Sbarro, replicas of unique items

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Let us pass that there is a pizza chain called 'Sbarro'. We are talking about the cars of the Swiss Franco Sbarro. Franco had been chief mechanic of the Filipinetti fleet and started in 1968 for himself. He turned out to be an inventive person, a successful entrepreneur and clearly a counterpart to the Dutch credo "Just do it, then you will act oddly enough."

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Franco Sbarro started to make replicas of unique items

The first was a copy of the Lola T70 with an 5,4 liter Chevrolet V8. But he also made replicas of the Ford GT40 based on De Tomaso Pantera, the BMW 328 with the good looks, but with current technology, the Bugatti Royale (with two consecutively mounted Rover V8s) and Mercedes 540 K - which is technically based on the Mercedes-Benz 500 SE - plus a number of 'fantasy models' that Willie Wortel could have come up with after an intensive session with magic mushrooms and hashish.

Rare and expensive

Another series of project cars from the early 1980s that were sold in the smallest series to wealthy private individuals with ample thinking frames were the Super Twelve and Super Eight. The Super Twelve from 1982 had the body of an angular hatchback and, with its unusually wide fenders and many other indications, indicated a clear surplus of potential. Here, too, Franco Sbarro had let himself go again technically but again: the engine mounted in the middle was a twelve-cylinder made up of two Kawasaki Z1300 six-cylinder motorcycle engines. The Super Eight from 1984 had largely the same body, but received the marginally more rational eight-cylinder engine from the Ferrari 308.

The Sbarro Royale from 1979

In the 1920s, Ettore Bugatti had invited a wealthy English woman to spend a few days in his house. During a dinner she said to the "patron": "You will undoubtedly make the most fascinating racing cars and sports cars, but if someone wants a really elegant car, there is nothing but a Rolls-Royce." Ettore Bugatti jumped out of his chair, ran to his drawing table and started to draw the Bugatti Type 41, nicknamed the 'Royale'.

This story may be no more than a legend, but it shows that EB's goal was to build a car dedicated to the elite, that is, aristocracy at the time, who loved Rolls-Royce, Daimlers , but not too sporty Bugattis.

The approach of Franco Sbarro is similar: each of his many creations is, due to the price, reserved for the elite, or ordinary ordinary rich Dagobert Duck-like ones.

The Sbarro Royale is clearly inspired by the greatest Bugatti 41 of all time

But he has his own personality. It is a limousine with four doors and six windows that evokes Park Ward's Generous Limousine. The radiator has the typical horseshoe shape, but the Bugatti elephant has been replaced by the running Sbarro greyhound. The bonnet is the most Bugatti identical part, considering both the length, the shape and the slats.

Sbarro also did less fierce things

Well, the engine he mounted in the Stash from 1975, co-designed with designer Cardin, was from a Volkswagen K70. That provided 146 hp again but still.

Sbarro has also built dozens of concept cars and custom high-performance vehicles for private customers. Part of that was vo0rzien of another idea from Sbarro: the hubless wheels.

Sbarro is still in business. And eccentric as always


In stores now, the August issue

Auto Motor Klassiek from August is in stores now. For only 4,99 a guarantee for at least a few hours of reading pleasure.

This month a nice striking cover. The Opel Rekord that Erwin Roosink bought a few years ago in bad condition and completely restored. After which he gave his own twist to the appearance of his Rekord as a fan of the Dukes of Hazzard.

Also in this issue:

  • Fiat 850 Familiare who after half a century passed to the second owner, who then promised to take good care of it for the next half century.
  • Suzuki GS1000 which, in the late XNUMXs, formed a new chapter in the reliability and driving characteristics of Japanese super sports.
  • De Volvo 340 GL may not be a unique type of car, but with its 58.000 kilometers on the clock, the now 33-year-old classic is in unique condition.
  • In the practical article redecorate leather interior a dried-out leather interior is made beautiful again.
  • De Toyota Corolla Coupé GT Twin Cam 16 has grown in popularity in the last ten years. Reason enough for us to report on it. We found a nice example.
  • BMW R100 Mono. Compared to an R69S or an R90S, you have such a 'new' R100RT for change. And you drive a nice bike with it. A description.
  • De Saab 96V4 van Ad van Beurden had already driven some rallies, but for him to really perform optimally, a few things had to be done. In this issue a report of the activities.
  • In 75 years later again a series of photos from the old box, with which we switch back to the years of the Second World War.

All car and motorcycle stories are preceded by dozens of pages with short messages, from practical tips to history, classics that we encountered en route and various columns where having a classic, tinkering with a classic and even the hobby of dealing with classics centrally state. In addition, also around the forty pages with classics for sale, which are sometimes not even offered online. The perfect reading material, also for the coming holiday. So take it home quickly and take one already Subscriptionso you don't miss the next edition.

You can read more about what's in this edition on our page this month.

Dolf Peeters, automotive journalist, copywriter, translator, member of the Heeren van Arnhem


  1. Bos tjm

    12 August, 2019 at 09: 45

    Photo 2- FT Bonito?

    • Dolf Peeters

      12 August, 2019 at 15: 04

      Just as nice. Much cheaper. And no GT40 either

      • jP

        22 August, 2019 at 22: 32

        This man has always fascinated me from childhood!

        I remember, for example. still the super cool Robur and his Golf with the engine in the back that 'up from the rear bumper' could be raised / opened to reach the engine and..idd those motorcycles and cars from then with hubless wheels.

        Especially that car with hubless wheels was strange, you could look through the rear wheels from one side to the other ...

        Great guy with Italian blood (just like myself! 😉)

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