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Iad Venus

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There have been some Esprit based concepts that are quite well documented, ie the Bertone Emotion;


but it was only after spotting a brochure for this on Ebay did I realise the thankfully forgotten IAD Venus had mid engined Lotus running gear;



It looked fairly shocking in 1989, so much so I was indifferent to the running gear. Maybe if Kimbers sees this he can confirm if Lotus had any input at all??

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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heh, I started something on the emotion in days of yore..

love the cheese wedge hubcaps on the IAD though ;)

"It's called a fire hydrant. Firemen like to stick their hose in it, and eventually squirt water from it."

Owner of 86 TE HCI, and 55 Chevy. Stare at broken down TR7

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Know what you mean; at the time I thought "if this is the future kill me now", and yet with modern extreme sportscar designs like the X-bow looking so zany the Venus (for once) really was a glimpse into th future.

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Yes ,I seem remember the IAD Venus (and the earlier Alien) concept cars were based on Lotus Esprit chassis/running gear (but had the Borg-Warner Citroen automatique transaxles instead of the 5 speed manual).

I never really liked the Alien, but quite liked the Venus. Would have made a wild looking Elise type Lotus! :yes









Edited by WayneB
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  • 1 year later...

Hi WayneB,

Great photos of Venus, got any more? It really did deserve to be built in some numbers. Don't suppose you know where it is now? I've been trying to find it for some time. The closest I've got is that it appeared in an episode of Space Precinct, but I can't confirm that, (someone might have a collection of those videos to confirm it for me). It was also supposed to have been sold in Kit Car Mag, in the late 90's. And there is the rumour that it was cut up! So, if you know of it's present home could you let me know.

I've been in touch with Michael Arni the designer, who has given his blessing for me to build a replica, but if I can find the original I would rather renovate that, or alternatively it would help with accuracy of my build.

Did you find your Swede, I guess it was a Lotus F1 you were after. I'm an Arrows man myself (A11 02 and 04). Don't the modern F1's look strange, but it's great to see a new team (Brawn), and getting a Brit to the top as well. By the way, the A11 is one of Ross's cars and interestingly almost won its first race too.

Regards Don.

New Zealand

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Hi car and welcome to the site, WayneB has not been on the site since Dec 2007 so dont expect an answer soon...

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Friedrich Nietzsche

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Hi Don

Wayne doesn't frequent these forums any more but he is active on Lotus Buzz so you can find him there. I don't know if he knows more than anyone else about the car, I always understood it to be a non-runner so the story of it being cut up could be true. I'm sure Mark Blanchard will be along shortly to confirm all!

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Howard and Loose Cannon,

Thanks for the heads up. I really would like to speak with Mike Blanchard. As he is an authority on concept cars, perhaps he can shed some light on the subject of Venus and it's whereabouts now. For sure, it has to be somewhere.

Sorry I havn't been back to the forum for a while, if you have some more of the Venus fotos it would help.

I had a look at Mikes "wedge" competition, hasn't there been some increadable shapes over the years. My faverout of the period in question, was the Lamborghini Bravo. I remember conning my way onto a stand at Earls Court, telling a minder that I was an art student, studying auto design. I just had to get close to it. Got to say though, Venus is my favourit. Wasn't Bravo built on a shortened Uracco chassis? Iv'e at least one book that says that and it also makes a lot of sence.

Regards Don.

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I really would like to speak with Mike Blanchard. As he is an authority on concept cars, perhaps he can shed some light on the subject of Venus and it's whereabouts now.

Hi Don,

I'm afraid I know little of the where abouts of this car now. Looks like it still exists from this thum:


I think it influenced the design of the 1996 Ford IndiGo:


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Hi Mark,

Good to hear from you. Unfortunatly, the thum is of Venus at, I believe, the NEC motor show (1991?). I have a few fotos of the same showing of the car, so IAD owned the car at the time. The only leads I have at the moment, are it's supposed showing in one of the Mentorn Films produced, Gerry Anderson (thundrbirds), episodes of Space Precinct. It's sister concept car, another masterpiece by Michael Arni, a mini MPV was advertised in Kit Car Magazine, sometime in the mid to late ninties. Venus could have been sold in the same way, as they both appeared together in the same episode of Space Precinct. Who ever owns Venus now probably intended registering it for road use, but this may well have proved to difficult and it is presumably abandoned, hopefully under cover somewhere. I do intend finding out just what its fate was, even from NZ.

The Bravo can now be seen at the Bertone musem in Italy, I understand. It was intended as a production car, but sadly the fuel crisis at the time killed it. Since it was built on a shortened (by 200mm) Urraco chassis, it could quiet easly be copied,------if you want one! You'll need a crashed Silhouette so you have the right wheels, shorten its Urraco/Silhouette chassis and rebody it and copy the interior. Also of help would be Osprey's, Lamborghini Urraco & The V8's book. Its the idea of a flat section extending right through the car that got me. Interestingly, if you look at the line that runs along the side of the car under the windows, you can see it again in the Countach, 308GT4 and Stratos.

If you hear of any clues to Venus' fate, I'd appreciate an e.mail.

Regards Don Farthing. [email protected]

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