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  Matra MS9 Cosworth

  Article Image gallery (8) MS9/01 Specifications  
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Country of origin:France
Produced in:1968
Numbers built:1
Designed by:Bernard Boyer for Matra
Successor:Matra MS10 Cosworth
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:April 06, 2015
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Click here to download printer friendly versionWith considerable backing from the French government, Matra stepped up to Formula 1 in 1968. Originally an aeronautics company, Matra looked beyond its native country's borders and employed the services of team manager Ken Tyrrell and his highly talented protege Jackie Stewart. Tyrrell had also secured a deal with Ford and Cosworth to supply the hugely competitive DFV V8 engine, which meant Matra did not have to start from scratch.

While a brand new car was constructed following the design of Bernard Boyer, a development prototype was built based on the MS7 Formula 2 car, which Stewart had already driven to several victories during the 1967 season. Carried over from the existing design, the new-for-1968 Matra MS9 was built around an aluminium monocoque. While the DFV V8 was designed to serve as a fully stressed member, the MS9 featured a separate rear subframe and bulkhead onto which the suspension was bolted.

Suspension at the front was through lower wishbones with top rockers, which actuated the in-board mounted coil springs and dampers. The rear layout was also conventional with reversed lower wishbones, top links and twin trailing arms. Girling disc brakes were fitted on all four corners. The Ford-Cosworth engine was mated to a Hewland DG300, five-speed gearbox. Perhaps as a nod to Matra's core business, the unique MS9 was finished in aerospace primer.

Built late in 1967, Matra's first Formula 1 car was ready in time for the 1968 season opening South African Grand Prix. Stewart impressed by qualifying third behind the two Team Lotus cars. The young Scotsman ran well in the race before an engine failure ended his charge. Team-mate Jean-Pierre Beltoise scored Matra's first points by placing sixth with a F2 specification MS7.

The one-off MS9 was not used again as the team switched to the purpose-built MS10. Before the end of the year, Stewart had scored three victories with the new Matra.

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  Article Image gallery (8) MS9/01 Specifications