More than 50 cars join two-day birth­day bash in France

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - David Mil­loy ❚ ma­tra-pas­sion.com

The Ma­tra Ran­cho, grand­fa­ther of the modern ‘soft roader’, turned 40 this year. And to mark the oc­ca­sion, French club Ma­tra Pas­sion held a two-day birth­day party in the Ran­cho’s home town of Ro­morantin.

It started with a mass gath­er­ing at the Es­pace Au­to­mo­biles Ma­tra in Ro­morantin (now fully re­opened af­ter last year’s floods – CCW, 20 July 2016) on 12-13 May.

Contin­gents from sev­eral Euro­pean Ma­tra clubs, in­clud­ing a 12-strong group from the Ma­tra En­thu­si­asts Club UK, were present.

Clive Nel­son, pres­i­dent of the Ma­tra En­thu­si­asts Club UK says: ‘The turnout was very healthy. About 50 Ran­chos at­tended, which is more than at­tended the 25th and 30th an­niver­sary meet­ings, and around the same num­ber again of other Ma­tra mod­els also turned up.’

High­lights of the week­end in­cluded or­gan­ised vis­its to an un­der­ground mush­room farm and a bis­cuit fac­tory and a poignant trip to the site of Ma­tra’s first fac­tory, where the Ran­cho was as­sem­bled. Much of the site, orig­i­nally home to a tex­tile mill and then to a car plant from the 1960s un­til its fi­nal clo­sure in 2003, has been turned into so­cial hous­ing. Sev­eral key build­ings have, how­ever, been re­tained and are be­ing sym­pa­thet­i­cally re­de­vel­oped.

Strong bonds have been formed be­tween Euro­pean Ma­tra en­thu­si­asts over the years, and Clive Nel­son is al­ready look­ing for­ward to Ran­cho’s 45th an­niver­sary meet­ing and be­yond. He says: ‘The event more than lived up to our ex­pec­ta­tions and the strong turn-out of cars and peo­ple bodes very well for the fu­ture.’

party. seater Mure­nas joined the Ran­cho This colour­ful quar­tet of three- Just a few of the 50 or so Ran­chos that jour­neyed from all across Europe to at­tend the event out­side the grounds of the Château de Ville­savin in France.

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