Matra MS80

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The Matra MS80 was the fourth Formula One car produced by Matra (following the MS9, MS10 and MS11). The Ford Cosworth DFV-powered car (engine 3000 cc, estimated at around 420 bhp (313 kW)) took Jackie Stewart to the Formula One World Championship title in 1969.

The car was built at Matra's Formula One base at Vélizy-Villacoublay in the southwestern suburbs of Paris, designed under the direction of Gérard Ducarouge and Bernard Boyer. Apart from Ferrari cars, the Matra MS80 is the only non-British built car to win the Formula One World Constructors' Championship (the French constructor Renault, the Austrian constructor Red Bull and the German constructor Mercedes built their winning cars in the UK).

Jackie Stewart in 1969 driving the MS80.

Although officially a Matra, it was run by the non-works Matra International team of Ken Tyrrell. The MS80 was one of the first F1 racing cars to be designed with "wings" for downforce to increase high-speed tyre grip. These were originally introduced into F1 in 1968. Due to some serious racing accidents with the flimsy 1969-type high wing constructions early in the racing season, like all 1969 F1 cars the MS80 was altered to use more sturdy lowered wings, directly attached to the car's body, later on.

Only two MS80's were assembled in 1969, a third monocoque was built but remained un-assembled until the EPAF company made it a complete car in 2006. Jackie Stewart in a 2006 issue of the British Motor Sport magazine referred to it as the nicest-handling F1 car he had ever driven.


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