If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

Gagarin and his Djet, Or the first Russian to drive a René Bonnet

In 1964 the aerospace company Matra, headed by Marcel Chassagny and Jean-Luc Lagardère acquired the automaker René Bonnet, which had just released in 1962 a small sports coupe made-up of composit and remarkably elegant : The Djet. In the hope of space markets, and also due to their admiration for the man, Matra, which soon would shine in Formula 1 (1969 World Champion with Jacky Stewart) and in Endurance at Le Mans (Win in 1972*, 73 and 74 with Henri Pescarolo) decided in 1965 to offer a coupe Djet to Yuri Gagarin, the car beeing renamed for the occasion : René Bonnet - Matra Djet. Indeed in 1965 Yuri Gagarin visited the Renault factory in Flin and it was the Renault powerplant of the R8 Gordini made there that powered the Djet. Here is a small report in Moscow in the footsteps of Gagarin and his Djet, including images and customs file which were treasured. As at the time Matra did not make yet the Espace (Space) for Renault, it is considered nowadays in Romorantin (Home of Matra) that Gagarin was not the first man in space, but the first Russian in (a) René Bonnet ...



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