Last week I started my little LALD countdown to Le Mans with a rather disappointing rendering of a Peugeot 905. I shall now make up for it with one of my all-time favorite endurance racers, a model of which I’ve wanted for a long, long time, the Matra MS670b. It is also generally regarded as one of the greatest sounding cars of all time, as I shall later demonstrate.

Matra won Le Mans three years running from 1972-74 with the 670, and this is the ‘74 winning car of Henri Pescarolo and Gerard Larrousse. Pescarolo had won in ‘72 with Graham Hill in the first 670, and in ‘73 in another “B” model, also with Larrousse.

It can’t be ignored that the rules were changed by the FIA for 1972 to limit the top prototypes in the World Championship to 3.0L engines, with no minimum production requirement. Convenient, as Matra had an amazing 3.0L V12 Formula 1 engine. You’ll recall, of course, that Porsche had exploited a rules loophole to build the 917, which won Le Mans on two of three attempts (not counting the Kremer 917/81) and decimated the competition elsewhere. This loophole allowed engines of 5.0L if at least 25 cars were built, down from 50, and was intended to allow cars like the GT40 and Lola T70 to continue racing, though they were out of date and nobody expected them to contend for overall wins. Indeed, Ickx and Oliver had been lucky to win the ‘69 event. Many theorize that the FIA, still bitter about this, used the 1972 change specifically to eliminate the 917 from Le Mans, and bring their homegrown 3.0L Matras to the fore. True or not, this is what happened.

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The ‘74 “B” model differs mostly from the ‘73 in its high airbox and different cockpit surround (the ‘73 had a cover separating the driver and “passenger” compartments).

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As Jobjoris shared the lovely DB HBR this morning, it’s worth mentioning that Matra’s cars could be considered to owe their existence to Rene Bonnet, as Matra only branched into cars upon purchasing Automobiles Rene Bonnet.

This model is by Altaya, and for under $15 it’s really nice. I had wanted to save up for a Spark or something higher end, but decided I couldn’t wait to add one to my collection. From viewing distance, it’s a great piece, and only shows its budget roots in the very fine details.

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Of course, I can’t mention the sound without a sample of it... prepare yourselves:

Different version of the car, but the same engine and orgasmic sound. I would fight to the death to spend the world’s last tank of gasoline in one of these.

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I positively cannot wait for Le Mans, I literally get giddy like a little kid as it gets closer. More LM stuff to come, including France’s last winner next week.

(Video source: HistoricRacingHD)