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Founded in 1898 in Strasbourg Mathis initially produced a handful of prototype cars including an enormous 100HP rated four cylinder car – wouldn’t we love to see that! In 1910 the production of a ‘Mathis-own’ car commenced, a simple 2-Litre, four-cylinder side-valve mated to a four-speed box – something all Mathis cars would feature. Although Mathis did produce large cars after WWI the real business success was based on the sale of light-cars that competed with similar offerings from Peugeot, Renault and Citroen in the period.
This pretty car, termed as a ‘two-seater coach’ belonged in a Swiss collection for many years before being purchased by the late Terry Cohn – a hugely well-respected collector. The car then passed through a Manx owner before being purchased by a good friend of Wayne’s, namely former VSCC president, motoring journalist and all-round great chap Ronald ’Steady’ Barker.
‘Steady’ used the car on a VSCC Light Car section rally but was not using it much by the end of 2010 so decided to sell it. By chance more than design the wife of an existing client of TK saw the car in our workshops and fell in love. TK arranged for Steady to sell the car to the lady in question – some things are meant to be!
We were tasked with a comprehensive restoration of the car to include the fitting of a more modern reliant gearbox for ease of regular use, but crucially the modification will be carried out in such a way as to ensure that the original transmission system can be easily refitted and that none of the surrounding components of the car are altered in any way.
The Mathis has been carefully dismantled and the paintwork stripped from the body. The chassis has also be stripped and re-painted. A suitable gearbox has been sourced and the assembly team are working closely with the machine shop to produce any parts required to fit the gearbox so that it can be removed and replaced with the original unit when required.
While this may not be the biggest, grandest and most valuable of motorcars at TK we think it is one of the prettiest and certainly the most charming and therefore another really nice project for the team to have done.
Now complete, the car has been returned to its delighted lady owner who plans to spend time getting to know it better and enjoy summer outings.