1967 Matra 530: The French Porsche 914

(first posted 3/9/2012)   Mid-engined sports cars really exploded in the mid-late sixties, imitating the format that had suddenly swept all aspects of the racing world. Matra was one of the first, with their 1962 Djet (spelled that way because its designer René Bonnet doubted the French could pronounce “Jet” correctly). That very ovoid little buzz-bomb gave way to this more civilized M530 of 1967, noted for its odd design.

Hey; it is French! The Matra had room for both 2+2 seating and a mid-rear engine by using the extremely short Ford Cologne V4, as also used by the Saab 96. With 70 hp, the M530 was hardly a jet; in fact its 0 – 60 time of 15.6 seconds was slower than a 1968 Kadett 1700 station wagon.

Here’s the Djet: