The Matra/Bonnet D'Jet was produced until 1968 (under the name Matra Jet-5 and Jet-6) , where it was replaced by the M530. The M530 was build around a steel chassis to which glass-fibre panels were bolted. As the late D'Jets were powered by the 1.7 litre Ford V4, so was the M530. The Compactness of the V4 allowed for a longitudinal midmounting ahead of the rear wheels, and still a 2+2 layout. The backseats were very small indeed - but a much better way of transporting your coat/handbag than some exterior compartement (as compared to most 2 seaters).
The M530 was (is?) quite avant garde in style. It was the product of a series of ideas from Philippe Guedon and Jean-Luc Lagardere - the idea was to aim the car at the young (and young at heart) , and so the car was build down to a price rather than up to a standard - which means that panelfit and overall finish is not the very best. The spirit of the sixties racingcar, however, is very well preserved in this car. The interior is dominated by the stainless steel dashboard and the comfortable bucket seats. The suspension was coil spring and dampers in all corners.
The Matra M530 was produced until 1969, where Matra joined Chrysler France - and shortly thereafter (at the Geneva Car show in 1970) the M530 became the Matra-Simca M530LX. In 1971 a lowcost version was launched - the M530 SX - main differences were that the headlights now were mounted on top of the front wings, rather than being submerged into the wings. This arrangement can not be said to improve the cars looks, but the price came down to 19.000 fr (1971) - which made it a very good deal indeed.
There were a number of design-studios made on the basis of the M530, - some were pure engine-conversions (eg the Taunus 17M 2.0l V6) and others were body studios like the sleek Matra Laser, or the beautiful Vignale M530 (haven't got any useable pictures yet). Even recently (end of the century) Matra have played with rebodying this, the first real Matra roadcar.Production numbers:
|M530A (twin venturi carb. version)||1669|
Production ended in 1973, when the Matra-Simca Bagheera was born.