Artcurial is offering a Matra MS650 (s/n 01) at its 2009 Classic and Racing Cars auction on Sunday, February 8th at the Palais des Congrès in Paris.
Three Matra 650s were built: 01-02-03. The 650 is probably the most sought after and important sports “barchetta” from Matra. Contrary to the later 660s and 670s, the 650 is the only one which can be driven on the road and thus is fully eligible at events like the Tour de France and Le Mans Classic.
At the end of its racing career, Matra MS650-01 (without engine) was presented by Jean-Luc Lagardère 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 some historic events. Piper swapped later with Matra a BRM engine, like the one fitted to the Matra 620 and 630, for a Matra 676 V12 engine.
David Piper sold Matra 650-01 to the present owner who was lucky enough to get from a former Matra employee an almost complete MS12 engine which will be delivered with the car as well as the original ZF gearbox of 650-01. The car will be sold with all the necessary parts for racing and a second incomplete dismantled MS 12 engine with its FIA certification.
Race history of Matra MS650-01:
1969 24 Hours of Le Mans, Beltoise/Courage, 4th
1969 Watkins Glen 6 Hours, Servoz-Gavin/Rodriguez, 4th
1969 Watkins Glen Can-Am, Servoz-Gavin/Rodriguez, 8th
1969 1000km Austria, Servoz-Gavin/Rodriguez, DNF
1969 1000km Paris, Beltoise/Pescarolo, 1st
1970 24 Hours of Daytona, Brabham/Cevert, 10th
1970 12 Hours of Sebring, Servoz-Gavin/Pescarolo, 5th
1970 Brands Hatch 1000km, Beltoise/Brabham, 12th
Matra MS650 Video – The video starts with Hervé Poulain, Associate Director of Artcurial, describing the Matra (in French). If you’re French isn’t that good, fast forward to the 2:30 minute mark when the fun begins as the Matra is taken for a test drive on the Grand Sambuc Circuit. Although the producers added music at this stage of the video, it fortunately goes away for good once the unreal sounds of the Matra V12 come into full song. If you have never heard a Matra V12, prepare yourself for an incredible sound.
Matra MS650 Photo Gallery