Ferraris and Porsches are fine and define precision performance. Mark Aldrich appreciates those iconic cars as much as anyone. But the Aliso Viejo, California, lawyer’s preferred vehicle is a 1959 Metro 1500.
When high-end machines arrive at car shows with their distinctive growls, massive engines or flawless designs as mechanical works of art, Aldrich makes his entrance in a 60-year-old masterpiece.
Aldrich is our guest on Episode #101 of The Weekly Driver Podcast. Co-hosts Bruce Aldrich (no relation) and James Raia discuss with Mark his nearly lifelong interest in Metropolitan, Nash, Rambler and all vehicles under the umbrella of the American Motors Corporation.
I met Mark and his friend at the Concours on the Avenue, the early week gathering during Monterey Auto Week on Ocean Ave. (and many side streets) in Carmel. The 12th annual show, held in mid-August, is it is every year, featured the full spectrum of vintage cars and trucks.
Surrounded by muscle cars, a massive military vehicle and monstrous sedans replete with protruding body parts and lots of chrome, the Metro may have looked out of place. But it wasn’t, and it never is in other automotive events.
“The car gets a lot of attention because it is unusual,” said Aldrich. “We live near Laguna Beach where a Porsche doesn’t get a second look. This car goes down the street and people look. My saying is ‘Children laugh and dogs bark.’ ”
Aldrich bought the Metropolitan 33 years ago for $3,000 and the extend the legacy of his family owning classic, simple American cars.
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Article Last Updated: September 3, 2019.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.