APR 24th 2015

Goodwood Greats: Shadow DN7

Our popular Goodwood Greats series is all about herding together some of the world’s most special competition vehicles and going to great lengths to produce a photographic study of each. As superb as the photos (shot by Antony Fraser) are though, they can’t get across the superb sounds made by some of the subjects.

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To many people (not least the great Mario Andretti), the Matra V12 engine used in this Shadow DN7 produces one of the most evocative and blood-curdling sounds of them all. Andretti was sufficiently moved to say of it: ‘the sound of the Matra engine was just… spectacular. It sounded like power.’ Enough said. So without further ado, here’s a brief clip of the car warming up at the recent 73rd Members’ Meeting …

As good as the motor sounds though, its stay in back of the Shadow was a brief one which sadly yielded little. Well, actually nothing at all in terms of results. Jean-Pierre Jarier was entrusted with the car in the Austrian and Italian Grands Prix, but it didn’t make it to the finishing line in either race. With news then reaching Shadow that Matra was instead going to supply Ligier with its magnificent V12 for 1976, the team reverted back to the ubiquitous Ford Cosworth V8 for the last race of the season.

The car then spent 39 years either in storage or on display at the Donington Grand Prix museum before being acquired by Grant Beath, brought back to running and driving condition (with help from some of the Matra people who worked with the incredible engine in its heyday) and demonstrated to the public at the 73rd Members’ Meeting.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? If you want to see and hear the car up-close then the good news is that you’ll be able to do so at this year’s Festival of Speed. For now though we’ll leave you with some more footage of the car running; this time at the Sonoma Raceway in California for its first shakedown run after all those years in storage.

 

 Photography: Antony Fraser

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