Venturi Atlantique Bi-Turbo

Ewan Clark ‘It offers unbeatable exclusivity with genuinely sharp performance.'

  • Year: 1998

  • Mileage: 33,000

  • Acquired: Spring 2016

  • Dream car: Lamborghini 400 GT

Why did you choose the car?

Aston Martin specialist Nichola Mee was the UK importer for Venturi and displayed the Atlantique at the London Motor Show. I was immediately smitten, but ended up buying a Ferrari 355. But the desire remained, so in 2016 I tracked down the two surviving UK bi-turbo cars and made offers to both owners.

What’s the best bit? 

The rarity is a big draw, as is the beauty. It offers unbeatable exclusivity with genuinely sharp performance.

What’s the worst bit?

Driving at night, the rear screen can reflect oncoming car lights into the rear-view mirror – that can be confusing!

What’s it like to run?

There’s no UK Venturi service centre, though many parts are Renault/Peugeot so using a local French car specialist means servicing and repairs are simple enough and inexpensive. Former Venturi employees operate a racing car and Venturi repair centre (extreme– near the old factory, so parts and advice are readily available. You can book the former Venturi test track, and my car has made the pilgrimage for a few laps and a fettle by the original factory mechanics.

Any advice for owners?

Take the car back to its birthplace in Nantes to meet its builders. It’s a lot quicker and easier than taking a Ferrari back to Modena, for example.

Any funny mishaps?  

Virtually nobody knows what the car is, so you get questions at every garage or stop. They think it’s Italian. Oh, and following drivers pull up too close to try to read the tailgate badge and are none the wiser for having done so!