Please note that the cars or exhibit items shown in this database are part of our collection but may not be on display when you visit.
René Bonnet continued to make cars under his own name and also became a driver for Renault. To support his competition exploits, Bonnet unveiled three cars at the 1962 Paris Salon. Under his new company, Automobiles René Bonnet (RB), the first examples were the CRB1 and CRB2, for Competition René Bonnet. The top range was his pioneering D´jet. The D’jet was the world's first production mid-engine sports car. It demonstrated the superior handling characteristics of a mid-engine layout to the world.
During this time period, Bonnet had borrowed heavily to build his factory in Romorantin, France to personal specification, where DBs’ had been manufactured. Bonnet negotiated a deal with Renault for a Renault-powered Le Mans car but this did not bring in sufficient funds to get the company firmly established. By October 1964, just two years and 4 months into production, Matra, who had been supplying René with fiberglass bodies, took control of the factory. Their vested interest was in keeping the company afloat rather than losing what they were owed. Matra created a new and separate division, Matra Sports and continued with Bonnet’s Berlinetta, called the Matra Bonnet D’Jet V.
By the time the Bonnet D’Jet V became a Matra in 1965, the Bonnet name, Roman numerals, and the apostrophe were taken away in favor of the now-named Matra Sports Djet 5. Later models were Matra Sports Jet 5S and 6. Just 1495 of all Djet models were built by Matra, while an unknown and much smaller number were constructed by René Bonnet. Besides the Matra Djet 5 seen here, our collection also includes a 1967 Jet 6 and an extremely rare 1965 Gordini-tuned René Bonnet CRB1. Our CRB1 is believed to have been Rene Bonnet’s personal car.
Manufacturer: Matra Sports
Country of Origin: France
Drivetrain Configuration: Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine: Water-cooled, Renault OHV inline-four, 1,108-cc
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Top Speed: 100 miles per hour
Years of Production: 1964-1968
Number Produced: 916 (Djet 5)