This beautiful little glassfibre-bodied car was one of the first mass-produced roadgoing midengined
sportscars. It was the product of Rene Bonnet, who until the beginning of the 60'ies had been joined up
with Charles Deutz in the Panhard company. (The "B" in "DB" cars stands for Bonnet)
Matra, who at that time had started a profitable business in plastics and glassfibres, delivered the glassfibre-body to Bonnet, who however was far more interested in building cars than working on marketing strategies and doing business. This unfortunately left his company largely in the red figures early on in the sixties - at which time he owed a good deal of money to his subcontractor Matra.
Matra reacted wisely by taking over the company rather that pulling the poor genious to court - and hereby Matra dsaved one of France's perls - the newly developed D'Jet.
The car was named after the newly invented jet engine, which in those days signified everything "high tech". However, the word "jet" would be pronounced by Frenchmen with a soft 'd', and consequently Rene Bonnet placed an apostrophed "d" in front, to make sure it was pronounced as correct as possible. When Matra took over in 1963, only 150 D'Jets had been built. Matra embarked on a project to make the Djet suitable for larger scale production, whereby it changed its name slightly from D'Jet to just "Jet". (The apostrophed D' was used to ensure that also the French speaking world would pronounce it like the newly developed aeroplane propulsion system)
The D'Jet was initially powered by a Gordini-tuned 1108 ccm Renault engine mounted just ahead of the rear wheels. This gave the small and very aerodynamic (Cv ~ 0.25) car a top speed of 165 km/h. D'Jet II with its slightly higher tuned engine did 190 km/h, and the specially aerodynamic version "aerojet" achieved 225km/t on the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans wit a race-trimmed version of that same engine.
The car was produced until 1968 (called "D'Jet 5" "D'Jet 5S" and eventually Matra "Jet6" ) , where Matra replaced it with the M530.
A total number of about 1500 cars were built - making it a very rare (but pleasant) sight nowadays.