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Manufacturers / France / Matra

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Matra vehicles


Matra D Jet V, VI  (1964)

In the mid-1960's Matra enjoyed considerable success in Formula 3 and F2 racing with (especially) its MS5 monocoque-based car, winning the French and European championships. In 1967, Jacky Ickx famously amazed the F1 establishment by clocking in the 3rd-fastest qualifying time of 8:14" on the German Nürburgring in his 1600cc MS5 F2, which was allowed to enter alongside the 3000cc F1 cars. In the race, he failed to finish due to a broken suspension. Matra then really entered Formula One in 1968 and Jackie Stewart became world champion driving a semi-official Cosworth-powered Matra MS80 entered by the British Tyrrell team in 1969. The firm was also successful in endurance racing with cars powered by its own V12 engine. The Matra 670 won le Mans in 1972, 1973, and 1974.


Matra M 660   (1970)

The Matra name was first used for road cars with the Renault-powered Matra Djet (pronounced "Jet"), which was an update of the Bonnet Jet.

The Djet was replaced with the Matra 530, which was powered by a Ford Taunus V4 engine. Matra also developed a close partnership with Simca in the 1970s, producing Simca-engined sports cars such as the Bagheera, the Murena and the Rancho, an early type of SUV - albeit that it was two-wheel-drive - which was based on the Simca 1100 pick-up bodyshell. This car remained in production into the '80s, after Simca's takeover by Peugeot.


Matra M 25   (1989)

In 1984 Renault launched the Matra built Espace, a car conceived at Chrysler UK, and designed originally for Chrysler production in partnership with Matra, the car became a popular success.

After the failure of the Renault Avantime (designed and built by Matra), on February 27, 2003 Matra annouced its intention to close its automobile factory in Romorantin. In September 2003, Pininfarina SpA acquired Matra Automobile's engineering, testing and prototype businesses. The company was subsequently named Matra Automobile Engineering

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