1957 Austin Metropolitan at the 2011 Cromford Steam Fair.
A brief history of the Metropolitan
In 1950, the Nash Motor Corporation, one of the leading independent US auto manufacturers, decided to test public reaction to a new small car they were considering putting into production. This was a revolutionary concept in those days of big gas guzzlers.
They issued a questionnaire pamphlet called a "surview" showing pictures of a prototype concept car, based on a design by independent auto designer William Flajole, with a reply-paid envelope for people to return their opinion on the car. Quite an innovative strategy for the time.
The reaction to the surview convinced Nash that there was a market for a new small car. Since no US auto factory had the tooling or experience to build cars of this size, it was decided to produce the car in Europe. The Austin Motor Company was at … Read More