By MIKE CORN
It wouldn't take much for Art Weigel to get his powder-blue 1960 Nash Metropolitan running.
Whether he'd want to actually take it out on the road is another story, one he's not quite ready to answer.
Besides, Weigel is waiting for his three sons to join him in restoring the classic vehicle, likely going beyond the fuel system that's the culprit right now.
But the Metropolitan certainly turns heads when it's parked in front of Art's Full Service, 1508 Vine.
And, for now at least, he's forced to push the vehicle, although it would run with the help of an IV drip into the carburetor. Holding up the fuel drip while driving the vehicle isn't a risk he wants to take with such a classic vehicle.
The Metropolitan is something of a family heirloom, and likely to remain one.
As a Nash, it was a product of what was to become Rambler, but it was produced in England and shipped west to the United States and Canada.
Weigel said the Metropolitan, not unlike the Rambler, was ahead of its time.
"It's been in the family for over 30 years," Weigel said as he looked at the car.
The car came into the family as payment for repair work.
Even though it's 54 years old, the car only has 16,949 miles on it, he said.
He and his father restored the car approximately 25 yeas ago, and it's been nearly 20 years since Weigel has actively driven it.
Rubber parts on the fuel pump have deteriorated as a result.
"I have to roll it outside," he said, "and roll it in."
As what likely would be the first subcompact car, Weigel said it's no cakewalk.
"It's actually all solid steel," he said.
Under the hood, it's a 4-cylinder engine.
"The same engine as an MG Midget," he said.
Weigel said the car originally was marketed to women, which prompted some of the lighter colors, such as the light blue on his vehicle.
"I've got some of the original advertising," he said.
Getting it back on the road isn't a high priority.
"If I put it out on the road, I'd have to value it at $10,000," he said of insurance for the vehicle. "That's what they're going for."
It sold for $2,000 new, he said.
But it's not a bad-driving car.
"At low speeds, it handles great," he said of speeds less than 55 mph. Above that, not to great.
Of course, when the car was built, speed limits generally were 55 mph or less.
Until it's back on the road, Weigel plans to continue pushing it out front of the shop he shares with his wife, Michelle.
And people will keep stopping in for a look.
"I usually average seven to eight a week that will stop in," he said of curious people.