Matra Rancho

Matra Rancho

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Matra Rancho

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Description:
The Matra Rancho was a leisure activity vehicle created by the French engineering group Matra in cooperation with the automaker Simca to capitalize on the off-road trend, started by the Range Rover, by providing the "off-road look" at a lower price.

The Rancho was launched in 1977 and became a popular model, but this did not alleviate more wider problems at Chrysler Europe (Simca's parent company). Chrysler finally sold its European arm to PSA in 1978, following which it was rebranded as Talbot in 1979. The Matra-Simca Rancho now became the Talbot Matra Rancho and production continued until 1984 (although it remained on sale up to January 1985), reaching 57,792 cars in total.

Designed by Antonis Volanis, the Rancho was based on the pick-up version of Simca's popular supermini, the Simca 1100, using its front structure and a stretched chassis. The rest of the body was made by Matra from fibreglass and polyester, including the mouldings adorning the body, which made it look more "sturdy". This technology would later be used on the Renault Espace, Europe's first MPV, which was manufactured by Matra. The ground clearance was also increased. Unlike most off-roaders, it was not fitted with all-wheel drive, retaining the 1100s front-wheel drive layout. Other elements retained from the 1100 included the dashboard and front seats (identical with the ones found in the Simca 1100 GLS). The Rancho was powered by the...
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