This is the kind of weird European cottage industry stuff I expect to see in a Monegasque auction. Venturi, which originally produced cars in France, is now based in Monaco. Their heyday was the early 1990s, and they produced a dizzying array of models considering the company wasn’t around for all that long.
The Atlantique was a fiberglass-bodied series of cars featuring a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout. There were turbo and naturally aspirated versions, both with a 3.0-liter V6. But prior to that car’s introduction in 1994, there was the Coupe 260 Atlantique, which wasn’t technically part of the “Atlantique” line. It went on sale in 1991, and just 25 examples were produced through 1993.
The car was based on the 260 APC, a design that dated to the 1980s, and is powered by a 2.8-liter V6 that made 260 horsepower. It was lighter than the APC, and all were finished in this lovely shade of blue. This example was the final one built, and it is expected to fetch between $56,000-$78,000. Click here for more info, and here for more from this sale.
For Sale by Ascott Collection | Vaucresson, France
The Venturi 600 LM was the ultimate Venturi race car. It all started in 1993 when Venturi attacked Le Mans with seven 500 LM race cars. Five finished, and for 1994, a new series appeared: the BRP Endurance Championship for GT cars.
So they built one 600 LM, powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that made 570-600 horsepower depending on the boost pressure. At least four 500 LMs were updated to 600 LM specification. This (CLM0003) is one of those cars, and its racing history includes:
1993 24 Hours of Le Mans (as a 500 LM) – 42nd, DNF (with Costas Los, Johannes Bardutt, and Claude Brana)
In 1996, the car was updated again to 600 LM-S specification by the factory. This included revised bodywork and a power increase to 640 horsepower. It failed to qualify for Le Mans that year. It’s been restored and is now for sale in France with a price available upon request. Click here for more info.
Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 7, 2018
Photo – Artcurial
As Venturi is among our favorite exotic marques, this 400 GT was an easy pick from Artcurial’s upcoming Le Mans Classic sale. It’s a rare bird too, with just 13 examples produced between 1994 and 1996. It was much rarer than its racing counterpart, the 73 unit 400 Trophy.
Because it was based on the 400 Trophy race car, the GT shares the same twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6. In street form, it’s good for 408 horsepower. Top speed is 180 mph – pretty good for a V-6 street car from 1996. In fact, upon introduction, this was the fastest French production car in history.
This example is the fourth 400 GT built and the catalog lists it as a 1998 but says it was first registered in 1996. It’s a 43,000 km car with two owners since 2002. It’s been well-preserved and taken care of – not something you can say about all high-end sports cars of this era. It should bring between $210,000-$280,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | March 24, 2018
Photo – Osenat
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we love Venturis! Founded in the 1980s, the first Venturi road cars went on sale in 1987. The first series of models, the Coupes, were built into 1996 (the 260 LM was the final iteration).
This is a Coupe 260 APC. It was built from 1990 through 1996 and is powered by a turbocharged 2.8-liter V-6 making 260 horsepower. The APC model was thus named because it is equipped with a catalytic converter. Sixty mph arrives in 5.2 seconds.
Only 70 examples of the 260 APC were built and this carries chassis #21. This car is in good shape with exterior yellow paint and a blue interior. Venturis are always cool and this car is no exception. It should bring between $43,000-$55,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Another Venturi! When this car was built, the company was based in France, but now they’re headquartered in Monaco. The 260 LM is part of the Coupe 260 series of cars and, as such, is closely related to this Transcup 260 we featured a few years ago.
The 260 LM was a special edition of the Coupe 260 and it is powered by a 2.8-liter, 260 horsepower turbocharged V-6. The design is full-on classic, restrained 1990s sports car. What distinguishes the 260 LM from regular 260s are special wheels, Recaro seats, special paint and some decals.
Only 32 or 33 examples of the 260 LM were built between 1994 and 1996 with this car being the last one. It’s a 17,000 mile machine that has recently had major service performed, so it’s ready to go. The body looks good, not weathered as some Venturi examples can look after 20+ years. This should bring between $56,000-$67,000. Click here for more info or more from this sale.
Venturi cars are so cool! I hope you like them, because there were quite a different number of models in the early days and I plan to feature each one of them as they come up for sale around Europe. These cars went on sale in 1987 and they were originally called the MVS Venturi before being renamed the Venturi Coupe.
The auction catalog lists this one as an MVS Venturi but I can’t find anywhere that lists the year the name switched over. It’s powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter V-6 making 200 horsepower. The car was luxurious and sporty for its day.
The Coupe 200 was replaced after the 1990 model year. Only 194 were built – 104 of those were from 1988 alone. This was the most common of all Venturi automobiles, so that should say something about their rarity. This nearly 24,000 mile car should bring between $15,500-$19,500. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Historics’ May catalog.
Offered by Aguttes | Lyon, France | November 5, 2016
Photo – Aguttes
French sports car maker Venturi set up shop in 1984 when two former Heuliez engineers, Claude Poiraud and Gerard Godfroy, decided to venture out on their own. See what I did there? Thirty years later the company is still around but now they are based in Monaco, have new owners, and they don’t really build cars like they used to.
The Atlantique model was built between 1991 and 2000. Two models were offered, with the 300 being the high output version. This one is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 making 281 horsepower (this particular car was later massaged to 310 horses). Naturally-aspirated and top-of-the-line Bi-Turbo versions of the 300 were also offered. The body is fiberglass and it has aluminium doors, hood, and trunk.
This 27,000 mile example is one of less than 700 Atlantiques built in total and is probably among the last constructed as Venturi went bankrupt in 2000. It’s a pretty car and one we adore, as far as obscure exotics go. This is the first Atlantique I’ve seen come up for public sale in years and it should bring between $61,000-$83,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
If you haven’t noticed, we tend to feature a fair amount of supercars around here. We especially like the low-volume ultra-rare kind you only find squirreled away in Europe somewhere – just like this Venturi 400 Trophy.
Venturi still exists, though their main focus today is more on electrifying existing vehicles today than on supercar production. There were two 400 models: the GT and the Trophy. While the GT was the rarer, road-going version, the 400 Trophy was actually built for a one-make racing series.
The Trophy cars were built between 1992 and 1994, with 73 being created. They are powered by a mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 making 400 horsepower. This particular car is fitted with a passenger seat and lacks any sort of decals that mark it as a racing car. This leads me to believe that it can probably be road-registered in Europe (Venturis were never sold in the States). At any rate, it won’t come cheap. But you can find out more here.
For sale at Oldtimer Galerie International | Toffen, Switzerland
MVS, or Manufacture de Voitures de Sport, was founded in 1984 by two former Heuliez engineers: Claude Poiraud and Gérard Godfroy. The name was changed to Venturi at some point and the Transcup series was introduced in 1991. There were five different Transcup models, all with different power ratings. This is the top of the line Transcup 260 model.
It uses a 2.9-liter (or 2.85-liter) turbocharged V6 making 253 horsepower – yeah, apparently Venturi rounded up. The car is very sporty looking and doesn’t look as old as it is – even Venturi’s earlier cars looked sporty and semi-modern. They’re quick too.
The seller says there were 128 of these built, but the language is a little choppy and I don’t know if they mean 128 Transcup cars total, or the Transcup 260 in particular. There aren’t many of either, that’s for sure. This one is a 70,000 mile car, which is a little scary and high for a supercar. Then again, it’s over 20 years old and comes with a service booklet. The price is $51,890. Click here for more info.