Matra Djet V (1962 – 1967) Review

Matra Djet V (1962 – 1967) At A Glance


+A mid-engined pioneer for the road

-A bit unrefined and extreme for a road car

One of the more technically interesting cars of the 1960s, the Djet was the first car to wear the Matra badge. Up to that point, the French Matra company was known better for making missiles, but it decided to buy out the financially ailing Bonnet Company, based in Champigny-sur-Marne, rather than let it go to the wall, following a loss making period. Based on René Bonnet's existing Renault-engined car, the Matra-Bonnet Djet 5, to give its full name, featured an aerodynamic plastic body with a sleek nose (much like the later Opel GT), pencil-thin chrome inserts in the front and rear bumpers, large diameter steel wheels and a typical GT-style rear end with a reasonable-sized boot for luggage.

The tuned Renault 8 powerplant had been tuned to produce 70bhp (52kW), and delivered suitable performance. A later 5S version gained the Gordini engine producing 95bhp (71kW), which was then uprated in 1966 to 1255cc and 103bhp, and delivered truly impressive acceleration. At this point, it was renamed the Jet 6. Once Matra had learned the basics of making frames and bodywork, it produced a more ambitious plan to build a larger machine – the M530.