French 3-Seater: 1983 Talbot Matra Murena

Here’s a rare bird: a 1983 Talbot-Matra Murena with the larger 2.2L four-cylinder engine. This particular car (and brand) was not seen in North America, but the Murena was imported early in its life into Canada, arriving in Montreal in 1983. The car is a hodge-podge of parts bin raiding from a few different brands but was praised as an adept handler when new. Find the Murena 2.2L here on craigslist in Vancouver for $15,000.

Perhaps one of the more novel features is the three-seat arrangement in what would normally be a two-seater car. The middle passenger sits alongside the gearshift, which would make a missed shift particularly touchy depending on your relationship with the middle passenger. The cloth buckets look to be in great condition, and the seller notes no issues in the cabin. The central locking works, the dash is crack-free, and the rare sunroof option doesn’t produce any leaks.

The Murena was first available with a 1.6L; the later 2.2L improved performance, but not dramatically. A dealer-installed performance pack is hard to come by but stepped up performance more substantially. The seller says this engine performs well, and that it has been stored in a family collection with regular attention from what sounds like a dedicated staff of mechanics. The history file is said to extend back to 1988.

When it comes to a car like this, the most intimidating aspect of the purchase is parts availability. While there is some component sharing with Citroen, Renault, and Peugeot models, you still have to go into it eyes wide open knowing you’re not going to find every component you need on your usual parts website. As someone who owns a few oddballs, I can tell you it’s worth the pain if you like having a vehicle no one else does. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Roger for the find.

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Jeff, I’m sure you’re going to get some grief for moving Canada outside North America! 😱🤣

    Interesting comment about the middle passenger and shifting…kinda like taking 3 friends to the DQ at lunch in HS when driving a 327 ‘64 El Camino four speed (the middle passenger, my friends girlfriends BF, had a miniskirt)!

    As this is a Craigslist ad from Canada, is the $16,000 Canadian or US currency?

    1
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      So I’m reading this differently now to mean we’d not seen Talbot sold at dealerships in Canada or the US, explaining why it was imported-my misinterpretation, so I owe you a 🍺beer, Jeff!

    • catimann

      Canada is Canadian $. Why would it be anything else?

  2. Scott Marquis

    It’s a Ménage à Trois-mobile.

    3
    • Blueprint

      These were indeed sold in Canada, but not for long!

  3. Mike

    Why all the talk about three-somes when someone could look at it as a perfect spot for a car seat for the baby.

    • SubGothius

      Indeed, and apparently the middle seat back folds down to serve as a car seat perch, booster seat, and/or armrest:

  4. Francisco

    This car is not nearly attractive as its forerunner, the Matra Simca with its polyester body.

    • SubGothius

      This model’s predecessor was the Bagheera, originally sold under the marque Matra-Simca which later became Talbot-Matra. Pretty much the only Simca/Talbot connection was the powertrain and distribution network, while Matra actually developed and manufactured them.

      The Bagheera’s body was fiberglass-reinforced polyester pressed into molds under low pressure and high temperature, while the Murena’s was fiberglass-epoxy sheet molding compound. Both had stamped-steel chassis under the plastic bodywork, but the Murena’s was galvanized to address the rusting that plagued the Bagheera.

  5. Fulm

    Looks like a Dodge Conquest

  6. rod444

    Sorry for the tangent, but do I now have to be a member simply to upvote a post?

    • Dave Mazz

      No.

      • rod444

        But every time I click on an upvote it sends me to the “Become a Member” page? Didn’t used to. What did I miss?

  7. Catimann

    For just over $11k US this is a great deal for someone who loves these. In Europe these can go for over 10Euros with that low of km and then comes shipping. These have way better lines than a Conquest.

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