Concept Corner: Michelotti Matra Laser

Cars

The wedge is of course, synonymous with the edgier end of late sixties/early seventies car design. The workmanlike portfolio of designer Giovanni Michelotti isn’t.

Our man is, of course, remembered more as the chief designer of all things Triumph through the seventies and eighties. The Stag was a high point in the aesthetic developments he introduced – and he undoubtedly brought the sort of latin panache to British cars that was sorely needed. He also drew the lovely little German quirkmobile that was the BMW 700.

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The Laser was an early Michelotti collab with French company Matra – who were at the time new to the building of road-going cars after their racing success; which in turn had been transferred from the manufacture of missiles and other armaments.

It was launched at Geneva in ’71, came with a centrally mounted Ford V4 and huge door sills that not only contributed to superb structural rigidity – but also served to house cooling vents to the engine compartment and the rear brakes.

It was always going to be a one-off – so parked into its particular era that it was impossible to move on to proper production.

These images perfectly reflect a brave time and an innovative place…




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