For much of the history of F5000, one car held sway. First the Eagle, then the McLaren M10A/B and later the Lola T330/332. But in between McLaren and Lola domination, a number of marques had their moment in the sun: Chevron, McRae, Trojan, Surtees and, from Australia, the Matich.
Australian engineer Frank Matich was a highly successful competitor through the 1960's and early 1970s and, from the mid-1960s, built his own range of sports cars and single-seaters. As well as a string of Australian sports racing titles, he won five Tasman Cup races and two Australian Grands Prix, as well as the 1972 Australian Gold Star title in his own F5000 Matich A50.
The Matich A series of F5000 cars started extremely well but were unable to retain their edge as the formula became increasingly competitive during 1972 and 1973.
The exact number of Matich cars built seems very clear. The December 1974 edition of Racing Car News contained an article that said:
In all, Matich constructed four A50s (he still has the original), two A51s (one of which became the A52) and, of course, the A53 now in the hands of John Goss.
Of the seven cars built, two were wrecked and appeared to no longer exist, one got bent and dismantled but may survive, one was reduced to a tub and is missing and three survive, all still in Australasia.
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|Matich A50||1971-1972||4||Four cars built: one late in 1971 for Frank Matich, a second for Matich in February 1972 and two later customer cars in 1972 for Roy Woods Racing (US) and Johnny Walker (Aus). FULL CAR-BY-CAR HISTORY|
|Matich A51||1973||1||One-off car for Frank Matich in the 1973 US series. Later to John Goss and converted to A53 spec. FULL HISTORY|
|Matich A52||1973||1||One car for the 1973 Australian Gold Star but crashed in testing by Bobby Muir and destroyed. FULL HISTORY|
|Matich A53||1974||1||Side-radiator version of the A50/51/52 with revised front and rear suspension. Monocoque chassis. Repco-Holden V8 engine, "said to be developing 490 bhp at 7200 and 515 at 8300". Wheelbase 100.5"; front and rear track 57.5"; weight 1361lbs. FULL HISTORY|