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Yves Matra - qui?


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#1 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 18:20

Quite a mystery man Monsieur Matra.

As far as I'm aware Yves Matra's name first appears in the entry list for Le Mans in 1937, as third driver for Roger Labric's Bugatti T57G, but he failed to put in an appearance.

In 1938 he pootled around at the back of the field at Pau in a Bugatti T51, shared an old Alfa Romeo Monza with Marcel Horvilleur at Le Mans and a Delahaye 135CS with Jean Trévoux in the Paris 12 Hours, retiring on each occasion, while also failing to appear at La Baule, where he was entered in a Maserati 4CM.

None of these performances would appear to qualify him for what was in effect a semi-works drive for Alfa Romeo in the 1939 Grand Prix de l'ACF at Reims. So was 'Yves Matra' was actually a nom de course? Or was he a man with money who could afford to buy drives?

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#2 David McKinney

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 18:23

I think he was a real person (of that name)

For years I believed that Alfa Romeo used his name to enter their cars in the 1939 French GP (as they were unable to enter direct) but I'm fairly sure Julian Majzub told me the Alfa 308 he races in historic events today, was formerly owned by Matra

#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 18:37

I think he was a real person (of that name)

For years I believed that Alfa Romeo used his name to enter their cars in the 1939 French GP (as they were unable to enter direct) but I'm fairly sure Julian Majzub told me the Alfa 308 he races in historic events today, was formerly owned by Matra

It's perfectly possible that Yves Matra (whoever he was) may have owned one of the cars - at least "nominally" in that his name might perhaps have been on some sort of carnet - but if he did, then the story behind those entries is far more complicated than even I imagined or have managed to discover. And that already goes further than anything yet published ... ;)

#4 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:41

Weren't the Alfa #4 (Chinetti) and #6 (Matra) entered by Christian Kautz ?

#5 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 11:22

In 1938 the Le Mans entry was by Marcel Horvilleur , the Paris 12 entry by Ecurie Blue (Schell). So I don't think he owned the cars.

#6 GIGLEUX

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 12:30

Weren't the Alfa #4 (Chinetti) and #6 (Matra) entered by Christian Kautz ?

That is what Sheldon wrote. In L'AUTO the three Alfas where at first entered by Alfa Corse, were announced two 8-cylinder cars, the third one to be an 8-cylinder or a 16-cylinder car. Then the Mussolini ban on french races occured and so Alfa Corse and the two Officine Alfieri Maserati entries were canceled.
At first the ACF admitted only official entries by constructors or their designated representatives. But with five official entries canceled they were obliged to admit the three Alfas of Chinetti (ex Kautz entry), Matra and Sommer (entered by himself).

#7 GIGLEUX

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 12:33

In 1938 the Le Mans entry was by Marcel Horvilleur , the Paris 12 entry by Ecurie Blue (Schell). So I don't think he owned the cars.


An Ecurie Bleue entry for Trévoux-Matra? Surprising for me; what is your source Hugo?


#8 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 20:21

That is what Sheldon wrote. In L'AUTO the three Alfas where at first entered by Alfa Corse, were announced two 8-cylinder cars, the third one to be an 8-cylinder or a 16-cylinder car. Then the Mussolini ban on french races occured and so Alfa Corse and the two Officine Alfieri Maserati entries were canceled.

Do you happen to know exactly when l'Auto made that suggestion about the Alfa Corse entries, Jean-Maurice?

#9 GIGLEUX

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 21:06

Do you happen to know exactly when l'Auto made that suggestion about the Alfa Corse entries, Jean-Maurice?

In the 27-06-1939 issue.

#10 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 21:25

How intriguing! That ties in rather well with something else ...

#11 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 08:48

An Ecurie Bleue entry for Trévoux-Matra? Surprising for me; what is your source Hugo?

The French Sports Car Revolution by A. Blight (p487)

Just another thought - if Matra was a "money-man" why haven't we heard of him any more?

#12 David McKinney

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 09:26

My memory - again a hazy one from what Julian Majzub said - was that something nasty happened to him during the War

#13 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 09:39

The French Sports Car Revolution by A. Blight (p487)

Martin Krejci has Trévoux as the entrant: his source looks to be the programme, as he even has race numbers for non-starters. Blight's book is good, but not infallible - especially on 1938 and 1939, which were only part-finished at the time of his death and completed by his widow. I'd go with Martin on this one.

#14 GIGLEUX

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 14:48

The French Sports Car Revolution by A. Blight (p487)

Exactly what I was guessing! I totaly agree with Richard about Blight's book and even before 1938-39, for example his story about the SEFAC Company: impressive but completely false!

#15 GIGLEUX

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 14:55

How intriguing! That ties in rather well with something else ...


What is the "something else" Richard?


#16 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 16:02

What is the "something else" Richard?

Something I'd rather not air in public! Is your email still the gmail one I have? ;)

#17 GIGLEUX

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 18:00

Something I'd rather not air in public! Is your email still the gmail one I have?;)


Yes, it is!


#18 ERault

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 12:46

That is what Sheldon wrote. In L'AUTO the three Alfas where at first entered by Alfa Corse, were announced two 8-cylinder cars, the third one to be an 8-cylinder or a 16-cylinder car. Then the Mussolini ban on french races occured and so Alfa Corse and the two Officine Alfieri Maserati entries were canceled.
At first the ACF admitted only official entries by constructors or their designated representatives. But with five official entries canceled they were obliged to admit the three Alfas of Chinetti (ex Kautz entry), Matra and Sommer (entered by himself).


A photo of Matra's 308 (in McDonough's Tipo 158 book) shows the car had a swiss cross on its side. The picture may have been taken in practice.