Three-Seater: 10k-mi 1983 Matra Murena 2.2 S

Before I found this, if someone asked me to name a three-seat sports car I would have named the brilliant McLaren F1, which had the driver's seat positioned in the center of the cockpit flanked by two passenger seats on each side.

This, however, is another three-seater, and perhaps even more obscure.

I usually post cars for sale in the U.S. only. I'm American and my audience consists of (presumably) mostly Americans. There's also a ton of cool cars for sale around the world and if I started including them it would change the point of my blog, which is to bring you interesting cars that might be in your neighborhood. This car is in Canada, but I can't resist writing about it. It's also at least in the continent of North America, so if any of my readers become seriously interested, importation would probably slightly easier and less expensive than coming in from overseas.

It's a 1983 Matra Murena.

Matra was a French Automotive group that dissolved in 1994.

The Murena was produced from 1980-1983. It replaced the '73-'80 Bagheera, also a two-door sports car, which Matra made with Simca.

A number of things make the Murena special.

The body was made from a combination of fiberglass and polyester. To combat rust, the spaceframe was galvanized. This kind of foresight from the manufacturer is very appreciated. One of the biggest problems facing older cars is rust. To find an older car that was made protected against rust is a big relief.

The layout is mid-engine powering the rear wheels, ideal for sports car enthusiasts. The engine is a 2.2-litre inline 4-cylinder. This car also features the rare and desirable "S-kit", which raised bhp output to 142. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.

Inside, the interior is notable for having three seats. The driver's seat is positioned far left, and then two individual seat units were placed next to it. The middle seat could be folded down to make a huge armrest. Leg and foot room looks generous. The seats look to be some sort of cozy cloth. The dashboard is typical sparsity and angles of the early '80s but it looks both exotic and inviting in brown and tan.

On top of being a very rare and desirable car, the seller states it only has 10,365 miles on it. The say it was from a museum in QC (Quebec?) which is probably the best explanation you can get accounting for the condition and low miles.

The car does indeed look great. Paint looks excellent, panels straight, no major damage or flaws. The spoiler and slatted rear quarter windows may be options, as I found photos of examples with no spoilers and clear windows instead. The slats make it look like a late model Pontiac Fiero, which is not exactly desirable, so they could be swapped out for glass pieces to look more like a Lancia Montecarlo. Everything appears original though.

Design wise it's very appealing as well. Classic compact '80s design. Muzzled front end. The taillights are broad and nicely integrated. Alloys are subtle and tasteful.

Mechanically, there seem to be no issues, although the seller didn't include any photos of the engine, which is unusual. The seller says it runs and drives however. I would still at least ask for photos of the engine compartment.

The seller is asking $12,900.00. I found several for sale in France on for about $4,000-$12,000, so this would be considered on the high end. Still, it seems like a fair price for a cool car, in exceptional condition, that is also rare. The only lingering question and major hurdle would be the cost of imporation. The seller mentions it's "USA legal" but who knows what that means. It still has to pass the border somehow and I have no idea what that entails, but it can't be easy.

But if you made it through, it would be one cool car to have here.

Find it here on ebay in Toronto, Canada with a buy it now price and the make offer option.

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