Matra Djet 5S 1965 In the beginning of the sixties, two French-built competition cars were dominating the racing scene: the Alpine A110 in rally-sport and the Deutsch Bonnet / Matra Djet in road racing. Although they excelled both in their separate disciplines, for the main public they were direct competitors. The first Bonnet-only (formerly Bonnet was partnered with Deutsch = DB sports cars) built sports car was the 1962 Djet, based on years of racing experience in Le Mans. Its mid-engined concept gave a road behaviour and weight distribution that were unequaled at that time. Unfortunately the Djet was so expensive to produce that Bonnet went bankrupt in 1964. The Matra (Mécanique Aviation TRAction) company was founded in 1945 with a core business in military plane manufacturing, aerospace applications and the processing of all sorts of plastics. It was in this last branch, they manufactured the glassfibre body shells for René Bonnet cars and when Bonnet went bankrupt, Matra took over the rights to build sports cars. From then on the Djet was further improved and several Djet (later renamed Jet) evolutions followed. Matra's racing experience, Formula 1-2-3 successes and their strong marketing machine made sure that Matra reached the Paris jet set: it became a must-have for the rich and the famous (Joeri Gagarin owned one). Even the French Gendarmerie owned several cars to patrol the autoroute du soleil! Needless to say, the Matra Djet is a beautifully engineered and highly successful little sports car, enjoying a strong appreciation by sports car connoisseurs which is translated in a steadily increasing value. This Djet 5S was long-term owned (24 years) by my good friend Paul, who had the Djet professionally body-off restored in the mid-90ies. The front and rear independent suspension, all round disc brakes, tubular chassis and mechanics were treated to the same no-expense-spared restoration. The 1296cc engine was completely rebuilt and tuned, the original 4-speed gearbox was replaced by a new R12 Gordini 5-speed gearbox. The interior was professionally reupholstered as well. All this is backed by a well-documented restoration file, technical documentation and lots of history. When seated in the low Djet cockpit, the cabin is remarkably spacious with even enough leg- and headroom for tall people . Switch the key and instantly the rigorous engine bursts to life just behind your seat, without being noisy or disturbing. Push the slick short-stroke gearbox in first and with just a little throttle the compact blue bolide is trusted forward with an incredibly smooth pace as you quickly shift through the gears. The engine stamina and marvelous sound are in perfect osmosis with the sleek and curvaceous body lines. Let me shortly line it out for you: One of only 355 Djet 5S variants built Professionally restored to a very high standard and still in outstanding condition A much rarer contender of the Alpine A110 Race-bred engineering with independent suspension, central engine, disc brakes Excellent weight balance and road holding Lightweight body, tubular chassis, tuned engine with Gordini gearbox Come and visit our showroom to fully appreciate the extent of her beauty and engineering, see what I mean with an exhilarating driving machine.
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