Lot 117 - 1957 Austin Metropolitan Convertible

Lot 117 - 1957 Austin Metropolitan Convertible

Lot 117 - 1957 Austin Metropolitan Convertible

Lot Number 117
Registration JSL 431
Chassis Number HD6/LCS219810
Engine Number 15A-N-L219810
Odometer reading 43,710 miles
Estimate £12,000 - £16,000
Result Sold - £17,360
  • Rare UK supplied car
  • Very good history
  • In good condition throughout

In 1950, the Nash Motor Company of America decided to test public reaction to a new small car to get away from the big ‘gas guzzlers’ of the time. In the survey they showed pictures of a concept car based on a design by William Flajole. The results from the survey convinced Nash that there was a market for such a car, the problem for them there was not the experience in the USA to build a small car. So, they looked to England and the Austin Motor Company. Following various design modifications, the first Metropolitans rolled off the Longbridge production line in October 1953 and went on sale in the USA in the Spring of 1954. The early cars were fitted with the 1200cc Austin Somerset engines and are easily recognisable by the ‘floating bar’ grille. None of the early cars remained in the UK, the entire production until 1957 was for export only. By the time the first cars arrived in America, Nash had merged with Hudson, so Metropolitans were badged as either Nash or Hudson depending which dealer sold them. When the Metropolitan was released in the UK in 1957 it had earned millions of dollars for the British car industry. By this time, the engine had been upgraded to the BMC ‘B’ series 1500cc unit giving a power output of around 55bhp, giving it quite a lively performance. Badged, correctly, in the UK as the Austin Metropolitan they were all now painted duo-toned with the bottom colour white then a choice of colours for the main body separated by stainless steel moulding. The Metropolitan stayed in production until 1961.

This original, righthand drive Austin Metropolitan Convertible was supplied new in November 1957 to Mr Timothy Williams of Wolfson College, Oxford and appears to have remained in his ownership until 1989, as shown in the collection of copies of old registration documents supplied with the car. In very good condition throughout, it has been repainted at some time, has been very well maintained and has been taken to classic car shows. The old MoT certificates, the earliest from 1996, show that this car has only covered 7,800 miles since that time and the condition of the original interior would indicate that the mileage of 43,700 miles appears to be correct. Finished in turquoise over white, with white roof and white interior this Metropolitan is supplied with a V5C registration document, an MoT test certificate which expires in August 2021 and a history file containing copies of old registration documents, old MoT certificates and some invoices. Today the Metropolitan is a rare sight on British roads; even rarer to find one in such good condition, ready to be used and enjoyed.

 

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