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Dad, is THAT our car? The 1959 Metropolitan, Not Exactly a Family Car

Guest Post by Billy Elliott


One day, my Dad came home with our latest used car. It was an extremely funny looking car that looked like it was out of some Saturday morning cartoon; kind of like a sketch, a drawing, a made-up car. Perhaps, something Miss Piggy’s sister would have been seen driving. It was very clean, but it was very small.

1959 Metropolitan

“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.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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12 Comments

  1. MissConception83

    I think we all have had those funny moments with our parents where our inquisitive nature came in handy. LOL Your story was hilarious especially the part about the car being perfect for someone in college preferably A GIRL Lol. I actually laughed out loud in the office! Thanks for sharing.

  2. jenX67

    @Rebecca – the only post you comment on are Billy’s. How ’bout some sister luv. hahahaha

  3. Rebecca

    Oh my gosh! I barely remember this day (Billy…your memory is SO MUCH better than mine!)…

    How could I forget us three kids crawling into the “backseat” for a ride in that Nash? If I remember right we sat “sorta high up” which made for a great view out the windshield! Truly a scary thought…we were like torpedoes waiting to be shot out of a cannon.

    Still…such a sweet memory of a complicated time. Thanks for sharing…

    B

  4. CGHill

    I’ve always had a soft spot for the Metropolitan, which actually sold fairly well for a few years; in fact, after the Nash/Hudson merger that formed American Motors, both Nash and Hudson dealers sold the little British darb.

    By ’59, of course, both Nash and Hudson were gone, and AMC sold Ramblers – and, still, a few Metros, which hung around the dealerships as late as ’62.

  5. Anonymous

    Jen & Bill–
    That car was so tiny. I still don’t know how all of us got in it. I had almost forgotten about this one. Thanks for reminding me.
    Love you– Mom

  6. okiesister

    This story makes me think of the movie The Incredibles with the dad stuffed in that little car.

  7. TheMuffinMan

    It is like the current VW Bug with daisy wheels of “yesteryear”

  8. Lin

    I had forgotten about that little car…faded red and white, wasn’t it? I remember being 9 or 10 when we got it. It was so tiny, my head hit the back windshield sitting in the backseat – and I had to sit with my chin tucked in. I remember thinking it felt like sitting in a carnival ride! Dad sure had good taste, didn’t he! Just think, if we still had all of those old cars, we’d be RICH!!! Dad and Murphy must have been good friends…

  9. Poetikat

    Your dad sounds like a right quirky character Jen and Big Bro. This reminds me of Columbo’s car. ha ha.

    Kat

  10. ReRe

    i love how that baby picture of Jen looks just like Bridgy!

  11. Yogi♪♪♪

    Your Dad and mine had similar attitudes about cars. He brought home a 60’s model Renault Dauphine once. He bought for $99. Sold it years later for $200.

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