FN CARS 'N GUNS: two things Belgians can make really well
If you've got steel for days for your weapons production, why not make cars as well?
When the Belgian government wants you to build 150.000 Mauser rifles in 1889, you better find some other weapon builders to come and help you. That's how FN Herstal began its journey to become the biggest producer of firearms in the world.
Several arms builders from Liège decided to work together and form a partnership that would later become a big company, FN Herstal.
It didn't take long for FN to realise the potential of building motorcycles and cars. Even though FN-cars were never a huge success, a fair amount of different models emerged from the factory in Liège. Here are some examples.
To make a real name in the business, you had to compete in some races. FN daringly decided to compete in the Monte Carlo Rally where they took third place with lieutenant Lamarche as their driver. This was quite a surprise since the competition had much bigger engines than the small 1460cc FN-engine. In the same year, they won the prestigious King's Trophy at the 24h of Francorchamps.
Sadly, not a single FN-car could capture the world's imagination. Therefore you can buy one for reasonable money, between €13.800 and €45.000. So if you got some spare cash, why not buy an FN?
The marketing people at FN realised that if the Belgian government already buys your guns, you might as well sell them some military vehicles. No tanks like Minerva did, but just some trucks.
In 1961, they came up with something super weird. A kind of motorcycle with four seats, specially designed for use by parachute troops.
FN AS-24 (1961) - Automania
Today, no vehicles are being made by FN. They now solely focus on developing guns and other weapons. FN sells its weapons to the US and UK military from several factories around the world.