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1946 MATHIS VL333


Production Years: 1942-1945
Country: France
Number Produced: 9 Prototypes

Before the War, Mathis was the number 4 car manufacturer in France, behind Renault, Citroën and Peugeot. In 1934, Emile Mathis made an agreement with Ford for his plant in Strasbourg to produce the MATFORD, a contraction for Mat(his) + Ford. In 1940, Emile Mathis left France for the United States. He started a company, MATAM, to manufacture munitions for the Navy. By the end of the War he had 200 employees and delivered more than 260 million artillery shells to the Navy. He later received the “E” award from the Navy with 5 stars. ​ 

The VL 333 body is built from 20 gauge aluminum sheet metal. With no underlying chassis, its strength lies in the aluminum body unitized by over 6,000 welds. The engine is a 15 h.p. 707 c.c. water-cooled flat twin with front wheel drive and a fully independent suspension. Only 9 prototypes were made during the war from 1942 to 1945; they were hidden from the Germans, as any work on automobiles for the civilian sector was forbidden. ​ The car in front of you was presented at the Paris Automobile Show in 1946. However, after the war, France was in turmoil. Raw materials and energy were in short supply. The French Government through planification and heavy bureaucracy blocked Mathis from obtaining supplies to manufacture the car. The VL 333 was doomed and this is the only survivor. ​ Weight: 390 kg (850 pounds) Top Speed: 105 km/h (65 mph) Mileage test results from September 1942 under control of French Office for Production : 3.475 liters per 100 km = 69 miles per gallon

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