René Bonnet

Last updated

René Bonnet (Vaumas, December 27, 1904 – January 13, 1983) was a French driver and automobile constructor.

He started building race cars in 1936 with Charles Deutsch and in 1946 they founded Deutsch et Bonnet in Champigny-sur-Marne, using Citroën and Panhard mechanics. They separated in 1961 and René Bonnet founded the firm Automobiles René Bonnet in Romorantin. Bonnet created the world's first road-legal mid-engined sports car, powered by Renault mechanics: the René Bonnet Djet http://www.automobile-sportive.com/guide/matra/djet.php. The Djet had a significant racing career at Sebring, Le Mans, the Nürburgring (in 1962, a Djet finished 20th and 1st in its class) and in many rallies including the Tour de France Automobile http://www.club-djet.com/histoire/histoire.htm.

There was also a convertible called the "Missile", which sported tailfins. This car, however, was a commercial failure in spite of its performance. As a result of this, Automobiles René Bonnet came into financial trouble and he was forced to sell the company to its supplier Matra in October 1964. Bonnet never returned to the automobile industry afterwards, [1] but the Djet and Missiles remained in production by Matra.

René Bonnet died in an automobile accident on January 13, 1983, aged 78. He is buried in Champigny-sur-Marne. [2]

Related Research Articles

DB (car) automobile manufacturer

DB was a French automobile maker between 1938 and 1961, based in Champigny-sur-Marne near Paris. The firm was founded by Charles Deutsch and René Bonnet, an offshoot of the Deutsch family's existing coachbuilding shop which had been taken over by Bonnet in 1932. Immediately before the war the partners concentrated on making light-weight racing cars, but a few years after the war, starting with the presentation of a Panhard based cabriolet at the 1950 Paris Motor Show, the company also began to produce small road-going sports cars. By 1952 the company no longer had its own stand at the Paris Motor Show, but one of their cars appeared as a star attraction on the large Panhard stand, reflecting the level of cooperation between the two businesses.

Mécanique Aviation Traction or Matra was a French conglomerate. During its years of operation, it was engaged a wide range of activities, primarily focused around automobiles, bicycles, aeronautics and weaponry.

Charles Deutsch (1911–1980) was a French aerodynamics engineer and automobile maker, founder of the brand "DB" with René Bonnet, and later of the "CD".

Robert Choulet is a French aerodynamics engineer influential in race car dynamics.

Chappe et Gessalin automobile manufacturer

Chappe et Gessalin is the short-form of the name of French coachbuilder "Carrosserie Chappe Frères et Gessalin". The company built automobile bodies and did contract assembly for other automobile manufacturers. It was also the parent of Automobiles CG, a French automobile maker founded in 1966 which built and sold complete cars under its own name.

Charles Bonnet Genevan botanist

Charles Bonnet was a Genevan naturalist and philosophical writer. He is responsible for coining the term phyllotaxis to describe the arrangement of leaves on a plant.

Automobiles René Bonnet automobile manufacturer

Automobiles René Bonnet was a French automobile maker.

Champigny-sur-Marne Commune in Île-de-France, France

Champigny-sur-Marne is a commune in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 12.5 km (7.8 mi) from the centre of Paris.

Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout type of drivetrain layout for automobiles

In automotive design, a RMR or Rear Mid-engine, Rear-wheel-drive layout is one in which the rear wheels are driven by an engine placed just in front of them, behind the passenger compartment. In contrast to the rear-engined RR layout, the center of mass of the engine is in front of the rear axle. This layout is typically chosen for its low moment of inertia and relatively favorable weight distribution. The layout has a tendency toward being heavier in the rear than the front, which allows for best balance to be achieved under braking. However, since there is little weight over the front wheels, under acceleration, the front of the car is prone to lift and cause understeer. Most rear-engine layouts have historically been used in smaller vehicles, because the weight of the engine at the rear has an adverse effect on a larger car's handling, making it 'tail-heavy'. It is felt that the low polar inertia is crucial in selection of this layout. The mid-engined layout also uses up central space, making it impractical for any but two-seater sports cars. However, some microvans use this layout, with a small, low engine beneath the loading area. This makes it possible to move the driver right to the front of the vehicle, thus increasing the loading area at the expense of slightly reduced load depth.

ATS is an Italian automotive constructor. It once had a racing team that operated between 1963 and 1965, formed after the famous "Palace Revolution" at Ferrari.

Le Perreux-sur-Marne Commune in Île-de-France, France

Le Perreux-sur-Marne is a commune in the Val-de-Marne department in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 11.7 km (7.3 mi) from the center of Paris.

The Cléon-Fonte engine, also known as the Sierra engine or under the code "C-engine" or "C-Type", is a family of four-cylinder, inline automobile engines manufactured continuously by Renault and its subsidiary Dacia from 1962 to 2004. For more than four decades it was a mainstay in Renault's compact models, before being gradually replaced by the E-type engine from the late 1980s onward.

Matra 530 French sports car from the late 60s

The Matra 530 is a sports car created and built by the French engineering group Matra.

Matra Djet

The Matra Djet is a French sports car that was originally designed and sold by René Bonnet. As the Bonnet Djet it was the world's first rear mid-engined production road car. Different versions of the car were produced from 1962 until 1967 and sold under a variety of names that included René Bonnet Djet, Matra Bonnet Djet, Matra Sports Djet and finally, Matra Sports Jet.

Samoreau Commune in Île-de-France, France

Samoreau is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.

Equipe Ligier

Equipe Ligier is a motorsport team, best known for its Formula One team that operated from 1976 to 1996. The team was founded in 1968 by former French rugby union player Guy Ligier as a sports car manufacturer.

Georges Martin (engineer) French engineer

Georges Martin was a French engineer, a graduate of the Special School of Public Works, "mechanical-electrical" section. He designed automobile internal combustion engines including the "Poissy engine" that powered various cars from Simca, Matra, Chrysler, Talbot, Plymouth, and Dodge from 1961 until 1991, and perhaps more famously, the successful V12 Matra Sports engine for Matra's Formule 1 team.

DB HBR 5

The HBR 5 model (1954–1959) was Deutsch and Bonnet's (DB) most successful project to date, with several hundred of the cars produced until 1959. Another small series of lowered and lightened cars called "Super Rallye" occurred in 1960 and 1961. Around 660 of the Mille Miles, Coach, and HBR 4/5s were built in total. Other sources account for 950 DB coupés, of which nearly all would be HBRs and their Frua-designed predecessors.

DB Le Mans

The DB Le Mans is a fibreglass-bodied two-door sports car with front-wheel drive, built in France from 1959 until 1964. Originally equipped with Panhard two-cylinder boxers, the cars built by René Bonnet had Renault four-cylinder engines. The car, with pronounced tailfins and more comfortable than previous efforts by DB was aimed squarely at the US market.

Equipe Matra Sports Racing team owned by Matra

Matra Company's sports division under the name of Matra Sports, Equipe Matra Elf and Equipe Matra Sports was formed in 1965 and based at Champagne-sur-Seine (1965–1967), Romorantin-Lanthenay (1967–1969) and Vélizy-Villacoublay (1969–1979). In 1979 the sports division was taken over by Peugeot and renamed as Automobiles Talbot.

References