The 1972 Le Mans-winning Matra MS670 driven by Graham Hill and Henri Pescarolo was announced for the Artcurial Paris Rétromobile 2021 classic car auction.
Artcurial Motorcars announced the first headline car for the 2021 Paris Rétromobile week classic car auctions: the Matra MS670, chassis 001, driven to victory at the 1972 Le Mans 24-hours race by Graham Hill and Henri Pescarolo. The presale estimate for this race-winning car is a wide €4 to 7.5 million (US $4.4 to 8.3 million). The Artcurial Paris Rétromobile classic car auction is scheduled for 5 February 2021.
1972 Matra MS670 at Artcurial Paris Rétromobile Sale 2021
The 1972 Matra MS670, chassis 001, estimate €4 to 7.5 million (US $4.4 to 8.3 million), on offer at the Artcurial Paris Rétrombile 2021 sale, is the car driven by Graham Hill and Henri Pescarolo to a famous victory in the 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
The Matra is presented in its 1973 Le Mans 24 Hours configuration, It is owned by the Lagardère Group and has been conserved at the Musée Matra in Romorantin since its last race in 1973. The racing car came unexpectedly onto the market after a court case lost early in 2020.
Thierry Funck-Brentano, co-managing partner of the Lagardère Group comments on this decision: “Our wonderful memories of MATRA’s part in motor racing history are no compensation for the Lagardère Group’s obligation to honor the consequences of an unfavorable court ruling in January 2020 in a social law case involving MATRA AUTOMOBILE, 18 years after it closed. Hence the decision to offer at auction, in total transparency, the 1972 Le Mans 24 Hour-winning MATRA.”
Matra Car Racing Success
The way Artcurial tells the story, Jean-Luc Lagardère asserted in the mid-1960s that within 10 years, Matra would win the Formula 1 World Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours, the two most prestigious titles in motor racing. Not only would his prediction prove to be correct, but he went further by also winning the Constructors’ World Championship.
Jean-Luc Lagardère employed talented drivers such as Beltoise, Jaussaud, Pescarolo, Larrousse, Servoz-Gavin, and Cevert. Success for Matra single-seaters soon followed. The constructor’s rise through the ranks was relentless and the first victory in Formula 3 was in July 1965, the first victory in Formula 1 in 1968, and the following year, the highest accolade when Jackie Stewart was crowned World Champion.
Matra at Le Mans 1972
During the second half of the 1960s, the 24 Hours of Le Mans race was dominated by Ford, Porsche, and Ferrari. The Matra-BRMs made their appearance in 1966 — 15 years after the previous French success at Le Mans.
By 1972, the MS 670 had reached maturity. Superbly streamlined, it was powered by the celebrated and symphonic-sounding V12 Matra engine. The marque entered four cars, and the Matra driven by Henri Pescarolo and Graham Hill, chassis 001, having lapped with the regularity of a metronome, crossed the finish line victorious. Second place went to another Matra, driven by François Cevert and Howden Ganley. This was the first 100% French victory since Louis Rosier had won in his Talbot in 1951.
In addition, it was a fantastic achievement for Graham Hill who won the triple crown (Monaco, Indianapolis, Le Mans 24 Hours). He remains the only driver to this day to have done this.
The MS 670 was an outstanding car and Matra went on to win the famous 24-Hour race twice more, in 1973 and 1974, giving Henri Pescarolo three Le Mans victories in a row. In 1974, Matra won also the World Championship leading Jean-Luc Lagardère to give up motor racing with mission accomplished.
Paris Retromobile Week Auctions 2021
Classic Car Auctions
The traditional Paris Rétromobile Week auctions in early February include:
- Bonhams: Les Grandes Marques au Grand Palais Sale (TBA).
- Artcurial: Rétromobile Classic Car Auctions on 5 February 2021.
- RM Sotheby’s: Paris Auction at Place Vauban (TBA).
Press Releases 2021:
- Artcurial: Le Mans-Winning 1972 Matra MS670
Paris Rétromobile Week Auction Results 2020:
- 2020 Artcurial Paris Rétromobile Sale (Auction Results)
- 2020 Bonhams Paris Sale (Auction Results)
- 2020 RM Sotheby’s Paris Sale (Auction Results)