Car Museum Find: 1982 Talbot-Matra Murena

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One of my favorite “types” of discoveries is a low-mileage, mothballed car from an obscure car museum. The museum doesn’t have to be completely off the radar, but a lot of the smaller ones are, unlike the Petersen and Volos of the world. The car in question is highly unusual to find in the states, particularly with extremely low miles. This is a 1982 Talbot-Matra Murena with only 3,095 miles on the clock and discovered slumbering in the “Museum of Automobiles” in Arkansas. It’s now listed here on eBay after a mild reconditioning with bids reaching $14,000 and the reserve unmet.

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit some of these smaller auto museums (along with the larger ones) and I always liked the ones off the beaten path far more. It seems like they do a better job of acquiring “attainable” cars and featuring marques and models you don’t often see; in the case of the Museum of Automobiles, it was started by Winthrop Rockefeller and today features just over 30 vehicles. The selling dealer acquired the Murena from the museum, and I’d love to know how they ended up owning such a little-known model. As expected with such low miles, the fiberglass-epoxy body panels appear to be in excellent condition.

Look at that interior – the tufted material is a definite throwback to the 1980s, and I’m surprised to see such an obvious American-style design in a French car. Of course, you may be distracted by the three bucket seats across the driver’s compartment, and the otherwise minty passenger cabin. The middle seat does fold down to become an armrest in the event it’s not being used, which I would assume to be often given the positioning of the center passenger’s legs looks fairly uncomfortable. There’s lots of brown and shades of brown in here, and the seller reports that the various materials are all in very good condition.

The 2.2L “Type 180” engine features a single Solex two-barrel carburetor good for about 116 horsepower. The seller reports that a tune-up has been performed, and hopefully, this indicates that basic consumables like ignition coils and plug wires are still readily available. My concern with obscure French cars is always parts availability but fortunately, the internet and Facebook groups have both made it possible to own obscure makes like these that weren’t sold stateside. Bidding is strong but I’m surprised there’s still a reserve left to clear. Have you ever seen a Murena in person?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. alphasudMember

    This was featured here by Michelle in January.

    Like 8
  2. Ken

    The perfect car for a weekend getaway for you, your wife, and your mistress. What could be more French?

    Like 7
  3. Howie

    Crazy cool, and mid-engine. For car shows only?

    Like 1
  4. Fran

    Himmmmm that side view sort of looks like something from amc??? And dmc for that matter

    Like 2
  5. UncleAL

    voulez vou cace avec moi ?

    Like 0
    • MikeH

      Couché, peut être?

      Like 2
  6. Derek

    The last one I saw was at Retromobile. The last one I saw out’n’about was in a wee garage in the middle of France – and there were another two sitting under an awning nearby.

    Like 0
  7. Paul B

    Interesting car. Look at that ghastly interior filled with button tufting and other ’80s Chrysler-style touches including loads of plastic (steering wheel, shift knob, dash) and the stick-on taped nameplates all over the outside,
    Beyond that, the exterior design is quite attractive and beautifully proportioned. The Japanese could have made a big success of a design like this — minus the three-across seating, I’d guess.

    Like 0
  8. Sean

    From the steering wheel and the engine looks like it has Chrysler influence of the 80s

    Like 1
  9. G Lo

    Each French car from that era came equipped with one plush sofa per passenger.

    Like 0
  10. Howie

    Went to $18,100 Reserve Not Met.

    Like 1

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