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Friday, July 23, 2021

The unfamiliar Matra Laser concept car by Giovanni Michelotti

One, Two, & Three Well, let's go back to our discussion about sports cars from the 1970s which have looks that may be rarely known by automotive enthusiasts today. And what will be discussed this time is an one-off concept car is built on the chassis of a car made by the French manufacturer called Matra.
The Matra Laser concept car by Michelotti had some minor design changes and a less conspicuous silver paint scheme when shown at the Montreal Auto Salon 1972. (Picture from: ClassicDriver)
Matra? If there are some of today's automotive enthusiasts who have never known or even heard of the name of the French manufacturer, that's okay and no big deal due to the French brand has not existed in the global automotive market for a long time ago.

As quoted of Wikipedia, Matra (an acronym for Mécanique Aviation Traction) a French manufacturer (whose previously famous for its aeronautical and weaponary products) and then also known that later known to be involved in the automotive industry when the company for the first time is joined to race at the Formula 1 World Championship 1968 in one fully racing season.
When it was first debut at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show, the Matra Laser concept car appeared in the yellow colored body scheme. (Picture from: LotusEspritTurbo)
The peak of its motorsport involvement came just a year later, when the magnificent Matra designed MS80 race car and is used under the livery of the Tyrrell-Ford racing team won the Constructors Championship at the Formula 1 World Championship 1969 with Jackie Stewart as the driver of those race car also brilliantly winning the trophy of the World's Champion's title.

Along with its efforts in the Formula 1 racing events, the company also started producing road legal sports cars by itself, following the acquisition of Automobiles René Bonnet. The company's first-developed car product in 1967 and named the Matra M530 (the car's name inspired by the company's R530 surface-to-air missiles). Then the look of this model received a subtle facelift in the 1970 from the famous Italian automotive designer, Giovanni Michelotti.
The Matra Laser concept car by Michelotti also provided spacious cabin for two occupants. (Picture from: LotusEspritTurbo)
At almost the same time, the collaboration between Matra and Italian designers was also carried out during the construction of a one-off concept car called the Matra Laser in 1971. Although often underestimated and overlooked among the more popular 1970s concept cars, it turns out that the French's one-off concept car still has a style that can hold people's attention almost 50 years after its debut.

Speaking of cars made by Matra, actually before the French manufacturer produced its first production model of M530 and the Laser concept car, it turn out back in the 1965, the company also had made a one-off sports car called Matra Djet by taking over the René Bonnet's car project
The Matra Laser concept car by Michelotti is sitting just 1080 mm tall, the Laser had chunky door sills designed not only to increase structural rigidity, but also to channel cool air to its engine behind. (Picture from: LotusEspritTurbo)
At glance the 1970s typical wedge styled concept car has a similar appearance at rear to an iconic American car named DeLorean DMC-12 that was born a decade later. This concept car is built on the chassis of the Matra M530 mid-engine sports car, which in posture has a very low height of only 1,080 mm

In order to support its bodywork strength and the cooling system to distribute its 1,700 cc V4 engine heat, this car also has a very wide side sill and is equipped with the gull-wing door styles like those of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL had.
The Matra Laser concept car by Michelotti is powered by the Ford's 1,700 cc V4 engine stowed away behind the passenger compartment. (Picture from: ClassicDriver)
The Matra Laser concept car was appeared in yellow in its first debut to public at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show and continued was shown at the Montreal Auto Salon 1972 after had some minor design changes and a less conspicuous silver paint scheme. Then one-off concept car was inducted into an automotive museum collection before seemingly disappearing forever in 1999.
As qouted of the ClassicDriver, even Michelotti’s son Edgardo tried in vain to trace the car for 10 years, considering it to be such an integral part of his father’s legacy. The unique French-made gull-wing door type concept car was miraculously seen at the 2nd Tokyo Concours D'Elegance back in the 2009. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | OLDCONCEPTCARS | WIKIPEDIA | CLASSICDRIVER ]
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