Today’s featured car on Bring a Trailer is the 1992 Venturi 400 Trophy, and it’s our top pick from the auction. While the Ferrari F40 may be out of reach for most collectors, the Venturi 400 Trophy presents a compelling alternative. This unique French racing car combines race-bred engineering with Japanese performance tuning, all at a more affordable price point.
The Venturi 400 Trophy available in this auction has undergone extensive modifications and features striking composite bodywork. Performance upgrades from reputable brands like BBS, Brembo, Ohlins, HKS, and Recaro enhance its capabilities. The rear clamshell hood opens to reveal a powerful twin-turbo V-6 engine, which originally produced 408 horsepower but has been enhanced to deliver around 500 horsepower. Notable features include sliding Lexan windows and an exposed fuse-laden dashboard, giving it an unmistakable exotic appeal.
Venturi, founded by two French engineers in the mid-1980s, reached its pinnacle with the 400 GT, a limited-production sports car that gained some recognition from its appearance in the racing game Gran Turismo 2. The 400 GT was essentially a road-legal version of the 400 Trophy, a successful gentleman-racer series conceived by French racing promoter Stéphane Ratel to rival Porsche and Ferrari one-make racing events. Only around 70 units of the 400 Trophy were produced over four seasons.
The Venturi 400 Trophy currently up for auction is chassis number 50. After its racing days in the 1992 and 1993 seasons, the car was shipped to Japan and converted for road use. There, it underwent tuning with HKS GT-SS turbochargers and MoTec engine management. The result was a car finely tuned for spirited driving on the early-morning roads of Hiroshima, providing an exhilarating experience with the powerful 3.0L PRV V-6 engine’s sound dominating the journey.
Unlike the relatively rare roadgoing 400 GT, which saw only 15 examples produced, this Venturi 400 Trophy stands out as an even more exceptional find. Its history of racing modifications and transformation into a street car by a prominent Tokyo tuning specialist during the time of the famous Mid Night Racing Team makes it a captivating blend of automotive enthusiasm from two different worlds.
While an F40 sighting is a sought-after moment, this Venturi rarity is even more extraordinary, with only a handful of them currently in the U.S., and likely only one in this particular configuration. With the auction still having eight days remaining, the high bid has already reached an impressive $101,000. Rather than considering this 400 Trophy as a budget alternative to the F40, it should be appreciated as a unique and exclusive gem, offering an ownership and driving experience that surpasses even the ultimate Ferrari.