Mathis VL 333
Alain Cerf, whose collection makes up the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum, is an inquisitive man with an engineering background. His company makes machines that will shrink-wrap pretty much anything you can think of that needs to be shrink-wrapped. Technology and innovation are a part of Cerf’s business and his interest in them also extends to his automobile collection. The museum (www.tbauto.org) displays nearly 60 interesting and beautiful automobiles, many of them on the cutting edge of technology for their time—Ruxton, Cord, Citroën, Tatra, Panhard. When Cerf learned that the only remaining Mathis VL 333 might be available, he and his son, Olivier, worked hard to acquire it. Once it was theirs, though, they discovered that finding records and documents about the car and the man behind it were even more rare than the car. Still, there is enough information about Mathis, the man and his businesses, for us to start there.