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1973 Sbarro SV1

In March 1973, Franco Sbarro exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show for the first time. The stand is small, but it opens a series of uninterrupted participation in the Geneva Motor Show. The Sbarro's will become a must for visitors. This is not as innocuous as it may seem at first glance. In 1973, when the Sbarro set SV1, he focused its activities on the competition: Formule 5000, CanAm, Chevrolet Corvette, Opel GT Greder, road adaptation of Lola T70. Known among competition set, it remains unknown to the public. The Geneva Motor Show will become the showcase, directly affecting the public and its future customers. The media coverage can be significant and justify the investment for an artisan in an international automotive exhibition.

The Coupe SV-1, for Safety Vehicle One, is shown at the Geneva Motor Show 1973, along with the Tiger. This is a car to meet safety standards at the time. The chassis is connected to a tube with a double side roll cage submerged in a two-piece polyester filled with polyurethane foam. The interior is strengthened. The SV1 is equipped with two sprinklers triggered by impact or very high heat in the engine compartment and cockpit.

Two engines are planned: a rotary engine with dual-piston from the NSU Ro80 150 DIN hp at 5500 rpm or a blend of two birotors NSU developing 300 hp DIN at 5500 rpm. Only one car was built, however, powered with the latter. Note that Sbarro experimented with assembling two engines to form a new one. This solution will be repeated many times after that (Royale, Super twelve ...). The SV-1 is so far the only model Sbarro rotary engine.

At the Geneva Motor Show 1973, the car was white. It was painted the following year in orange and set out again on the stand Sbarro in 1974, alongside the Stash. The car, financed by Stanislas Klossowsky, who also worked on the Stash, has not found a buyer at the time.


  • engine: 4-rotor Wankel engine Wankel NSU Ro80

  • configuration: mid engine

  • displacement: 4 x 497 cc (3980 cm3)

  • alimentation: 4 carburators

  • power: 300 BHP @ 5500 rpm

  • transmission: rear wheel drive

  • gearbox: 5-speed manual

  • weight: 1320 kg

  • brakes: 4 discs

  • dimensions: lenght : 4,50 m ; width : 1,88 m ; height 1,22 m ; wheelbase : 2,53 m

  • body: 2 gullwing doors/ polyester

  • top speed: 230 to 240 km/h

  • production: one-off

Source: Philippe Calvet