1967 MATRA FORD M530 A
Chassis No. 530A 021
Red with black vinyl/red cloth interior
Engine: Ford V type four cylinder, 1,699cc, 75bhp at 5,000rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual; Suspension: independent all round with coil springs and wishbones; Brakes: four wheel discs. Left hand drive.

The small, mid-engined Matra Sports car produced in France from the mid-1960s was the development result of two very different firms that merged in 1964. One company was the motor manufacturer Deutsch-Bonnet (DB) which was created by Rene Bonnet and Andre Deutsch, and the other was Mechanique Aviation Traction (MATRA), a major aerospace and armaments firm. Under the direction of engineer Jean Luc Lagardere, the first Matra to go into production was actually a Bonnet design, the Djet, with a Renault engine. The Djet was built with various engine developments until 1968, but was joined in 1967 by the first true Matra road car, the mid-engined Matra M530 coupe with Ford V4 power. In addition to road cars, Matra became heavily involved in motor racing and was particularly successful in the early days of Formula 3 and 2. In Formula 1, despite strong backing from Elf and the French government, results were not as impressive. Derivatives of their Grand Prix engines, however, went on to win the manufacturers World Championships for sports cars in 1973 and 1974.
The Matra M530 was quite an advanced car for its day and featured a glass-fiber body bolted to a welded steel floorplan. It also had all independent suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and four wheel disc brakes. The model largely failed to sell because of a poor dealer network.
This unique example was a design exercise by the famous Italian coachbuilder Vignale, who was looking to produce a car to fill a market gap. Studies began in June 1967, and the finished car was first shown at the 1968 Geneva Show. The Vignale styled Matra was much sleeker and more handsome than the French production model. The body was built in steel and featured a fastback design with a lower profile and more harmony of shape. As on the Series cars, pop-up headlamps were employed, but placed further forward. Other equipment included factory tinted glass, electric windows, tilt and telescopic steering and a removable sunroof. As before, the Matra was a mid-engined V4, with a trunk in the front and rear, four wheel disc brakes, independent suspension and two-plus-two seating.
Sadly, despite a seemingly successful design, the car never reached production. An in-depth study was made of the design in the January 1968 edition of Style Auto No. 16. It also appeared on the front cover of the Italian publication Milleruote Grande Enciclopedia dell'Automobile.
Judging from photographs available, this car was taken to a few shows, painted in different color schemes depending on the venue. Intervening history on the Vignale is unknown until it was imported into Florida in 1980. The car was last run about one year ago, and should be in running condition at the time of the auction. The indicated mileage is just a little over 21,000 miles, which is believed to be from new. The interior and driving position have a comfortable feeling, the steering wheel is a Ferrero, and the instruments are by Veglia. The bodywork and paint are showing their age slightly and there are signs of rust appearing in certain areas around the edges. Unfortunately, a storm shutter fell on the car, and there are a couple of dents on the sloping rear panel and in the rear tail section. The Matra Vignale script appears on the door sills. An affidavit by Alfredo Vignale on November 15, 1967 confirms that this car was manufactured in the Vignale factory. The wheels fitted to the car today are of a different style than those depicted on the show car above.
Undoubtedly, this is the most stylish Matra 530 produced from the famous Vignale coachbuilder. It was well received in the late 1960's, with its innovative styling and advanced specification, yet sadly failed to be produced. This is an opportunity to purchase an interesting piece of automotive history. WITHOUT RESERVE