Matra Bonnet Djet 5 1966
This Djet was imported from Spain in 2006 and has had a Dutch registration since 2007. The owner has had the car in his collection of Matra, Simca, Peugeot and Talbot automobiles and used it very sparingly. Now he has decided to sell part of his collection. The Djet is in good and nice condition and immediately ready for use.
Initially developed and produced by the French car-maker René Bonnet, the Matra Djet was then built by Matra Sports from 1964 until 1968. In fact, René Bonnet was made bankrupt in 1964 by the commercial failure of the Djet. So Matra Sports, which was already the principal partner and shareholder, bought out the little company. The first 4 versions were developed by René Bonnet and then Matra produced the versions 5 and 6. From July 1966 onwards, the Matra-Bonnet Djet 5 and Djet 5 S became the Matra-Sports Jet 5 and Jet 6.The Bonnet name was dropped and the D removed from Djet after the winding up of the Automobiles Bonnet company and the end of its agreements with Matra Sports. The Matra logo was then placed on the bonnet (no pun intended !) and the rear of the car. The final version of the model, the Matra Sports Jet 6, was brought out in 1967. It had the new 105 bhp, 1255 cc engine of the R8 Gordini 1300.
For a long time, the Djet/Jet were to suffer from being prematurely worn out, due to intensive competition use, bodged modifications and sloppy maintenance, to such an extent that it is now very difficult to know precisely how many of them have survived in functional condition. Although the mechanical components are robust and durable and the composite bodywork is rust-proof, the steel girder chassis and the electrics are quite another kettle of fish !
I f you followed international racing in the 1960s and 1970s, you know the name Matra. Famous for its competitive Formula 1, Formula 2, and Formula 3 cars—not to mention its endurance racers, which triumphed at Le Mans three years straight, and twice won this French marque the World Championship for Makes— the diversified aeronautics firm of Matra (Mécanique Aviation TRAction) was drawn into the automotive world by René Bonnet’s cleverly designed two-seater, the D’Jet.
Half of the partnership that established Automobiles Deutsch et Bonnet in 1947, racer René Bonnet had worked with Charles Deutsch to build competition-focused sports cars and grand touring models based on two-cylinder, front-wheel-drive Panhard mechanicals, until 1961, when the collaborators dissolved their association. Bonnet, deciding Panhard drivetrains were no longer competitive, conceived a replacement powered by Renault’s larger-displacement, four-cylinder engine, under the aegis of his new company, Automobiles René Bonnet.
The sports car designed by Bonnet and engineer Jacques Hubert would eventually be called the D’Jet, and would be an innovator on many levels. The first examples were called CRB1 and CRB2, for Competition René Bonnet, and they established the pattern that would make what’s considered the first modern rear-mid-engine sports car equipped with four-wheel disc brakes, having narrowly beaten De Tomaso’s Ford-powered Vallelunga into production. It established its credentials early on, with examples participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1962, 1963, and 1964.
The D’Jet’s 94.5-inch wheelbase was set by a square-tube steel backbone frame that mounted fully independent coil spring/ wishbone suspension components, the rear featuring twin coil-over shocks per side. The Renault 8-sourced engine was mounted longitudinally and displaced 1.1-liters via a 70 x 72-mm (2.75 x 2.82-inch) bore and stroke. With its 10.2:1 compression ratio and two-barrel Zenith 32 NDIX carburetor, this aluminum-head, five-main four made 70 hp and 65.5 lb-ft of torque. This was mated to a fully synchronized four-speed manual transaxle, with D’Jet-specific gearing, that came from the Estafette van. Weight distribution was near ideal at 48/52, front/rear.
The skin that cloaked the frame was just as influential, as it was reported that the body’s steeply angled and curved glass, covered headlamps, and sleek lines all contributed to an incredible 0.27 coefficient of drag. That skin was fiberglass-reinforced polyester resin, and it was built by GAP (Générale d’Applications Plastiques), the composites subsidiary of Matra run by Bonnet’s friend and fellow racer, André Moynet. The combination of that light coachwork and backbone frame gave the car an excellent power-to-weight ratio, and its aerodynamic efficiency contributed to a high top speed.
Automobiles René Bonnet would build just under 200 racing and roadgoing versions, in four series, of this two-seater through 1964, when bankruptcy forced the company into the hands of its largest creditor, Matra. A new company—Matra Sports—was established to continue production of the D’Jet, which, from spring 1965, featured numerous design modifications engineered by Bonnet’s son, Claude, and was called the Matra Bonnet D’Jet V (spoken, and typically written, as ‘5’).
Matra Sports would build about 1492 of these cars through 1968, including the D’Jet VS’ replacement, the 105-hp, 200 km/h Jet 6
|Drive Type||Rear wheel drive|
|Engine||4 cylinder Renault L|
|Drive Type||Rear wheel drive|
|Transmission Type||4 manual|
|Engine Max Power (HP)||75|
- 44.000 km
- 4 manual
- 4 cylinder Renault L