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Matra MS120D


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#1 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 16:51

Allen's page on the Matra chassis confuses me slightly. They are not complete, or?

Of the MS120 cars, three versions are listed:

1970 Matra MS120 - 3 cars - Chassis /1 /2 /3
1971 Matra MS120B - 3 cars - Chassis /4 /5 /6
1971 Matra MS120C - 2 cars - But just one chassis listed /7

In this thread Allen states

1970 Matra MS120 - 3 cars
1971 Matra MS120B - 3 cars
1971 Matra MS120C - 2 cars
1972 Matra MS120D - 1 cars

So here we have now a MS120D listed.

The results for MS120C/7 here seems to indicate that it is in fact the MS120D.

So was the MS120D chassis 7, or was an eight (or even a ninth?) car built?

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#2 HEROS

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 17:29

In my files, I have the following production :

Matra MS 120 : 3 cars chassis 01, 02, 03 in 1970
Matra MS 120 B : 3 cars chassis 04, 05, 06 in 1971
Matra MS 120 C : 2 cars chassis 05, 06 (reconditioned MS 120 B) in 1972
Matra MS 120 D : 1 car chassis 07 in June 1972

Matra MS 120 D chassis 07 appeared the first time at the French GP and
finished season 72.

#3 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 20:55

Thanks, Jean-Bernard, that seems like a very probable production, with one of the cars being a converted chassis.

#4 Allen Brown

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 21:59

Rainer

I've checked my notes and they don't agree with the site. Total production was indeed 7, with the seventh car either called MS120D/1 or MS120D/7.

On my site, I've made a mess of the model numbers of chassis 4, 6 and 7 although I believe the individual race histories of each chassis are correct. The car shown as MS120C/7 should be MS120D/7; the races shown for MS120B/4 in 1972 should appear as MS120C/4 and likewise the races shown for MS120B/6 in 1972 should appear as MS120C/6.

However, I don't agree with HEROS about chassis 5. I don't believe 5 became a MS120C, I believe it was chassis 4 that was the upgraded car. By the time chassis 5 came into private hands, it was in such a mess it was hard to tell whether the minor C spec changes had ever been made.

Thanks for pointing this out.

Allen

#5 Roger Clark

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 22:11

Originally posted by Rainer Nyberg
Thanks, Jean-Bernard, that seems like a very probable production, with one of the cars being a converted chassis.

I think that both the 120Cs were converted Bs.

While we're on the subject, can anyone summarise the differences between the different types? I know there were differences in nose cones, wings and air boxes, but these things could have been put on to any chassis.

Chassis 120B/5 and /6 had a differently shaped monocoque from the 1970 cars, but as far as I know 120B/4 was the same shape as the previous year. So what really distinguished the Bs?

The only differences between the B and the C that I know of is modified front suspension and ventilated rear brakes. Was there anything else?

Incidentally, in his report on the 1972 Spanish Grand Prix, Denis Jenkinson was that MS120/4 had been brought up to C specification. I can find no mention of MS120/5 being used in 1972. This seems strange if, as suggested above, 120/4 really did use the older shaped monocoque than 120/5 and/6. It would be interesting to see a picture of 120/4 in 1972. Amon raced it in monaco and Britain.

#6 Allen Brown

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Posted 13 October 2004 - 22:18

There's a trick to 04. The first car to bear the chassis plate was 03 in early 1971 (and possibly at Mexico 1970 - see MN). Then the real 04 appears - a MS120B. Or was it as MS120½ at Kyalami?

Allen

#7 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 10:51

Thanks for trying to sort this out :up:

Roger here are a couple of pics from the races you requested :

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Chris Amon at the British GP.

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Chris Amon at Monaco.

#8 Keir

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 13:39

There were quite a lot of detail changes between the original MS120 and the MS120Bs.

Amon did use the MS120 in the 71 Argentine GP and then again at the Spanish GP.

The main feature of the MS120B was the distintive front bodywork.

The MS120C was just a tidied up MS120B, with slight bodywork changes at the rear monocoque.

The MS120D was a completely new chassis and I'm not sure if more than one was ever produced?

#9 Rob Ryder

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 15:57

Rainer (and Roger)
Your photo of Chris in the Matra at Brands is the MS120D/07. I took the photo ;) during practice before Chris crashed this car and switched to MS120C/04..

One of the obvious external differences between the C and D (at Brands) was that the C chassis had a small winglet/tab at the rear of the sidepod, which was not there on the D.

This is the MS120C/04 at Brands...
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(Source unknown)

This is the MS120C/04 at Monaco...
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(Source unknown)

Rob

#10 philippe7

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 16:17

I've always understood that the MS120D is the only car with the new monocoque design ( without the "angled" sidepods ) and that indeed only one of it was ever built , which is currently in the Matra museum at Romorantin.

#11 HEROS

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 16:59

I wish to make a correction about MS 120 C, in fact it was about chassis MS 120 B 04 and 06 which had been converted in MS 120 C for the first part of the 1972 season.

#12 Roger Clark

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 19:08

MS120/5 and /6 had a different shape to the monocoque sides from the earlier cars, and different again from 120/7 (D). I was interested in whether 120/4 also had this shape. Rob Ryder's two photos (which were both taken in 1972, of course) suggests, but does not confirm that it did.

Allen Brown's post:

There's a trick to 04. The first car to bear the chassis plate was 03 in early 1971 (and possibly at Mexico 1970 - see MN). Then the real 04 appears - a MS120B. Or was it as MS120½ at Kyalami?



is interesting. I hadn't heard that before. Amon drove 120/4 at the 1971 Spanisg Grand Prix, Beltoise drove the new 120/5. DSJ's report said that the two cars had differently shaped monocoques, 120/5 having smooth sloping sides while 120/4 the original shelf-like layout.At heir next race, the International Trophy, the two drivers had the same cars with 120/2 as a spare. Autosport said that this allowed a comparison between the 1970 and 71 car "the sloping air trough of last year's cars has been replaced by an angular bulge". This suggests that 120/4 was new for this race.

If so, Matra introduced 120/5 in Spain, 120/4 (the real one) at Silverstone, and 120/6 at Monaco.

#13 Keir

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 21:46

Great pic of the MS120C at Monaco.

This thread should be a tangent over at the "famous Amon" domain!!