Guest Post by Billy Elliott
“Dad, is THAT our car?” I asked. I was four-years-old.
“Yes,” he said, and all five of us piled in for our first ride as a family in our new used car.
“What IS it?” I asked.
‘He explained to me that it was a “METROPOLITAN” (or a Metro). It had a little bitty 4 cylinder engine and stick shift.
“It gets good gas mileage,” Dad said.
But right away, there was an obvious challenge. It seems that Dad forgot he had three kids and a wife, because this little car was missing the back seat. Well, it wasn’t exactly missing… It WAS THERE, sort of. But it looked more like a large rear shelf for things like parcels and such. Not KIDS.
There were no springs in the seat, just padding, and upholstery over steel. It was a trick just to get all of us in it, and after a brief ride around the block, Mom convinced Dad to TAKE IT BACK and get something else that was more suitable for our family.
METRO’s were Nash-Rambler’s early attempts at an AMERICAN economy car. They weren’t very dependable, but IT WAS an early attempt. I always imagined how fun it would be to have one with a custom TOYOTA drive-train in it!
But they WERE cute. That is, as long as you were a college freshman.
And A GIRL.
So Dad took it back, and that was the last time we ever saw our 1959 Metro. Whenever I see one today…I always think about that little American family – in their – little American car – chasing their little American Dream. With the way things are going today… ALL three might be facing an early extinction, nevermore to be seen again.