Matra

Discover the classic Matra: Iconic French cars from the 1960s & 70s. Great selection of classic models available! #VintageMatra

Story of the Matra creation

Matra has a fascinating history in the ever-evolving world of car production and luxury motoring. One of the lesser-known brands in France’s long automotive heritage, Matra has established itself among vintage and motorsport enthusiasts for its unique and advanced designs, as well as its association with some of the most stylish, contemporary vehicles of its era. Beginning its foray into the car world in 1959, Matra began life as an aerospace and defence specialist – a far cry from the sharp, luxury vehicles it would later become known for. It wasn't until 1964 that Matra would attempt to make its mark in the automotive world with the launch of a small two-seater sports car, the Matra Djet. Soon after its success with the launch of the Djet, Matra continued its efforts to produce new class of formidable and luxurious cars, eventually resulting in the launch of the Matra 630 and later, the M530 – one of the first mid-engined production cars ever made – alongside a range of well-appointed saloon and coupé vehicles. Over the following decade and a half Matra continued to grow its production and its success, aided by the launch of the popular Matra Bagheera, a sporty two-seater saloon, the innovative simca Murena – said to be a hot doors sports car – and the stunning Rancho SUV. With an ambitious motorsport program throughout the late 1960s and early 70s, Matra combined its passion for automotive performance with its ongoing research and development of increasingly advanced vehicle technologies, resulting in a significant successes in F1, Le Mans and various other international racing events. Matra continued to grow and evolve the design of its cars throughout the late 70s and 80’s – leading to the launch of its iconic Sims and Espace MPV in 1985. Characteristic of Matra’s vision and engineering prowess, the surprising success of the Espace was a testament of to the brand’s unique design and technological aptitude, and is largely regarded as being in the forefront of the present day SUV revolution. The launch of the Espace, marked the end of a legacy for Matra; for in May 2004, the company ceased production of all its car models. In the short 16 years since the demise of the brand, Matra has not been forgotten, however, and its classic vintage models and motorsport efforts are still fondly remembered and celebrated today, whether it's in July’s Concours de Charme in Montieramey, or across various auctions and car shows up and down the country. Matra is a case study in automotive resilience and passion; a family of beautiful, technologically advanced, iconic cars that have left a lasting impression on the heritage of this ever changing industry, and a source of unbridled joy among vintage and motorsport enthusiasts, not least the affluent generation of motorheads aged between 35 and 65.

Story of the Matra models

Matra, the French car maker offshoot of the aerospace and defense global giant Safran, is best known for its delicately crafted showpieces produced in the 1960s and ‘70s. The legendary automaker has provided a long line-up of exquisite vehicles, ranging from coupes and sedans to convertibles and sportscars. And while superior performance, exclusivity and a surprisingly low price tag have earned some models a place on the collector's circle, it's also been following the same commitment to master craftsmanship in recent years. Matra's classic grand touring lineup starts with the sporty and nimble 1960 M530 which shocked the automotive world with its proficiency. Its aerodynamic body with a top speed of 198 km/h was revolutionary for its time and was pursued by discerning collectors. Aside from performance and speed, Matra has also made its mark with some interesting design features over the years, particularly with their cabriolets and open-top models. The M530 Coupé-Cabriolet, an iconic model introduced in 1968, featured excellent roadholding and a rear window which folds down to produces an in-cabin draft. With uncanny resemblances to the Jaguar XK8 Cool Cabriolet, the M530's inventive design made it an iconic vintage classic even today. The 1971 Matra-Simca Bagheera combined striking good looks with the courage to experiment with coupe-like hybrid designs. As a mini coupe, between 1967 and 1980 it offered an array of postmodern interactive features and excessive maneuverability that made it a hit in the Motorsport pans. Automaker devotees especially singled out the Matra Murena—an exciting and well-balanced car that remains a treasured classic among purists with its powerful V6 engine and exquisite cabin design. The Matra would enjoy significant prominence as a racing car as well, with the Matra-Simca 530F dominating the French championship for four years and leaving its mark abroad. The light-weight Matra 670 prototype won the 1978 24 hours of LeMans, a victory that signaled a return to modernization for the automaker. Today, Matra enjoys the same kind of committed following as it did in its comeback era. As purveyors of precision, Matra prides itself on aggressive elegance with its showpiece cars and its constant innovation in manuverability and design. Matra cars remain a dream come true for affluent car enthusiasts aged 35-65 looking to recreate a piece of history. Whether it's to race on tracks or simply elegant cruising, the vintage Matra lineup can take you wherever your passion at whatever speed you desire.

Story of the Matra in motorsport

Matra is a French car manufacturer that is known worldwide for its prowess in the motorsport world and for the excellence of its vintage cars. Founded in Hauts-de-Seine in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1945, the brand was initially active in the aerospace sector before entering the automotive field in 1955. Since then, Matra provided attendees of international motorsports events with some spectacular showings time and again. Although it wasn’t until the late 1960s that the brand started to make a name for itself on the track with its larger-than-life prototypes, Matra was historically renowned for its prowess in the field of Formula 1. The first Grand Prix competed by the brand dates back to 1968 when the legendary Ken Tyrrell took over Matra. In the first part of the paper race, which lasted until 1972 for Matra, the car often managed to break the records and it even won 3 international races: the 250 Kilometres of Nurburgring (1969), the Grand Prix of Belgium (1969) & The Grand Prix of Austria (1970)? Throughout its lifetime as an automotive outlet, Matra designed some remarkable cars in partnership with some leading names in the motorsport world. Among these were the Matra sports cars, designed in collaboration with Renault: the A570 and the A740, as well as the Bagheera. All of these models captured the imagination of not only motorsport enthusiasts but also of the affluent people between the ages of 35 and 65. Matra trained its gaze at the Le Mans circuit in the seventies and created a new model called the MS 670 in homage to the event. This car won the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans twice - in 1972 and 1973, affirming once again the superior engineering capabilities of Matra in building sports cars. The brand then released the MS 670 LA revised version of this model, the first car to use 5-speed transmissions in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In its ongoing pursuit of world-class motorsport excellence, Matra joined forces with Honda in the eighties to create the Matra-Honda Aerodynamics project: the car that would eventually go to make history with an impressive victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1978. The project was overseen by the renowned F1 designer Gérard Ducarouge and helped Matra realise its great dreams of becoming a world-winning national motorsport champion. Today, despite having been out of the racing game for too long (the last competitive appearances having occurred in 1982 & 1983), the brand remains a symbol and decisive force for passionate motorsport observers and vintage car connoisseurs alike. In the course of its colourful and captivating history, the Matra Motorsport brand has attracted a variety of devotees and built up a sturdy reputation in the international realm of racing. For this reason, Matra has come to embody success and elegance in the motorsport and automotive world, with its strong links to motorsport excellence proving particularly appealing to those interested in history and vintage cars.

Anecdotes about Matra

Matra is a fascinating French car brand renowned for its stunning racecar designs, fantastic engineering, and passionate people behind the company. From the early sixties to its collapse in 1973, Matra captured numerous minds with its ingenious designs and achievements on the track. Although short-lived, the legacy of Matra is still remembered for its passionate spirit and its engineering innovations. The first real foray into the automotive world for Matra was the revolutionary Simca Bagheera, a 3-seater sports car whose front mid-mounted engine was years ahead of its time. Although it wasn’t a commercial success, its development inspired the extraordinary mid-engined Simca Matra M530, a powerful and loaded sports coupé. Just a few months after the launch, the M530 achieved second place in the 1981 24 hours of Le Mans. The various racing versions of the M530 were even more successful. Arnold Larousse used one to become the French and European Champion in 1982, and Matra continued their successes in the World Sports Technology Series with the M530 F1 in 1983, and in the European Group C with the M624-8 in 1983 too. Indeed, most of the 43 prototypes released by Matra include these two cars. Apart from the Matra prototypes in the Eighties and Nineties, other extraordinary vehicles made under the Matra brand name are from the world of Formula One. In 1965, the company jointly developed their first F1 car—the Matra MS5—with the help of cooperation from Simca and Ford. Their championship wins in 1969 has made the Matra MS80 and the V12 engine it powered an iconic piece of motorsport history, even more legendary than the F1 monsters powered by their Cosworth V8. The lasting legacy left by Matra since its closure in 1973 is indeed remarkable; founder Georges-Henri Rivière’s continual experimentations with mid-engined cars is unrivalled and its racing successes remain an inspiration to all classic car and motor racing enthusiasts forever. Despite its short lifespan, Matra’s classic designs will remain timeless and carry the spirit of a passionate team for generations to come.

Which Matra for which budget?

Which Matra for a low budget?

Are you ready to ride the wave of mid-twentieth century automotive design, with cheap and powerful Matra cars by your side? Matra is a company that was founded in France in 1964, and is now part of the Airbus Group. Dubbed as ‘the poor man’s Ferrari’, many Matra cars offer unbeatable value and performance for budget-conscious drive enthusiasts. The most popular Matra models today are the M430 and the M520, two classic sports cars rooted in the company’s 1950s past. Matra racing cars were some of the earliest and most pioneering in Europe, taking the world of motorsport by storm in their heyday. Beginning with wins at the 1964 Reims 12 Hours and 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, Matra went on to dominate world-wide events, dominating their class for three consecutive victories from 1967 to 1969 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and a further three consecutive Formula 2 world championships between 1969 and 1971. Today, Matra car collectors come from all walks of life, making for quite the contrast on the famous rallying circuits. Although sourcing Matra parts can be a challenge due to an absence of established model parts networks, these vehicles have proven to be highly tuneable and customizable - so much so, that some owners and restorers opt to forgo classic factory specs and vigorously restore or rebuild their Matra into a redesign the track inspired race machine of their own imagining. The prices of these vintage gems, too, make them the perfect cars for vintage collectors and novices who are just starting out. Buying a Matra is a pleasure that fits into most budgets – with a smaller outlay Matra cars can still provide high quality and plenty of enjoyment when out on the road. Energetic, charming, and offering hours of entertainment for vintage car and motorsport fans alike, Matra cars are an ideal rolling companion between affluent 35-65 year-olds. So buckle up and explore the world of the French automotive classic that still offers plenty of thrills today.

Which Matra for a medium budget?

The Matra marque boasts a spectacular lineup of magnificent vehicles crafted to bring about classic style and performance with modern appeal. Best of all, collectors and families alike can easily acquire prime examples of both restored and unrestored Matra cars for a medium budget. Whether you're a motorsport lover, classic car enthusiast, an impassioned collector, or merely appreciate a classic mode of transport, you're won't regret investing in a classic Matra auto. Founded by the former racecar driver and designer Jean-Luc Lagardère in 1964, the Matra Cars brand has always proudly embodied motorsport pedigree, technical excellence, and style. From the chic and iconic Matra-Simca Bagheera to the mythical racing winner Matra Sports 650, the brand never ceased to fascinate automotive lovers. The marque quickly experienced popular success in Formula 1 racing in the middle 1960s and its excellence on the track was paramount in the 1970s and 1980s. Matra’s cars were legendary in their performance, their great looks, and their numerous international victories. Matra crafted a stunningly unique emblem which personifies the strong identity and enthusiasm of the company. This logo couldn't emphasize better the spirit of passion for cars embodying the impact that those cars have always made on culture and motorsport. What is perhaps the most attractive about vintage Matra cars is the remaining possibility to acquire magnificent examples in excellent condition and restomod restorations for a reasonable price. Whether it's the alloy-bodied Matra 530, the convertible Matra Sport Murena, or mystical and heavily understated Matra Djet, you can easily find a great Matra car for a budget starting from 5K€ and up. Investing on such a sports car as the Sport 650 or a racy Opel Manta model is an excellent opportunity to driving a piece of French motoring history. Whichever model of Matra you desire, you can buy with the highest confidence. Buying and restoring such a machine is a gratifying and purpose building adventure. Enjoying a weekend drive in a model like the Mégane or Rancho Coupe from the comfort of a car crafted in the 60s is just easy and enjoyable. Connecting to the rich racing heritage, exploring pure et refined lines of each model, and admiring the many accomplishments of so many generations of automotive engineers, a Matra car is surely whatever are looking for in the search for the perfect vintage ride.

Which Matra for a high budget?

For passionate aficionados of vintage cars and motorsport, Matra could be the center of attention for a hefty budget. With an impressive combination of technological innovation and immaculate French styling, Matra simply fulfills the needs of those who move through the world in style. As one of the few companies that defined legendary French auto engineering, the Matra legend dates back to the early 50s, when they released the smallest post-WWII engine which was to become one of the most successful automobiles of the era. Over the years, Matra has produced many different vehicle types, including two-seaters, mid-size sedans, coupes, saloons, 4x4s, luxury cars and even a supermini. Today, Matra is still producing cars and continues to collect a loyal following from affluent individuals aged between35 and 65 who appreciate the attention to detail and distinct French design of its vehicles. Thanks to its wide range of mid-range and luxury models, Matra cars appeal to a wide range of automotive enthusiasts. Indeed, the company is proud to have built an impressive portfolio of cars for the luxury vehicle market for the past 65 years. When it comes to Matra vehicles, there's more to the brand than meets the eye. Indeed, some models produce quite impressive performance levels due to their low weight and high output. For example, the Matra 630 series produces approximately 300 horsepower from its twin-cam V6 engine, while some of the company's higher-end models such as the Jet and Grand Prix race-caliber vehicles boast an even higher performance figure. No matter budget or taste, a well-cared-for Matra vehicle can offer a richly-deserved comfortable ride emphasizing technological innovation, driving pleasure, and eye-catching design. Matra's offering can provide an affordable and enjoyable experience as well as a spectacular piece of automotive history.

This content was crafted with the assistance of ChatGPT, under the discerning supervision of a passionate enthusiast of vintage and classic cars.