1983 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2L 'S'
This quirky little French sportscar was due to a collaboration with Talbot (ex Simca) and Matra, of race car and F1 fame. Launched in 1980 as a 1600 and later updated to a 2.2L in 1983. Only 4,560 2.2L's and 480 factory 'S" models were built between 1983 and 1984 when the Murena was discontinued. It is believed there are less than 1,000 of these cars still in existence in the world, and this is one of three known to be in Australia, making the car very rare.
The Murena was the replacement for the Bagheera and as such addressed many of the issues with the earlier Bagheera. The Murena was the first production car to feature a galvanised chassis, so rust is not an issue. The lightweight fibreglass body resulted in a kerb weight of only 930kg, making the car nimble and responsive. The 2.2L 4 cylinder Talbot motor was mated to a Citroen CX 5 speed transaxle and mounted transversely behind the cockpit. Rated at 115bhp in standard trim or 136bhp for the 'S', this allowed the Murena 'S' to hit 0-100km/h in 8.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 210km/h. Disc brakes on all four corners allowed provided adequate stopping power. The most unique feature of this car was the seating arrangement. Three separate single seats in a row made the car a three seater. The backrest on the middle seat folds down into an armrest when not in use. All cars were only available in LHD.
This particular car was delivered to the UK as a standard 2.2L in Orange in 1983. In 2000 in underwent a refurbishment and was colour changed to Daytona Yellow. At the same time, the interior was re-trimmed in black leather as opposed to the standard cloth. The single carburettor was replaced with twin Dellorto side draught carbs, upgrading the car to 'S' spec. A set of headers / extractors was fitted along with a dual exit, stainless steel sports exhaust. (It sounds incredible!) The car sports non standard 15" alloy wheels and the steering wheel was changed to a flat bottom type to accommodate taller drivers. In 2004 the car was shipped to New Zealand where it has had only two owners. The last owner bought the car in 2007 and has kept the car in great shape for the last 10 years.
In 2011, the engine was completely overhauled and the gearbox rebuilt. There is a folder of invoices dating back to UK ownership detailing all of the work carried out on this car going back to 1988. Mechanically, the car runs very well, and the power to weight ratio makes the car feel very sprightly. The combination of the sports exhaust and the Dellortos sucking in air behind your head is intoxicating. It makes the need for the radio/CD player redundant. Close the electrically operated windows though and the cabin is pretty quiet. The unique three seat configuration works well. I have been able to accommodate both my kids in a sportscar for a change! The cabin is roomy for its size, and all of the electrics and dials/gauges work. The dash is uncracked, the carpets are good and a set of Murena floor mats complete the picture inside. The windows have a darker tint and the clear windscreen has no cracks or chips. The doors lock remotely with central locking.
The bodywork is very good for a fibreglass car of this age. There are no major stress cracks although their are some minor ones around the door handles on both doors. The paint has polished up nicely and the finish is good. There are some minor scratches and chips around the car, but are not that noticeable unless you are close to the car. The rims could do with a repaint however, but are acceptable as they are. The pop-up headlights work as they should and all in all this is a very neat usable example of a rare, affordable sportscar.
We recently imported this car from New Zealand and it is currently registered on NSW Club plates. Registration options can be discussed on enquiry.
If you are looking for a unique, fun, lightweight and rare sportscar, look no further. You will not be disappointed and are guaranteed to turn heads!!