1981 Matra Murena 2.2 from Netherlands - Comments

6th Apr 2007, 09:22

It's been a few years since I wrote this review and still drive the car. I had a few extra problems, most notably a fire due to short circuit in the wiring loom. The battery and alternator have been replaced, the warning light is working again. But every time I take the Murena out for a drive it is smiles from the driver and gazes from the boy racer brigade. I had the car resprayed in its correct original colour ("Rouge Mephisto") and replacing all the door rubbers helps keeping the water out when it's raining!

Yes, the twin carb and hotter cam setup should have been fitted on every 2.2 Murena straight off the factory! Too bad they only came with the very rare "Préparation 142" kit and were standard only the very last model year on the 2.2S. It gives the car more power (142 hp instead of 118). I got rid of the quad pipe Devil, since they rust like there's no tomorrow and have a very poor airflow design. I kept the four branch manifold and fitted a stainless steel single exhaust pipe.

11th Apr 2009, 05:55

I bought one of these (a 2.2) about 3 years ago, and used it as my only car for a year.

Though it's quite tough for a car that old, I wouldn't recommend it as an every day driver... In the end I had to take it off the road as the list of pending repairs grew over my head, and I didn't have the time to fix everything the "proper" way.

- I don't agree on the handling.. It's "fair" nothing more, and in the wet you have to be careful. Correct tyres are essential for handling, braking and road holding.

- Cabin is small with little headroom (though not any more so than a lot of contemporary sports cars like the Lotus Esprit etc), and the gear lever might get in the way of your right leg.

- Cylinder heads are prone to cracking if overheated, or if you push it hard while the engine is cold.

- The standard mechanical fuel pump will leak and spit fire onto the exhaust manifold (this is a fact.. it happens!)

- Timing chain cover is also prone to leak oil.

Apart from that, any further faults are minor and to be expected from an old sports car such as this.

I would highly recommend this car as a "classic" car for anyone who don't fancy the prospect of mending or tending a rotting chassis. It's good value for money and with only about 10500 ever made, very exclusive. Yet.. most spare parts can still be bought (online) from specialist vendors in Germany and the UK.

5th May 2009, 07:50

Re the previous commenter: please check your tire pressure! This is vital for the Murena's road holding. Front 1.8 bar, rear 2.4, that is, if you are using the original 14" rims with 60% profile tires (Pirelli P6 and the like). The "S"-spec Murena takes 2.5 bar at the rear and so should bigger rims (I have 15"). And I totally agree that in the wet you should be careful, but that applies to all rear wheel drive, mid engined cars.

Also, engine overheating is usually caused by failures in the cooling system. Do not push your 2.2 hard in the first 15 minutes or so, there is 11 litres of coolant to be heated. And yes, the mechanical fuel pump is prone to leakage, best to replace it with an electrical pump.

Finally, about the interior space, I had a Peugeot 106 for daily driving when I wrote the review back in 2001, but my current daily driver is a Peugeot 308 which makes my Murena look very, very cramped indeed. But then again, this is a classic sports car, not a shopping cart.

Cheers!

1st Dec 2009, 10:02

Hi I am an happy owner of a Matra Murena 2.2. 1981. I just have a problem, my window system both right and left is broken.

Someone can help me finding those spare parts? bonsai360@163.com

David.

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