1969 Matra MS650 Barquette

It was a glorious combination of beauty, speed, sound, and comfort, a proper object of Gallic pride, and almost (but not quite) the equal of Porsche’s 908

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Only three Matra 650s were built. After a successful racing career, one is kept in the Matra museum at Romorantin, while the second belongs to a racing driver who collects French Blue cars. Thus #01 is the only one available. The 650 is probably the most sought-after and important sports “Barchetta” from Matra. Contrary to the following 660s and 670s, it is the only one that can be driven on the road and is eligible for events like the Tour de France and Le Mans Classic.

At the end of its racing career, MS65001 (without engine) was presented by Jean-Luc Lagardere to a painter who lived in the south of France. Some years later, it was bought by David Piper, who fitted a Ford engine and a Hewland gearbox and participated in vintage events. Piper later swapped a BRM engine, like the one fitted to the Matra 620 and 630, for a Matra 676 V12 engine. He then sold Matra 65001 to the present owner, who was lucky enough to get from a former Matra employee an almost complete MS 12 engine. This goes with the car, as well as the original ZF gearbox of 65001. The 1969 Barquette is being sold with all the necessary parts for racing.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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