French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Mathis Microcars

Émile Ernst Mathis worked with Ettore Bugatti at a firm in Alsace from which they were both dismissed. The pair set up their own business under the Mathis name c.1904, and in 1906 the partnership ended. Mathis maintained his involvement in the motor trade and during the second war developed a three-wheeler with Jean Andreau which was presented at the Paris Salon of 1946, of which 10 were built. Development of the Mathis 333 began in considerable secrecy whilst France was still under the jackboot. The project was named the VEL 333 (3 wheels, 3 seats, and 3 litres per 100 km).

In 1948 a new front-wheel-drive vehicle was designed which was powered by an 80 bhp, 2.8 litre horizontally opposed six. Like its predecessor it was very futuristic, but did not enter production.

The company closed in 1950 and the factory was sold to Citroen.

Sources: OTTW;;

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