Metropolitan Pit Stop – Los Angeles, California - Atlas Obscura
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Los Angeles, California

Metropolitan Pit Stop

This vintage car parts store is also a museum devoted to a squat little gem of automotive history. 

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Metropolitan Pit Stop was founded by Jimmy Valentine, who worked in the recording industry until his passion for Metropolitan cars became a full-time job in 1975. 

The museum is located at a repair shop and parts store for the classic Metropolitan automobile of the 1950s. Several examples of this unique car are on display, most of which have been meticulously restored to original condition, including one-of-a-kind examples like the prototype Metropolitan station wagon, and the futuristic Metropolitan Astra-Gnome concept car. 

At a time when U.S. car makers were building big cars, Nash Motor Company decided to offer an economy car, a subcompact car for short trips, weighing only 1800 pounds. Austin Motor Company built the cars in England exclusively for sale in America. The Nash Metropolitan was also sold as a Hudson when Nash and Hudson merged into the American Motors Corporation (AMC), and it was later sold as a Rambler. All early Nash vehicles were designed by Pinin Farina of Italy, but Farina refused to allow his name to be associated with the Metropolitan because it might damage his reputation to be linked to such a small car. 

Also in the museum is a Metropolitan hook-and-ladder fire truck that was used as an amusement park ride in New York, and Jimmy Valentine’s first Met, which is all original, including upholstery, rubber floor mats, and Goodyear tires, only driven 18,000 miles. There’s even a small gift shop at the parts counter. 

Know Before You Go

Located on the east side of Laurel Canyon Blvd, just south of Chandler. Look for a plain white office with a car’s rear-end above the window. Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. Free admission.

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