Matra Bagheera Series 1 & 2 Apparel and Accessories by Legend Lines
In December 1969 Matra and Simca entered into an agreement that rebranded Matra's racing cars and give Matra access to the Simca dealer. The first joint project was development of a replacement for the Matra 530, which had not reached its sales volumes. Work on the new car began in 1970 and development was led by Matra's head of engineering. The major components were sourced from the Chrysler-Simca parts inventory. The new Matra was to be a mid-engined with more than just two seats. The 2+2 arrangement rear seats were too small to be really useful, so a three front seats solution was adopted. Development was complete by the end of 1972. The car took its name from the character in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. The body's shape was that of a sleek hatchback with hidden headlights. The rear hatch opened to access the engine mounted behind the passenger compartment and a rear luggage space. The unusual three-abreast seating was implemented as a 2+1 arrangement. Seen in plan view it is apparent that the body sides are slightly convex to accommodate the seating. The 19 panels that made up the Bagheera's body were made of fiberglass-reinforced polyester, which were then attached to the chassis. The Bagheera won the 1973 Style Auto Award.