This has to be one of my favorite French cars ever. The MVS Venturi. And yet there’s limited choice from the world of diecasts. So when I found this one in black I had to get it, despite my little aversion against black cars: many lines and details disappear and they’re a little hard to shoot as well.

But what was/is it? At first two former Heuliez engineers, Claude Poiraud and GĂ©rard Godfroy, started MVS. Manufacture de Voitures de Sport. A manufacturer of sports cars literally. Aiming to be the French equivalent of the Porsche 911 and maybe even the Ferrari 328.

So when it was first shown to the public with 4-bangers (first VW, then Peugeot) it was a bit of a disappointment. Luckily there was this PRV V6 engine that got a bit more serious power: the one from the Renault 25 V6 Turbo. Also used in the Alpine V6 Turbo.

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But instead of mounting it in the rear like Alpine did MVS chose to mount it in an MR-layout. For better handling of course. And who needs those extra two seats while driving sporty anyway.

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All kinds of prepared MVS’s came and went, this one is the Venturi 260 Atlantique. Because at one point the name MVS was dropped. There even was a facelift in the early eighties that smoothed out the nose a bit but I never was a fan of that. For me it’s the original body with these 5-spoke meat grinder wheels you see here.

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I just wanted it in another color. The wheels as well... MVS took it to the track as well. For that even wilder bodies were designed. And there’s some similarity with a certain Italian car if you ask me.

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And Venturi was quite successful with these. Winning several BPR Global GT Series races with it. Behind the wheel amongst others? Henri Pescarolo! And of course it was used in Le Mans, almost finishing all of their cars in the 1993 edition in the GT class.

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After 16 years of production and almost 20 years of existence it ended. Not yet for Venturi as the actual bankruptcy was announced only in 2000. About 750 units were produced over the years.

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And wasn’t it Alpine getting in trouble at the same time? At least Venturi resurrected earlier as in 2001 already Monegasque millionaire Gildo Pallanca Pastor bought what was left of Venturi (probably mainly it’s name) and decided to focus on electric-powered engines. And the result of that I’ve shown before. The Venturi Fétish.

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The model itself is a 1/43 from Altaya. Certainly not flawless but that’s probably not news to anyone. Very decent interior though, my main issue with it is it’s color. That black probably hides a few failures in the details anyway.

And that’s it for today. French Friday has been slow lately, let’s just assume it’s the holidays interfering with it.

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Bon Week-End!