The Nash Metropolitan is a great example of a “terminal cuteness” car.
‘Tiny little cars like the Met, Crosleys-anything just slightly bigger than a go-kart have really captured the attention of the old car hobby.’
But the Met was the first terminally cute car to really make an impact in North America and car guy Gord Leeson found out that this cuteness played out over decades when he took his wife to a car show.
Gord explained: “While in Spokane a number of years ago, at the Good Guys Nationals, my wife Donna fell in love with a turquoise and white Nash Met convertible, and that became her dream car”.
But it didn’t end at the car show “Donna had a 50th birthday coming up, so I started my search, starting with the Manitoba Nash Met Club. No luck with a perfect match, but what I did find was a black and white hardtop in Calgary that was for sale, but the deal was, I had to take home a truck-load of spare parts.”
The car was close to her dream Nash but it was a hardtop-the cuteness factor goes up exponentially in Met convertibles. Gord was happy to learn this “Luck would have it there was a convertible top mechanism it the load, and I knew the conversion was an easy one. The deal was made and after “two lies” were used to cover for the trip to look, and the trip to bring it home, the car was hidden in the neighbors shed”.
Gord was consistent in his stealth approach to the 4 wheeled birthday present “The week before my wife’s birthday, she was away on an overnight trip, so this was the perfect opportunity to bring the car home, and hide it in our barn. I stayed up late the night before her birthday, and after she was asleep, I drove the car out of the barn and parked it in the driveway”.
He kept the game going until the 11th hour “The next morning when Donna woke up, we presented her with a 1/24 scale model of a black and white Nash Met. We told her that, “Someday she would be able to look out the kitchen window and the real one would be parked there”. She was tickled pink with the model, but that was nothing compared to the excitement that followed her looking out the kitchen window“.
Naturally, as an old car this birthday present was a work in progress “Over the winter we removed the roof, and built the necessary mounting brackets and alignment pins.While the car was in need of new quarter panels and doorsill plates, and while apart, we welded a 1/2″ x 3″ plate the length of the frame for rigidity and then welded in the patch panels. The car was then off for paint and upholstery”.
As if the cuteness factor wasn’t off the chart already with “Nellie”, the Leesons took it to another level “Once completed, we needed a “Cherry for the top of the Sundae” so we purchased a windup key (that attaches to the center of the spare tire on the continental kit) from a fellow who builds them in his garage in California. It has a servo-motor in it that when switched on, it turns slowly counter clockwise”.
This is definitely the birthday present that keeps on giving “My wife now has her dream car “Nellie”, her turquoise and white Nash Metropolitan that not only does she enjoy driving it, people love it, and to her surprise, she has even won several trophies at local shows”.
Clearly Gord hit a home run with this birthday present but the logical question is-how can he possibly top it?
Jerry Sutherland @mystarcollectorcar.com