Tuesday, October 18, 2005

MISSED CONNECTION: Small Classic Cars, Sunday Afternoon on 880

Sunday afternoon I was driving my partner’s serviceable but unglamorous Saturn, going north on 880 between Fremont and Hayward. Then I spotted you – three gorgeous cars in a row, putt-putting along in the slow lane at about 60mph.

Each of you was tiny yet elegant, with a charming two-tone color scheme. Sunshine yellow and white, turquoise and white, black and white. At least one of you had bug-eyed headlights. The three of you together might not have been as long as a Humvee, but you’re smart. You know that size does matter, and smaller can be so much better when slipping into tight spaces.

Let’s face it—you know you’re adorable, with your blocky body neatly sandwiched between hood and trunk. (Or boot and bonnet, if you happen to be British.) So much classier than the flashy new sportscars. They remind me of sneakers—all hood, no trunk, and a heel in the driver’s seat.

From your details, you looked to be about my vintage—late 1950s—but I could be off by a few years. Clearly you’re mature, driving so carefully, but you also look like a lot of fun.

I know I may never see you again, but I’m dying to know who you were. Make, model, and any additional information would be much appreciated.

Edited to Add: The cars I saw were a Nash Metropolitans, sold between 1954 and 1962. At 149.5" long, they were smaller even than a VW bug. And the pictures show how charming they were. There's one for sale in San Diego for less than ten grand. I bet it gets great gas mileage, too.

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