GALLERY: Behind The Scenes On Our 1991 Venturi 260 APC Film Shoot
Unless you have a particular affinity for late-20th-century French sports cars, you probably haven’t heard of Venturi. The company has forged an odd path in its relatively brief existence, beginning in 1984 with production of a series of fastback GT cars the eventual derivations of which would compete and finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and now in a state of future financial murkiness, the new owner of the company is directing its efforts at electric propulsion, and indeed a Venturi machine was the first electric vehicle to break the 300mph mark. But that’s a different story, this one is about a 1991 Venturi 260 APC, an enthusiastic 24-year-old named Geordan Fusi, and a father and son bond.
In passing, you could easily mistake the angular, slightly wedged shape of the 260 for the likes of an Esprit or F40, and you could just as easily mistake Geordan as a lucky guy getting a chance to drive one rather than the owner of this exotic sports car. The two have a close connection though, and it goes much deeper than the simple fact of the shared French nationality. Decades ago, when Venturi was a new company entering the GT production sports car market and building a number of racing cars as well, Geordan’s father was one of the first employees. As Geordan recounts, “It started very young [my interest in Venturi]. My father would show me pictures of him working at Venturi, [and] I’ve always had tremendous admiration for my father. Seeing him working on prototypes such as the Venturi 400 Trophy, I would show the photos to people who didn’t believe me.”
Clearly in admiration of his father’s craft, Geordan picked up an early affinity for fast machines; at the age of five he’d already won a kart race, and soon afterwards he started with motorcycles. Remembering the time when he got his driving license though, he recalls the ambitious plans of his teenage years: “I started working when I was 16, in a supermarket. My goal was to buy the car I wanted when I turned 18. I planned it so that I could afford to take both car and motorcycle driving tests, and then I would buy a regular car, a weekend car, and a motorcycle!”
Initially set on something Japanese—the performance per dollar and easy maintenance on sporty compacts from the country make it a common choice for young drivers with an interest in cars—Geordan found his way to another odd car, the Mazda MX-3 V6. He enjoyed that for a time, but as we all know, other cars are tempting, and he started looking for an upgrade a few years later. He knew he wanted an older car, and after a bout with the JDM stuff he landed on the idea of owning something from a place closer to home: Alpine. The Alpine A310 and GTA were the two models he was after, but a chance find by his father changed all that.
He’d found a classified ad for a ’91 Venturi 260, and that’s how this car came under Geordan’s stewardship. The two went to work restoring the car where it needed some love, and though a Fusi family project, Geordan is quick to give the credit to his dad. “If not for my father, I wouldn’t have bought this car, because I am far from having his technical skills; when we started restoring it, he was the boss and I was the student. I was happy to see him relive his younger years. It was really moving.”
Being 24 years old and having a car like this is one thing—and a very good one to be sure—but when the car is linked to family history like this one is, and was brought back to pristine condition by a father and son? That’s how you really Drive Tastefully®.