3 SEATS AND 3 WHEELS
3 SEATS AND 3 WHEELS
Production Years: 1946
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 and his plant in Strasbourg was producing 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 is built from 20 gauge aluminum sheet metal. The body is welded together. There is no chassis; it is a bubble. The engine is a flat twin 700 CC and the car is front wheel drive with a full independent suspension. Only 9 prototypes were made during the war from 1940 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, but after the war France was in turmoil. Raw materials and energy were in short supply. With a Communist minister in charge of production, Politics ran amuck. In fact, Louis Renault was imprisoned and died shortly thereafter; and a the Berliet brothers in Lyon suffered a similar fate.
The French Government through planification and heavy bureaucracy blocked Mathis from obtaining supplies to manufacture the car. The VL 333 was doomed and there is only one survivor; the one right here in this museum.
Weight: 390 kg (850 pounds)
Top Speed: 105 kmh (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
Follow us on social media
We apologize for any inconvenience during this challenging time but it is for the health and safety of our staff and guests. Limited entry is mandated by Pinellas County and the State of Florida. We do require that all guests, as well as Museum staff wear face masks and maintain proper social distancing. The Museum is adhering to the CDC Guidelines for keeping the public areas clean. Thank you for understanding and should you have any further questions or concerns, please call 727-579-8226
GET IN TOUCH
The fastest way to get in touch with us is by telephone at (727) 579-8226.
If you'd like, you can complete the following form and we will get back to
you at our earliest opportunity:
Tampa Bay Automobile Museum
3301 Gateway Centre Blvd.
Pinellas Park, FL 33782 USA
Wed- Sat: 10am - 4pm
Sunday: Noon - 4pm
$8 per person ($6 for Seniors)
$5 for Youth and Groups of 12 or more
Free for children under 12