    Nash got a nice little car to sell at minimal expense for design and development.

    It was one of the cars that proved Americans would buy a small car from an American manufacturer and helped pave the way for cars like Corvair, Falcon, Mustang and Valiant
     
  10. That thing is bad ass! And it's from Ohio....shit yeah!
     
  11. Rusty
    Joined: Mar 4, 2004
    Posts: 9,449

    Rusty
    Member

  12. Not true. No Metro ever got a FIAT engine. All has the Austin A40 engine, to include the NKI, initially. Austin built approximately 94,968 of these cars between October 1953 and March 1961. Nearly all were sold in the US and Canada. Austin was under contract to AMC to build these for AMC only. Austin dealers were prohibited from selling these new! Later on, a very small handful of RHD Mets were produced in 1959 for the UK and South African markets, and were sold as Austin Metropolitans there. Here, they were Nash Metropolitans and Hudson Metropolitans from 1954 through the 1957 model year, as Hudson and Nash had merged to become American Motors in May 1954. In 1958, Metropolitan became a stand-alone nameplate, sold at AMC dealers. From MY1958 on, they are properly referred to as simply Metropolitan, and NOT Nash Metros, as Nash no longer existed! Production ended in March 1961. At that time, the car was pretty dated and a difficult sell; especially since Ford had the Falcon and Comet; GM had the Corvair, LeMans, Skylark and Starfire; and Chrysler had the Valiant. The remaining cars in inventory became 1961 and 1962 cars, by virtue of when they sold, NOT when they were built, until they were sold out.

    If you are truly curious about Mets, and their history and trivia, go to www.hoosiermets.com
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  13. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200

    flamingokid
    Member

    Also,Floyd Clymer was a big fan of the Metropolitan and championed the car even after they went out of production.
     
  14. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,409

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    You are correct, no Metropolitan had anything but an Austin engine. But the prototype NXI used Fiat components. This was before Nash contracted with Austin to mass produce them.

    The NXI show car or prototype was built in 1949. After it was finished Nash displayed it at car shows and did a survey to find out if the public liked it, before they committed to producing it. They planned to contract out the building of the car to a European maker and considered Fiat, Standard Vanguard and Austin before signing a deal with Austin.

    If you compare the NXI to the Met you will see they are quite different in detail, although there is a strong family resemblance.
     
  15. The prototype Austin NKI definitely had an Austin engine. There was a competition between the three builders, as you mentioned, but the NKI was Austin, and was not at all associated with FIAT. ALL production cars had the Austin A-series 1200cc engine, starting with s/n 1001, the first car. Cars with s/n 1001 - 2849 (build dates Oct '53 - Mar '54) were all NKI-badged. From s/n 2850 on, they were Metropolitan. The Austin B-series 1200cc engine came a little later, starting with s/n 11001.

    Where do you see information that the NKI had FIAT parts in it? Yes, the prototype Austin looks a bit different than the production NKI/Met.
     
  16. I believe the drag car also won a Best Engineered?
     
  17. I had thought about doing my then-parts Met like the featured car! Had nearly the same configuration in mind, except I'd have run a big block Chrysler engine. There was an old FED frame for sale locally at that time, too, that would've made a great base for the project. This was late 2003, but I was recovering from the tornado earlier that year. Were it not for that, it would have been built! Maybe yet, who knows...
     
  18. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,409

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    "Around 1948, independent designer Bill Flajole was hired to create some designs for a small car. Flajole came up with a series of proposals, some of which bore Fiat nameplates to disguise them from prying eyes. The process for deciding which design would be built was wonderfully simple. Mason just looked through Flajole's sketches, picked out the one he liked best and authorized the construction of a running mockup. Flajole's partner, John Kehrig, was a metalworking genius able to hammer out a prototype in a relatively short time. Using a Fiat Topolino as a base car, Flajole and Kehrig built a running prototype complete except for interior. By the time the concept vehicle was shown to the public, though, a handsome interior had been fitted, along with a very elegant deep maroon painted exterior. The company called the little car the Nash NXI--for Nash Experimental International--because part of its mission was to get Nash into overseas markets. "

    Source:http://www.hemmings.com/hcc/stories/2012/12/01/hmn_feature9.html

    "George Mason had his engineering team investigate many possible cheap basic transportation solutions. His attention was drawn to a freelance automotive designer named William Flajole, who had also identified that a small car built to American standards had a potential market. Nash Motors commissioned Flajole to build a prototype vehicle using this concept, and incorporating several innovative features. This prototype was called the "NXI" (Nash Experimental International). Mason was still not sure whether to put the project into production, so he set about displaying the prototype at "Surviews" (Survey/Previews) around the country, and inviting automotive executives, motoring journalists etc. to view the NXI and give their opinions via a Questionnaire. The car was shown with two engines , a small Fiat (Italian) engine and a larger Standard (UK) engine."

    Source: http://www.mocna.us/MetHistory.html

    "The first public incarnation of its Eurosized car, the NXI (Nash Experimental International) concept, was shown in 1949; that was followed by the NKI (Nash Kelvinator International), shown in 1950. The name of the car was set as NKI Custom until shortly after they started production; new badges had to be made and fitted to existing cars.Both concepts were designed by William Flajole, an independent stylist, using the Fiat 500 chassis and running gear; but the Nash Metropolitan itself was styled by Pinin Farina."


    Sorce: http://www.allpar.com/cars/adopted/nash-metropolitan.html


    "Chicago Mayor Martin H. Kennelly (third from left) with members of the Chicago Auto Show committee and Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) executives admire the Nash N-X-I prototype. Under the hood of the experimental N-X-I was the tiny Fiat 500cc engine that produced 18-horsepower. The N-X-I prototype evolved into the two-seat Nash Metropolitan sold by American Motors from 1954 through 1962. Left to right: CATA president Frank H. Yarnell, CATA vice-president Ralph J. Scheu, Mayor Kennelly, show chairman James F. McManus, Jr., show manager Edward Cleary, and James F. Goodwin."


    Source:http://www.chicagoautoshow.com/concepts/vehicle/1950/nash/nx1/
     
  19. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,759

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Well, the last sentence in the second to last paragraph confirms what I suspected/believed.....to wit....Flajole did not style the production Metropolitan.

    My reason for thinking that is, the Metro is nothing more, stylingwise, than a miniaturized version of the Nash of the same period....and they were done, as many '50s Nash products, by Pinin Farina.
     
  20. von Dyck
    Joined: Apr 12, 2007
    Posts: 678

    von Dyck
    Member

    Love the Olds Rocket with the Algon Injection. A very popular engine in drags and street in the '50s and early '60s. The 394 Supercharged was dominant in the AA/G class.
     
  21. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,409

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Nash's in house styling department did the Metro as they did all Nashes. Pininfarina contributed some styling studies that were never produced but did contribute some ideas.

    He had nothing to do with the Metro. It was a Flajole concept, modified by Nash engineers and stylists. Farina's name never appeared on it.
     
  22. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,759

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL


    Most Nash products of that period had "Farina" emblems on them and...... your own post says Farina did the design work on the Metro......'splain that Rusty! :D
     
  23. TomP64
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 418

    TomP64
    Member
    from Vancouver

    Did Austin build the body themselves or have a company such as Pressed Steel Limited make them?
     
  24. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,094

    autobilly
    Member

  25. S.F.
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,894

    S.F.
    Member

    The Lakeys speed shop building is still there and visible from I-75
     
  26. S.F.
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,894

    S.F.
    Member

    the body and frame still exist
     
  27. summersshow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2013
    Posts: 899

    summersshow
    Member
    from NC

    Man that thing is ugly... Why even put a body on it?
     
  28. Heart Of Texas
    Joined: Nov 19, 2007
    Posts: 51

    Heart Of Texas
    Member
    from TX

    Saw this car or it's twin last summer at the AACA museum in Hersey PA.
     

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