Produced from 1956 to 1957, the Canon VT was an attempt to fight the success of the Leica M3.
It may have been released to compete with the Leica M3 but the VT does not feel like a blind copy. It has a unique style and feel. And it is built to last. Mine has a few dings and has clearly been used but still solid. Product build quality is equal to or greater than the M3.
The rangefinder is clear, bright and easy to focus. I used it with the fast Canon 50mm 1.2 lens with nice clear results.
This is a big heavy camera. In truth it is not much bigger than an M3 but it feels bigger in the hand. I don't see it as an alternative to an M body Leica today. Mostly because it used the older screw mount lens not the M mount. I think it is better as an alternative to a Leica screw mount. You could pick up a Canon screw mount and use all the old Leica screw mount lens, plus use the Canon glass. And it has an easy to load back door that opens up like a normal camera! The big issue I had about the VT was the trigger film advice. First time I have used one, so I kept forgetting it was there. I am sure I would get use to it over time. There are a variety Canon screw mount rangefinders and the VT may not be the best one but they are not expensive and all were built to last. The P is newer, the 7 and 7s have meters but don't feel as solid. Comparing the Canon rangefinders could be a fun project.
Lens: Canon Lens 50mm 1.2
Film: Ilford HP5 Plus 400