1981 Matra Murena 2.2 2.2L OHC, 118 bhp from Netherlands
A unique and affordable sportscar
Replaced the battery.
New water pump.
New clutch; It was not worn at all when I bought it. However, due to material failure a spring broke off and demolished the clutch. This was pure bad luck and had nothing to do with the car in general.
Fixed several things on the headlight circuitry. The pop-up system is vacuum operated and the tubing started to leak (after 20 years). The change-over valve sticks now and then, causing the headlights to not pop up. Also, I had a small problem with the headlight relay unit, which ran hot due to bad electrical contacts. All these things were very easy to repair, once located.
A couple of electrical problems, including a battery indicator that does not work and a faulty windshield washer switch.
Trailing arms are the only parts on a Murena that can rust and unfortunately, the right trailing arm of my car is rusting; this goes from within. I had them checked in November and at that moment they were OK for the MOT.
Interior parts are coming loose; have to bond in Rawlplugs to fixate the screws. Also, the seats are showing wear.
It would seem that the running costs are pretty high, but once I have all of the above failures repaired, it will be a pretty reliable car which needs only regular maintenance.
The handling and cornering capability of a Matra Murena is fabulous, thanks to the mid-engined layout. However, the engine should be more powerful; 118 hp is nothing compared to modern sportscars.
The whole chassis is galvanized so it won't rust, except for the rear trailing arms. Body panels are made out of glassfibre re-enforced polyester and do not rust either.
It is a sportscar, but it has comfortable suspension so it won't shake your body all the time when driving on country roads.
The boot is very small; not a car to move large things around with.
Note that the car has officially been sold under the Talbot (formerly Simca) brand, so it says Talbot-Matra on the back. However, the registration papers say "Matra" brand name and "Talbot Murena 2.2" type designation.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th May, 2001
I have recently bought one of these and seem to have similar electrical problems as you.
The battery indicator light is always on above 2000rpm and the screen washer switch only works intermittently.
Once all the electrical gremlins are sorted out, if ever, it will be a lovely car. The handling is fantastic and mine has just enough power as it has been fitted with twn Dellorto carbs and a hotter cam.
It also has a 4 branch exhaust manifold and a quad exit exhaust - an old Peugeot engine has never sounded better!