Matra 650 – V12 Loveliness

Cars

Image: Robert Roux

We’re suckers here for two things; 1) brutal racing cars of the 1970s and 2) cutaway drawings of brutal racing cars of the 1970s.

When these things come together we are bowled over.

So, for your delight, behold this lovely period cutaway and an equally pleasing video of Matra’s bruiser from 1970, the V12 engined M650.

French company Matra was originally an aerospace firm which specialised in advanced missile systems. But someone in the organisation obviously loved the idea that ballistics could be transposed into tarmac-bound propulsion.

Matra produced some interesting road cars over the years, particularly the sporty, chic Bagheera and the Rancho – a forward looking SUV before its time.

But the company’s racing arm deserves to be remembered most fondly. They produced interesting projects toward the end of the 1960s throughout the seventies and into the eighties, including fruitful collaborations with Ford and Ligier.

In the video below you can see (and hear) the brilliance of the V12 engined 650, developments of which led to a trio of outright victories at Le Mans between 1972-1974.

The fact that this uncompromising machine was able to break the dominance of Porsche during this classic era is testament to its right to be dragged from relative obscurity.

 

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