The Rancho’s back – courtesy of David Milloy

One of the first cars to feature on PetrolBlog was the delightful Talbot Matra Rancho. You can see the update from March 2010 here.

But now, perennial French car fan, Duncan McVitie has put together this short video to show the Rancho in all its glory. Look out for a daring motorway exit, some aerial acrobatics and a trip through the jungle. Sadly, there’s no appearance this time from Rancho fan, Johnny Mathis.

Thanks to Mr Milloy for the video that’s full of French goodness. I now need to decide if I want a Rancho more than an Avantime. Decisions, decisions…

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ABOUT AUTHOR
Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.

14 comments

  1. October 18, 2011
    David Milloy

    There’s a Rancho – with XR2i engine (!) – for sale in Gloucestershire. Here’s the link: http://www.btinternet.com/~peter.chaloner/Matra/matramart.html

    Reply
    • October 18, 2011
      MajorGav

      £1,295? Bargain.

      Reply
      • October 19, 2011
        Simon Hingston

        I was liking that till I noticed the Rover hubcaps!

        Reply
  2. October 18, 2011
    Ton

    It’s such a great thing that tastes are a very personal thing. I’d buy 1295 packs of HobNobs instead, thank you.

    Nice video, though!

    Reply
    • October 18, 2011
      MajorGav

      Ha! There are only 11 left over here. They need cherishing!

      Reply
  3. October 18, 2011
    adrian

    Behave yourself. Next you will fancy stone cladding on your terrace house. The rancho was a simca van with cladding. In itself pretty cr p but good enough to give. The idea to the designer of the original discovery. Look at them in the funny mirror and you can see it. Avantime at least is comfy.

    Reply
    • October 18, 2011
      MajorGav

      I’d much rather have a Rancho over a modern ‘Super SUV’. If it’s good enough for Johnny Mathis… 😉

      Reply
    • October 18, 2011
      David Milloy

      The Rancho could have been so much better if the funding had been there. Matra’s partners, Chrysler Europe, were in financial dire straits in the late 70s. Peugeot-Citroen bought Chrysler Europe but this only caused them to head towards financial ruin, too.

      Matra developed a new, fuel-injected head for the Simca engine. That should have gone a long way to improving the Rancho’s underwhelming performance, but it remained a prototype only – probably due to funding issues.

      Corrosion protection was also an issue. I’m not entirely sure why Matra didn’t use the hot-dip galvanisation process that they pioneered in 1980 and used, effectively, on the Murena chassis. I suspect that the Rancho body and chassis unit may have required some degree of re-engineering – the galvanisation process was apt to distort metal – which, again, would have had financial implications.

      As for off-road ability, a limited-slip differential was available on the Rancho Grand Raid model, but this model wasn’t imported to the UK. It would made more sense for the LSD to have been available on all Ranchos.

      For me, the Rancho’s main claim to any sort of classic status is that it pioneered a new market segment – the ‘soft roader’.

      Reply
      • October 19, 2011
        MajorGav

        Precisely. Which makes it all the more critical to ensure that the remaining 11 in the UK are preserved. Lovers of SUVs should be celebrating the Rancho’s existence!

        Reply
  4. October 19, 2011
    CarQuiz

    I love it! I’m sure you’ll be thrilled to learn that to a whole generation of Dutchman this car is know as “Bassie and Adriaan’s” car. Bassie & Adriaan being a popular 70’s/80’s circus themed childrens TV program.

    Pic of the gentleman perched on their Rancho’s hood: http://www.simcamatrasportsclub.nl/foto/club/forum/rancho_bassie_adriaan_ht16rs_01web.jpg

    And as I’m sure you are now poised to learn everything there is to know about the relevant childrens programming in the Low Countries; here’s the English language Wiki lemma: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bassie_%26_Adriaan

    Enjoy!

    Reply
    • October 19, 2011
      MajorGav

      Delighted to discover the Rancho has a place in Dutch popular culture! Another piece of knowledge I didn’t have 24 hours ago! 😉

      Reply
  5. October 20, 2011
    Antony Ingram (@antonyingram)

    Used to have a Corgi, or possibly Matchbox toy of the Matra Rancho. Even as a kid I remember it being an incredibly odd vehicle. Definitely appreciate the desire to keep the remaining examples on the road but I’d still prefer that Avantime, thanks!

    Reply
    • October 20, 2011
      MajorGav

      I think just about every child has owned a toy Rancho at some point. Mine was the Matchbox Superkings version with extra bouncy suspension!

      Reply
  6. April 18, 2012
    gordon

    many moons ago I had the displeasure of working on a rancho……..oh hell
    never again! actually I don’t think I ever saw another one or was that wishful thinking?

    Reply

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