When you hear that, you fold back in your chair. Martaré! Back! Finally! Or maybe you think "Never heard of it"? Maybe a seventies audio manufacturer? Well no. But there was music in the brand: The pleasantly characteristic hum of a VW boxer. And Martaré was a Dutch brand.
Ed Martaré from Amsterdam was a visual artist and ran a polyester chef in Aalsmeer. He also had a thing for cars and saw the light in 1968 when he became acquainted with the buggy and kitcar phenomenon. In Amsterdam, that virus was also picked up by the Ruska family. But where the Ruskas built up a whole buggy empire, Martaré's remained very scarce. All in all, about eight would have been made. In the early phase, Martaré's were equipped with Fiat technology. 'Later' Martaré opted for the more obvious solution: He opted for a VW chassis and engine.
Hardtops for Spiders
In an earlier phase, he made a nice hardtop for Fiat 850 Spider. 'In production' there were two types of Martaré GT, and the difference between the models was mainly in the doors. In one version, the entire roof folded forward. The other model has gull-wing doors, which takes a less serpentine approach early for boarding.
There are - or were - Martaré's with a Bonito / Ford GT40 look. But there was also one - or two - that were inspired by the Thurner kitcar.
The cars drew attention. For example, a yellow, or 'the yellow' Martaré, appeared in the legendary periodical 'De Lach', a weekly magazine that contained more exciting things. De Lach was, together with 'de Piccolo', a Dutch 'weekly magazine for men' that appeared from 1924 to 1972.
Naughty ladies, cool cars
The magazine contained many photos of scantily clad female movie stars in bathing suits, bikinis, etc., very daring for that time, especially in the early days. The magazine took its name from the many humorous pages of jokes and cartoons, and also contained stories. However, the interest of the readers went mainly to the ladies in bikini. The magazine was for sale in newsstands and was at the hairdresser's. It was mainly about covered eroticism. Only in the last years of the magazine more photos appeared of completely undressed ladies. The stories had little to no pornography, but could be called 'naughty'. And oh yes: there were also interesting cars in it. The last issue was published in 1972. And one of the last songs featured Martaré.
Martaré is back!
A while ago, in 2011 or thereabouts, Yuri Martaré (Ed's son) offered the molds & rights to the model for sale. Some detective work showed that he had been doing this since 2006. And now there is a Facebook site. There it says @ MartareSportsCars-Autofabrikant. That sounds pretty serious.
In the meantime, a production of 'about eight' in kitcar land is quite an achievement. And who knows what is yet to come. We are now in contact and will soon be visiting Laag Soeren.
Photos: Martare Sport Cars