Venturi Automobiles started its life as a Monegasque-based manufacturer founded by former Heuliez engineers Claude Piraud and Gerar Godfroy. The company’s initial purpose was to create a grand tourer capable of competing against Ferraris and Porsches. Although Venturi never achieved that goal, it did roll out a couple of exciting, mid-engined coupes powered by V-6 engines mated to Renault-sourced gearboxes. Its most notable creations are the 260 Atlantique, the 300 Atlantique, and the 400 GT. Following a brief venture into endurance racing, Venturi was aquired by Monegasque millionaire Gildo Pallanca Pastor, who decided the company should focus on building electric cars. The move spawned the Venturi Fetish, the world’s first two-seater electric sports car. The futuristic-looking Fetish preceded the Tesla Roadster by two years. The fetish was followed by a range of innovative concept cars, culminating with the America, a full-electric, two-seater, "all-road sports car."