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1 Of 2: 1981 Talbot Matra Murena Special

Finding a rare version of an already rare car can be difficult but is not impossible. Take the Talbot Matra Murena: Three different versions were produced (the 1.6, the 2.2, and the S) between 1980 and 1983 for a total of around 11,000 vehicles. This 1981 Murena Special was one of four produced with limited-edition body styling and is currently being offered for sale here on eBay Classifieds in Berlin, Germany for just over $8,000.

According to a translated description, the rounded styling, much different than the Murena’s original angular styling, was performed by architect Dries Krejikamp who was “known for his round forms.” Calling these Murenas “Round Houses,” two of the four Murenas have since been destroyed, making this an even more limited edition Murena. (Note the opera-style windows behind the driver and passenger doors.)

It is not specified which Murena model on which the special is based. The posting says it was first registered in 1981 and has accrued just over 57,000 miles. The seller notes that the car has 90 HP which equals the power output of the 1.6-liter model. This example maintains its five-speed manual gearbox sending the 90 HP to the rear wheels.

The seller mentions the car drives, the engine runs well, and that the battery, tires, brakes, and rear taillights have all been replaced in the last two years. The paint, as well as some of the electrics, will need to be addressed. The interior could do with some restoration as well or, at the very least, some cleaning. An interesting feature of the Murena, which it shared with the preceding Matra Bagheera, was its three-seat, front row layout. Taking the front bench seat concept and making three separate bucket seats had been done before, and maybe made most famous by the later McLaren F1, but it was still unique, nonetheless.

The Murena Round House Special is a unique representation of the sporty reputation of Matra. Matra had competed in Formula One, winning the 1969 Drivers’ and Constructors’ Titles with Jackie Stewart and the Tyrrell team. It also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times from 1972 to 1974 as well as the sportscar World Championship of Makes in 1973 and 1974. Nearly ten years later and that sporting spirit was alive and well with the Murena and made extra special with the Round House.


  1. scott m

    This brings up a question for me- would this be considered a prototype (working with the artist on a new design), or a limited edition (commissioned by a 3rd party)? Either way, not a fan of the opera windows in this case

    Like 0
    • Daniel Wright

      Not a fan of the port hole windows, the bubble butt or the grafted on taillights…
      This car looks like a Mazda Miata had a kid with a Jelly Bean

      Like 5
      • stu

        From the back, looks like a submarine….Not sure these were made to be on dry paved roads….let’s put this in water and see what happens….yeah, water!

        Like 0
  2. Husky

    Not a car designers finest hour….

    Like 9
    • Steve Clinton

      Ugly from any angle. And the portholes are the icing on the cake.

      Like 0
    • stu

      This is a nightmare! I don’t even need a beer to design something better…

      Like 0
  3. Greg McCarthy

    Tossup question: what’s worse – the design, or fit + finish of the body panels?

    Like 2
  4. Gerard Frederick

    Fit and Finish look like original Citroen!

    Like 0
  5. DeeBee

    At a glance, it looks like somebody had one too many “BRAUS” at lunch at the Porsche factory!

    Like 1
  6. Howie Mueler

    You need parts for a what?

    Like 2
  7. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    So, how many other readers tried to go to bolwoning.com??

    Like 1
  8. Doc

    It’s so ugly, it’s attractive.

    Shame it has such an anemic powerplant.

    Like 0
    • stu

      apparently, Sears optical is having a special on eye glasses…buy one pair and get three for free!

      Like 0
    • SubGothius

      Seems like a Dodge 2.2/2.5 Turbo mill could be a relatively easy transplant, as the engine family used in Murenas also appeared in many early Omnirizons (Chrysler L-platform).

      Like 0
  9. Jasper

    Strange. The Marta Murena was great looking car.

    Like 0
  10. JMB#7

    When I first looked at it I kept thinking Porsche 928 mini prototype??? I think that you are being a bit harsh. There has to be a solution to the port hole windows.

    Like 0
    • James Eaton

      The houses this architect designed also have all porthole windows! The houses themselves were all spherical.

      Like 0
  11. stu

    What do you mean by a solution to the port hole windows? This used to be a submarine you know…..

    Like 0
  12. SubGothius

    Surprised Franco Sbarro wasn’t involved in styling this; it’s got his flavor to it, so maybe the designer took some inspiration from him.

    Like 0
  13. Jwaltb

    Love to see the cars all you armchair experts designed…

    Like 0

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