In the early 80s, two engineers, Poiraud and Gérard Godfroy, left Heuliez, a French coachbuilder that worked as a production and design unit for various specialist niche market automakers.
They created Venturi.
Venturi was a Monaco-based automotive manufacturer founded as MVS (Manufacture de Voitures de Sport). Sadly Venturi declared bankruptcy in 2000.
Their initial timing wasn’t brilliant, in the middle of a global recession; nonetheless, they produced some very successful motor cars.
The early cars weren’t known for their exceptional performance, that was until the arrival of the Venturi 400 GT in 1992.
Venturi was racing car inclined, producing more racing than road cars, and fared well against the Ferraris and Porsches at Le Mans, the 4-Hours Spa and the 1,000 Km of Paris races.
The 400 GT had a top speed of 180 mph and an impressive 0-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds.
Such was the competitiveness of the Venturi 400; in 1992, Stéphane Ratel organised a one-make racing series for the Venturi.
The first race was held at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit, launching the Gentleman Drivers Trophy.
The Venturi 400 had a sleek, aerodynamic design that was visually appealing and functional for high-speed performance.
It had distinct ‘Italian’ styling ‘elements and became known as the French Ferrari F40.
The Venturi was the first car to be fitted with carbon brakes as standard and remains one of the fastest road-going cars to come from France.