The Matra Museum, formerly Espace automobiles Matra, has been open since 2000 in an industrial building dating from the early 20th century near the city center of Romorantin and owned by the city.
The premises of the Matra Museum, on about 3000m2, are clear, airy and very pleasant to visit. The brand’s heritage constitutes the majority of the museum’s collection, divided into several rooms and spaces, dedicated to different themes. Indeed Matra, it is a rich industrial adventure, a fabulous sports epic and a particularly innovative and avant-garde design office.
The cars of the Matra Museum
About 70 cars illustrate the history of the brand. The rooms and spaces are well identified, allowing a clear visit route, but also the visitor to focus on his specific topics of interest. You will be welcomed by the Espace F1, an unlikely marriage of a Espace body and a Formula 1 engine. A room presents the history and evolution of the Space produced by Matra, from the first concept to the3rd generation and then the Avantime. In particular the 500,000th Product Area, signed by all employees (3500 !!!) and mythical actors of the sporting adventure (for example the pilots JP Beltoise, H. Pescarolo or JP Jaussaud…). Another room completes the industrial aspect with the sports cars produced by Matra, the Djet, 530, Bagheera and Murena and the Rancho. Recall that more than a million vehicles left the chains based in Romorantin between the early 60s and 2003
Make way for sport at the Matra Museum
Matra Sports is of course Formula 1 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, so we find some of the most emblematic models, the world champions in F1 and Sport Proto, but also the first F3 and F2. A line of 3 single-seaters, F3, F2 and F1 illustrates the motto of Jean-Luc Lagardère, historical boss of Matra: “Formula 3 to learn, Formula 2 to become seasoned, and Formula 1 to win”. Don’t miss the Matra MS650 that won the Tour de France Auto in 1970 and 1971. Next to it, the “jewelry store” where the famous V12s are exhibited, but also lesser-known engines such as a Flat 12 and a twin-turbo V6, never used in racing, visit lulled by the melodious sound of the V12.
In the basement, it is the3rd part of the Matra story, probably the least known to the general public, with a remarkable collection of concepts, models and prototypes, developed to test innovative ideas or at the request of manufacturers. You will be surprised to find in these concepts ideas that have since made their way onto the market.
The museographic design gives pride of place to explanations and illustrations highlighting matra’s rich history: video terminals, models, photos, explanatory sheets on themes such as Matra and cinema, which shows how Matra also knew how to innovate in communication. A showcase displays the miniatures of all the winning cars of the 24 Hours of Le Mans since the1st edition. More rare and original, the front hood of the Matra having won the 24H 1973, in its juice and signed drivers. You can also see sports bikes designed by Matra Sports, and even 2 rare “Velocette” motorcycles. Finally, 2 video spaces allow you to learn more about sports history and concepts and prototypes. A reception area and a shop to take away souvenirs of your visit complete the whole.
The museum is accessible to PRM and a large car park welcomes you nearby.
Temporary exhibition The legends of the Rally
From April 11 to November 15, 2022, the Matra Museum is offering its annual exhibition, this year on The Legends of rallying. The exhibition brings together about fifteen stars of the discipline from different eras, from the small Simca 1000 NSU TT to the super-powerful Group B, via the Alpine and the Stratos.
Practical information of the Matra Museum
Website (in French): http://www.museematra.com/
|Open every day except Tuesday, open every day in July and August|
|Exceptional closures: 1st January, 1st May and 25th December. Check the museum’s website|
|Weekday schedules||9h00-12h00 and 14h00-18h00|
|Weekend and public holiday hours||10:00-12:00 and 14:00-18:00|
|Adults (over 16 years old)||7,00€|
|Young people from 8 to 16 years old, students, people with disabilities||5,00€|
|Children (under 8 years old)||Free|
|Groups (from 15 people)||5,00€|
|Job seekers, group leaders||Free|
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