1993 Venturi 500 LM
Pilots: P. Witmeur, M. Neugarten, J. Tropenat
Team: Eric Graham
Race: 27th GC (7th C4 class) at Le Mans in 1993
Spark - S2277 (resin)
Founded in 1984 by Claude Poiraud and Gérard Godfroy, the company’s main focus was “Grand Tourisme” cars. At the time, Venturi cars supposedly would be the first French car to be able to stand-up against Porsche, Aston Martin and Ferrari. In 1991 Venturi released the Atlantique 260, a car that did not fall into the graces of the public. Thus, the Atlantique went through some refinements and in 1993 Venturi created the 500 LM.
Though based on the Atlantique, the 500 LM was a limited edition. Only seven came out of the factory, specifically produced for endurance racing at Le Mans, Jarama and Zolder. The engine was a V6 created as a joint venture between Peugeot, Renault and Volvo, called PRV ZPJ4. The ZPJ4 was a turbocharged 90º V6 with 2975 cm³ and SOHC, transferring power to the tarmac through a five-speed manual transmission. With only moderate commercial success and a not very good record at tracks, Venturi declared bankruptcy in 2000. The Venturi brand was sold in 2001 and nowadays produces electric vehicles.
The LM 500 #70 is chassis #LM005, that raced twice at La Sarthe, in 1993 and in 1995 when it was updated to 600 LM specs. In 1993 the car was able to finish in 27th overall, 7th in class C4. Not a great result on the track but as a model it’s very nice. Spark* did a great job recreating the car, and what first caught my attention was the beautiful paint job. However I’m aware this Venturi 500 isn’t a model for everybody, only for the diehard Le Mans fan.
*Interesting to see how Ixo can get VERY close in detail level.