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Bruno Hancké's picture

The 1984 MVS Venturi 210

Historic date Tuesday, January 3, 1984

The first Venturi came out in 1984, created by Claude Poiraud and Gérard Godfroy, two former engineers at Heuliez. The goal was to present the only "Grand Tourisme" French car capable of competing with the English Aston Martin, the Italian Ferrari, and the German Porsche. The first car shown had a Volkswagen Golf GTi engine and the name was originally spelled "Ventury", with a "y" at the end. In 1985, the car was shown with a 200 PS (147 kW) Peugeot 505 Turbo engine, but by the 1986 Paris Motor Show it had reached its definitive form with the PRV V6 engine and on BBS wheels. The same mid-engine setup as in the Renault Alpine V6 GT Turbo. With a weight of just 1200 kg and an output of 200 horsepower 100 km/h was reached in seven seconds. Only at 245 km/h the acceleration ended , partly thanks to its favorable Cd value 0.31. Production began in 1987, with five type “210” cars built in the first year.

Just over two hundred pieces of the “210” left the factory in 1989.

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The Story of MVS Venturi

Historic date Thursday, January 1, 1987

Venturi Automobiles is a French-founded Monegasque-based multinational automotive manufacturer that designs, manufactures, and sells luxury electric vehicles. Founded in 1984 by engineers Claude Poiraud and Gérard Godfroy as MVS (Manufacture de Voitures de Sport), the company's purpose was to compete in the "Grand Tourisme" market. This was only the most recent post-war attempt at building a sporty luxury car in France, following in the footsteps of Facel Vega, Monica, and Ligier. The headquarters of the company were located in Couëron, Pays de Loire, where almost 750 cars were produced in 20 years. From 1987 to the mid-1990s, they built mid-engined coupés and roadsters with turbocharged PRV engines and Renault gearboxes. Engine power ranged from 160 to 260 PS (118 to 191 kW) for the MVS Venturi Coupé, in 200, 300, 400 and Transcup Cabriolet series.

The first Venturi came out in 1984, created by Claude Poiraud and Gérard Godfroy, two former engineers at Heuliez. The goal was to present the only "Grand Tourisme" French car capable of competing with the English Aston Martin, the Italian Ferrari, and the German Porsche. The first car shown had a Volkswagen Golf GTi engine and the name was originally spelled "Ventury", with a "y" at the end. In 1985, the car was shown with a 200 PS (147 kW) Peugeot 505 Turbo engine, but by the 1986 Paris Motor Show it had reached its definitive form with the PRV V6 engine and on BBS wheels. The same mid-engine setup as in the Renault Alpine V6 GT Turbo. With a weight of just 1200 kg and an output of 200 horsepower 100 km/h was reached in seven seconds. Only at 245 km/h the acceleration ended , partly thanks to its favorable Cd value 0.31. Production began in 1987, with five type “210” cars built in the first year.

Just over two hundred pieces of the “210” left the factory in 1989 before the first major changes were presented The main one was the engine. The power of the PRV V6 engine was enlarged to over 260 horsepower. By a larger bore and stroke, the engine became a 2.8 liter, still with a Garrett T3 turbo. That gave a rather brutal turbo lag: up to 3000 RPM nothing happened. Above 3000 rpm the car became a  catapult on the boulevard. From 1989 on the  MVS brand name got lost and under new ownership the car went further as Venturi 260 through life. He scored very well in several serious tests and here and there the cars was even better as its competitors (like the Lotus Esprit) down on issues such as handling, finishing and everyday usability.

In 1989, there was a gorgeous convertible version appeared, the Venturi Transcup.

Under the new management Venturi also took serious steps in racing and took part in the FIA ​​GT races with the 400 GTR. A derivative street version, the 400 GT was launched in 1994 in a limited series of 15 pieces on the market. A 3.0-liter midengine V6 with two turbochargers and intercoolers.  resulted in an output of 408 horsepower, without turbo lag.  The Car weighed less than 1200 kg, reached nearly 300 km/ h and acceleration to 100 km/h was covered  in just over 4 seconds.  Was the Venturi 260 still looks pretty stylish and civilized, the 400 GT set an enormous aesthetic leap with his wide body and exuberant spoilers. At that time it was the fastest French car ever. Moreover, it was the first supercar with ceramic brakes.. But still it was based on the old Venturi model, which had been on the market for almost ten years.

In 1996 the design changed when the Atlantique 300 was launched. With approximately the same, excellent chassis as its predecessor, the supercar now looked much more aerodynamic and potent, but still very recognizable as a Venturi. In the Atlantique 300 the same 3.0-liter V6 block served as the 400 GT, only now with a single turbo delivering a power output of 281 hp.

The 300 Biturbo received the new 24-valve 3.0 liter PRV V6 block in 1998, now with dual turbo.  The extra Turbo of the Biturbo delivered 30 Bhp more, to 310 horses, sufficient for a top speed of some 280 km / h and a sprint to 100 km/h in less than five seconds. And despite the fact that the handling, performance and finish with this model were brought to a higher level, only a hundred cars were built of the Atlantique  before factory went bankrupt in 2000..

 As for its predecessors, Venturi was immediately faced with many challenges ranging from an unknown name to its under-capitalized and under-staffed state. Venturi did nonetheless manage to continue in production for nearly sixteen years. Monegasque Gildo Pallanca Pastor purchased Venturi, and decided to focus on electric-powered engines. This change of direction led to the limited-production Fétish.

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The 1985 Renault 5 GT Turbo

Historic date Wednesday, January 2, 1985

A "hot hatch" version, the GT Turbo, was introduced in 1985. It used a modified four cylinder, eight-valve Cléon 1,397 cc engine, a pushrod unit dating back to the 1962 original (in 1,108 cc form). It was turbocharged with an air-cooled Garrett T2 turbocharger. Weighing a mere 850 kg (1,874 lb), and producing 115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp), the GT Turbo had an excellent power-to-weight ratio, permitting it to accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.5 seconds. To differentiate it from the standard 5, it came with blocky plastic side skirts. Unfortunately, turbo lag was an issue, along with poor hot starting, and was considered rather difficult to control. The same engine was used, with similar issues, in the Renault 9 and 11 Turbos.

In 1987, the facelifted Phase II was launched. Major changes in the Phase II version included installing watercooling to the turbocharger, aiding the Phase I's oil-cooled setup, which extended the life of the turbo. It also received a new ignition system which permitted it to rev 500 rpm higher. These changes boosted engine output up to over 120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp). Externally, the car was revamped, with changes (including new bumpers and arches) that reduced the car's drag coefficient from 0.36 to 0.35. Giving the Phase II a 0–100 km/h time of 7.5 secs. In 1989 the GT Turbo received a new interior, and in 1990 the special edition Raider model (available only in metallic blue, with different interior and wheels) was launched. In late 1991 the Renault 5 GT Turbo was discontinued, superseded by the Clio 16v and the Clio Williams.

The Renault 5 GT Turbo's 1989 victory in the 1989 Rallye Côte d'Ivoire remains the only overall WRC victory for a Group N car.

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Historic date Thursday, May 1, 1975

The first time a BMW was transformed into a work of art was 1975. Alexander Calder was inspired by the French auctioneer and racing driver, Hervé Poulain, to produce the first ever BMW Art Car. The US artist only used primary colours and distributed them in broad swathes across the paintwork of the BMW 3.0 CSL. The use of differing colours within the individual elements of the car’s structure adds to the illusion of movement within the picture as a whole. Back then the fact that a car was being presented as a work of art was a sensation in itself. The greater sensation was that the selfsame 480 PS BMW was then entered for the 24-hour race in Le Mans. The world’s first BMW Art Car was also one of Calder’s last works of art as he died the same year it was unveiled.

Alexander Calder and the BMW Art Car :

The BMW with which Alexander Calder initiated the Art Car series in 1975 was one of the last works he produced before his death. It was also to be one of the most interesting. In painting a real racing car, Calder had the opportunity of working with a true-to-life medium which at the same time offered new scope for playing with color and shape in motion.

As early as 1973, he had done something similar by painting a passenger jet of Braniff South American Airlines. Nevertheless, the “Art Car” experiment represented an unusual challenge: a sculptor – who is normally accustomed to producing shapes of his own – coming to terms with existing technology by attempting to stamp his own inimitable character on it.

“Where everything is already perfect, there can be no fulfillment.”

He achieved this by breaking free of the formal restraints imposed by the automobile. In “defacing” the car, Calder did not orient his art to the streamlining of its body, but subjected it instead to his own artistic style. As with his sculptures and mobiles, he returned to powerful colors and attractive curving expanses which he applied generously to the wings, hood and roof. Alexander Calder was also present at the Le Mans 24-Hour Race as a guest to witness his work’s premiere.

The Art Car designed by Alexander Calder was driven in the 1975 Le Mans 24-Hour Race by the American Sam Posey and the Frenchmen Jean Guichet and Herve Poulain. This was the first and only occasion on which this automobile was to take part in the race. After seven hours, the car had to retire due to a damaged drive shaft, and has been an exhibit ever since.

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Historic date Sunday, January 1, 1989

BMW M3 Group A Race Version

Ken Done BMW M3, 1989

"I have painted parrots and parrot fish. Both are beautiful and move at an incredible speed. I wanted my BMW Art Car to express the same thing."

From the very beginning, Done knew exactly how the car should be designed. On the one hand he wanted the paintwork to express some of the fascination he held for this high-performance car. At the same time, however, it also had to be typically Australian, reflecting the vitality of his homeland. Done decided in favour of the exotic colours of parrots and parrot fish which, in his view, had two characteristics in common with the BMW M3 – beauty and speed.

At the early age of 14, Ken Done, who was born in Sydney in 1940, began studying art at the National Art School. In the late seventies, after twenty years as a commercial artist in Sydney, New York and London, he began painting full-time. Done held his first exhibition in Sydney in 1980, soon becoming one of the most significant painters on the Australian continent. In 1988 he was commissioned with the design of Australia‟s and the United Nations' pavilions at the EXPO in Brisbane, Queensland. His paintings feature vivid colours and brush strokes portraying the typical face of Australia.

The BMW M3 group A racing version

•four-cylinder inline engine

•4 valves per cylinder

•double overhead camshafts

•displacement: 2,332 cm³

•power output: 300 bhp

•top speed: 281 km/h

The M3 designed by Ken Done is also from BMW Australia‟s motor racing section headed by the well-known racing driver, Frank Gardner. The car was employed in 1987 by the JSP BMW team, being driven to victory by Jim Richards in group A of the Australian Drivers‟ Championship. In 1988 the M3 raced only once, after which it ceased to participate in competitive sport



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Historic date Saturday, June 1, 1991

A.R. Penck BMW Z1, 1991

There is a total of 8,000 BMW Z1s all over the world, but only one like this. German artist A.R. Penck made sure of that by transforming this particular vehicle into a unique work of art.

"Art on art, art on technology – that interested me – especially art on a three-dimensional object."

To A. R. Penck, the BMW Z1 is already a "work of art" in itself, worthy of the term Art Car, as the product already reflects the creativity and imagination of designers and engineers. The artist became inspired by technical design, challenging it with his own cosmos, his own sign language. In its simplicity it is reminiscent of prehistoric cave paintings and is, nonetheless, a challenge to the observer, as the figures and signs resulting from a long process of abstraction are codes that have to be deciphered.

A. R. Penck was born as Ralf Winkler in Dresden in 1939. At the early age of 17, the self-taught artist already held his first exhibition. In the years to follow, Penck devoted most of his time to the works of Picasso, Rembrandt and prehistoric cave paintings, the latter of which, in 1960/61, was to result for the first time in the famous silhouetted "Matchstick Man". The study of mathematics, cybernetics and physics increased his knowledge of pictorial language.

In 1966 Penck was refused membership in the Visual Arts Association in the former German Democratic Republic. This was part of a development which led to his expatriation from the GDR in 1980. He settled in the Federal Republic of Germany, where his works had already been exhibited since 1969 and where he had first achieved international recognition.

Penck's works soon became internationally acclaimed and are now to be seen in larger museums throughout Europe, Japan and the USA.

A.R. Penck and his BMW Art Car

“I am interested in how art relates to art, how art relates to technology – and, above all, how art relates to a solid object.”

“I am also interested in exploring technical design,” commented Penck when considering the design of the Z1. In the artistic design for his BMW Art Car, the painter was inspired by a product which in his opinion was a mark of the creativity of those engineers and designers who were able to evolve particular freedom of imaginative expression in the development of this automobile. In this respect, this Z1 simultaneously lives up to the name BMW Art Car in several senses.

Penck’s works are not without challenges to the observer. In order to understand his universe and his sign language, it is necessary to delve into the overall composition of characters and numbers: the apparently straightforward symbols are evolved by a long process of abstraction and are, in fact, ciphers to be decoded.

The “world exhibition tour” of Penck’s “stick men” on the BMW Z1 will begin in Munich. From here, the route takes them to Kassel, the venue for documenta 9, and then on, via a number of stopovers, to Dresden and Mexico.

Technical Data: 1991 BMW Z1

•6-cylinder inline engine

•Overhead camshaft

•Displacement: 2,494 cc

•Power output: 170 bhp

•Top speed: 225 km/h

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