Franco Sbarro's biography




Francesco Zefferino Sbarro, better known under the name of Franco Sbarro, was born on 27 February 1939, in Apulia (southern Italy). Son of a farmer, the young Italian will soon be interested in everything related to mechanics. Including motor cycles and scooters.

After studying at Lecce, Franco Sbarro settled in November 1957 in Neuchatel (Switzerland) where he worked as a mechanic. Two years later, he bought a small garage. He works in conjunction with Borgward, a small German manufacturer.


His meeting with George Filipinetti will lead the post of team manager of the famous Scuderia Filipinetti. He developed and maintaiedn the race cars of the team: AC Cobra, Ferrari P3 and Ford GT40. Sbarro built his first car: the Coupé Filipinetti, based on a VW Karmann Ghia motor 1600 cm3.


25 March 1968 a big change in the Sbarro's life. Finally leaving the Scuderia Filipinetti, he created the ACA - Atelier de Construction Automobile, in a former cigarette factory. His first creation is the Dominique III, a sports car with a huge rear spoiler! This model sold, Sbarro made conversion of Ford GT40 to "road" model more civilized.

Sbarro built a lot of replicas of famous classic European cars, such as : BMW 328, Lola T70, Ferrari P4 and even Bugatti Royale! Nothing can stop Sbarro. The quality of his craft will be confirmed by the many models, unique or produced in small series.


Sbarro design and build great cars, but he is also a great inventor who in 1989 introduced a new type of wheel without the hub, a very clever new chassis, the Dual Frame, or a wheel incorporating the engine at its center.

Having nothing more to prove, he wants to take advantage of its knowledge with the Espace Sbarro, a special school where students, in addition to the work in "office" (studies, design, concept), have to built, from A to Z, the models they need to create according to precise specifications, sometimes imposed by a manufacturer. A second school opened in Casablanca (Morocco) in 1994 (CREA), and in Pontarlier, France until 2007 and then Montbéliard (Centre Espera). The cycle of study is one year and work is traditionally presented each year at the Geneva Motor Show in March.


In march 2013, Franco Sbarro has celebrated his 40th participation at the Geneva show.


text Philippe Calvet, automatic translation (so be indulgent !)


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