If there was any classic American car whose overall demeanor made it the right choice for a Honda VTEC engine, it was the little Metropolitan. Initially fitted a land-seal of an inline-four ranging from 1.2 to 1.5 liters, this Metropolitan was initially modified with an Austin engine from a British MGB and later the iconic S2000’s inline-4.
The car has a storied history of modifications starting in the early 80s. Still, in 2003, the well-worn custom Nash Metropolitan was given a thorough doing over that leaves it in the condition it sits in today. In its factory configuration, the F20C S2000’s engine made around 240 horsepower. In a car as light as the Metropolitan that features a rear-wheel drive platform, it has all the makings of the Mazda MX-5 Alternative that most carmakers didn’t have the guts to make themselves.
Apart from the engine, this modified Metropolitan features the same six-speed manual transmission found in the S2000. The front end is derived from the lowly Ford Mustang II, a surprisingly affordable and reliable choice for custom DIY guys looking for a front end for their restomod. The rear end is from a 1989 Toyota Supra with a 4:30 limited-slip differential and coilover springs. At the front it sported 13-inch (330 mm) disc brakes with 11-inch (280 mm) rotors in the rear to bring everything to a dead stop.
There are also features like power windows, cruise control, leather seats, and various interior trim pieces taken from, of all places, the MX-5. Well, if you can’t beat them, join them, we can only assume. Not that anyone would mind the extra bit of Mazda tinsel, the MX-5 hasn’t sold like hotcakes for decades for no reason. The exterior paint color is Mercedes Silver and has a functional HVAC unit from Vintage air.
If you want to see the car, the seller lives in Muncie, Indiana, and listed the car for sale on Hemmings.com for $75,000 before taxes and fees. That’s quite a bit of coins for what is at the end of the day, a four-cylinder tin can of a droptop sports car with a Honda engine under the hood.