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France France (1967 - 1967)


Matra had its origin in a pre-WWII small aeronautical contracting company named CAPRA, which was changed to Matra (Mechanique-Aviation-TRAction) in 1942. Matra first appearance in the automobile industry happened in 1965, when it took over the Automobiles René Bonnet. Matra embarked then in an ambitious rally and race car programme. The first real Matra car was a sports model produced in 1967. In 1973, following an agreement with Chrysler, the company produced the Matra-Simca. In 1979, the Simca brand was changed to Talbot  and Matra produced the Talbot-Matra Murena. In 1983 Matra was purchased by Renault but remained on business until 2001 when Renault decided to produced the cars "in-house". Following a failed agreement with Rover, Matra ceased car production in 2003 but was bought by the renowned Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina. The company adopted the name Matra Automobile Engineering and became the French based business of the Pininfarina company. Matra racing cars won the French Hillclimb Championship 1967, the European Formula Two inaugural championship in the same year, several Formula One Grands Prix in 1968, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1972, 1973, and 1974 and the World Championship for Makes in 1973 and 1974.

Matra Automobile Engineering SAS
origin:France France, 1967
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© photo by Brian Snelson, licence: Attribution