First registered 26th of April 1957 - A rare UK, right hand drive, one owner, low mileage, matching numbers, Series 3 Austin Metropolitan. Original engine-gearbox & chassis finished in stunning Berkshire Green & Brilliant White with original Black & White, classic interior. A marvellously bright and attractive car that is looking fabulous again having undergone an extensive body/mechanical & electrical restoration.
UK Road Tax and MOT exempt and benefiting from inexpensive Classic Car Insurance (currently only £56 PA). Complete with up-to-date DVLA V5 (UK) Registration Document.
The Series 3 Austin Metropolitan 1500 dropped ‘Nash’ from the title. The Series 1 & 2 Nash Metropolitan are more commonly found in left hand drive form as for the first 3 years of production (1954-1957), they were built in the UK exclusively for export to America.
AVN 895 – is a highly original right hand drive UK supplied example with only 27,200 recorded miles. The Series 3 (1957 and onwards) Metropolitans benefit from the larger 1500cc BMC engine as ‘57 was the changeover year from 1200cc to 1500cc.
AVN 895 - 1489cc B-series engine with a three-speed column-shift gearbox is presented in the most desirable colour combination of Berkshire Green and Brilliant White completed by a classic black & white dog-tooth check upholstery interior, glossy black dashboard, black & white door cards & rear panelling and original vinyl spare-wheel cover.
Restoration work took place in 2016/17 and included the reconditioning and or replacement of many parts including; a complete re-wire (new wiring loom), new fuse-box, new voltage relay/box, original dynamo (reconditioning), new floor mounted dip/main beam switch, all new brake lines, new brake cylinders, radiator and fuel tank (reconditioning), new running gear, new exhaust, all oils replaced in engine, gearbox & differential, new (12v) Lucas battery, new plugs/points/condenser, new original Lucas distributor cap and HT leads, brand new original Lucas rear lights/lens/surrounds.
The thorough restoration also included extensive body, floor panels, trim & engine bay restoration, new bonnet catch/pull/lever, new chrome front grill surround and also interior upholstery reconditioning (dot-tooth seat fabric), new headlining and new floor carpets all round.
As stated in the log book this is a one owner car. The only previous registered owner is a Mr Gargan, Warrington owned the car until it was discovered in his garage by his daughter after his death sometime after 2002. Documents included with sale – some monthly newsletters/magazines of the UK Metropolitan Owners Club, a 1980’s postcard confirming membership to the Automobile Association, an original classic Metropolitan Owners Club membership & UK Members Register from 1983, an original ‘Blue book’ Metropolitan Owners/Workshop Maintenance Service Manual and some MOT’s from that time period that help to verify the 27,000 recorded mileage for the car.
The Metropolitans are surprisingly well specified and equipped for their era, stylish and superior cars for the time supplied with - a cigar lighter, valve radio, and full heater system all as standard. Once you get used to the column gear-change they are a complete blast to drive, surprisingly agile especially in the post 1957 1500cc format.
The car is registered on a fabulous UK age related number AVN 895 – The current V5 Registration Document (UK Log Book) states only one single owner from new. Very little is known about the car pre 1983. The car appears to have been in the Northwest all of its life and based upon the available documentation there is no reason to doubt the low, 27K recorded mileage.
History & Overview of The Austin Nash Metropolitan
Originally designed jointly by Pininfarina and in-house Nash US-design team exclusively for the American Market. Nash who were used to building huge V8 saloons quickly discovered that tooling for such a titchy car stateside would be prohibitive and they commissioned Austin, (UK) to build the first ever American car intended purely for the North American markets but completely assembled in Europe (the UK).
The car was an instant success in the US. As the Nash Metropolitan was capable of a reported 55MPH it was used regularly by many of the US Police forces as a highway patrol car as well as the affluent American housewives as a shopping car.
This was a car unlike any other. American/Italian-styled but practical European-sizing. Nash gambled that with rising post-war prosperity, American families would want a second car for shopping and school runs, even if most British households hadn’t acquired much more than a bicycle at that time never mind a second car!
The Metropolitan was marketed stateside as the car ‘moms could take shopping to those new palaces called supermarkets’. The marketing was fierce and direct with the car’s “spokesperson” being Miss America (1954). After initially being a resounding success the Metropolitan was eventually out-sold in 1959 in the USA by the Beetle as the bestselling imported car.
In 1956 Austin UK persuaded the car’s new owners, American Motors, to let them flog the Nash in the UK and largely due to its mechanical similarities to other, already familiar UK Austin classics e.g. the Met A40, the Austin Devon and Dorset after being in production in the UK for just three years as export only, the Metropolitan went on sale to the UK domestic market in the Summer of 1957 with an upgraded 1500cc BMC engine.
With its quirky looks and super high US specs & trim climbing onto the Metropolitan’s bench seat was the nearest a Briton in the 50’s came to living the American dream.
To emphasize that point Princess Margaret was presented with a Metropolitan as a wedding present! However, she reported it stolen in 1961, though this might have been an excuse to lose her ‘all so American’ wheels? Other famous Metropolitan owners have included, Paul Newman, Steve Jobs and the man himself…..Elvis Presley!
AVN 895 – is mechanically sound, reliable and very, very cool! All the big expensive restoration work has been completed!
She always attracts a curious crowd wherever she travels. She has been painted and restored nicely and will continue to increase in value but is also a fun car that could quite easily be regularly and reliably used day to day. With currently only 91 Austin Metropolitans registered on the road they are not a car that comes up for sale very often! To even see one on the road is a rare event.
Without doubt the Metropolitan will start to increase in price rapidly as more people become aware of them. Currently they are still ‘a lot of bang for your buck’ in the current, extremely buoyant classic car market and if you are thinking of buying (any classic car), now is the time.
This car has already been extensively restored but as you are probably familiar with this process never ends and there is still detailing work that could be done to improve the car even further depending upon how far the new owner wants to go? The car, in current condition and based upon the current healthy classic car market is priced very reasonably and accordingly.
If I were keeping the car I would invest a little more time largely on cosmetic stuff, to get it even closer to show-winning condition. However, as is it looks stunning, it starts on the button, drives and stops very well. I have been driving it regularly on a day to day basis during the summer and also shown it at several recent classic car shows where it has received much curiosity and admiration.
Prior to restoration and recommissioning the car has been stood unused for a very long time so everything kind of feels a little stiff and ‘unused’ almost new (as many parts are new)? It turns over easily and freely starting, with choke – remember that, on the in-dash pull switch, the reliable BMC engine is historically quiet with a nice husky exhaust note from the new exhaust system, the 3 speed column gear change are a little stiff (a characteristic of all RHD Austin Metropolitan cars) but once you get used to them work fine although I do not have any terms of reference having not driven any other Nash’s’ or any other column gear-change vehicles prior to this one.
The brakes are all new and very good with a really solid pedal and no fluid leaks. The interior is good but could be even better e.g. the above door trim (paint) and dash board (paint) could be fully restored but as is looks nice and glossy and bright. The rear seat folds down and would normally lock but the handle is not fitted, the original hinge could be replaced (I have the original lock/handle which will be included with the sale), the front (and rear) seats and door cards are in good condition, the head lining is all new & the carpets are all new, if basic black and fit well. Parts are surprisingly easily available (from the UK and USA) and reasonably priced. I will include several parts catalogues in the accompanying documentation on sale.
The electrics – A full rewire has been completed. The front and rear lights, indicators & wipers all work and the fabulous, retro, valve in dash radio is present with all knobs and switches intact although currently not live (and untested) as there is no antenna fitted. Speedometer and milometer work perfectly. The fuel gauge works but is a tad erratic a common fault with classics. The only things noticeably not working are; the heater switch which would require recommissioning although I have a new switch ready to fit, the heater blower (fan) works well and there is some heat being transferred from the heating system from the engine compartment. The screen washer the pump/push switch and all feeder tubes are present but there is currently no reservoir/tank/bottle in the engine compartment.
Trim - The front grill surround is brand new (not a cheap part), as are the bumper over-riders. The rest of the chrome bright-work is good in some areas but might benefit from some re-chroming in others (external door handles, window surrounds depending upon how fussy you are). They are all solid and undamaged so would be easy to re-chromed if you decide to take it that far. All Chrome dash knobs/switches are present and in reasonable/good condition. The original ‘M’’ embossed hubcaps are all present and in good all round condition with very little damage or corrosion. The car has whitewall tyres (inserts) fitted and the original keys are also present.
Classic Car Austin Metropolitan - Investment Opportunities
The classic car market is currently extremely buoyant ‘old is gold’ as they say?
Within this expanding market where people are investing in cars as assets and not just as weekend toys it is somewhat surprising how inexpensive the Metropolitans still are in comparison to other far less attractive classics? I don’t think this will be the case for much longer? Based upon the reactions I get when driving or when showing the Metropolitan I predict they are due for a big price hike?
Based on the current market AVN 895 can only increase in value and with a little further financial, but mainly TLC investment could be worth significantly more than its current selling price. I have researched the current market and there are only a couple of RHD Metropolitans for sale in the UK. As a guide there is a very good 40K miles, same colours Austin Metropolitan for sale in Lincolnshire for sale at £17,500!In comparison AVN 895 has less miles and is more original at a far less price!
I have tried to be as honest as possible and the car is priced (to sell) accordingly at £11,495 OVNO. I would always consider any genuine, realistic cash offer and I might be tempted to consider a P/X with any other interesting classic plus cash (either way) in exchange or part exchange e.g. a Frogeye Sprite or Renault Floride/Caravelle.
If you are interested in viewing the car is based in Liverpool very close to the old Liverpool Airport (L19). UK Delivery, at cost, can be arranged as long as full payment is made and delivery costs agreed.
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to be updated
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Large History file
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