Franco Sbarro and the Ford GT40 is a very long history. The first contacts took place when Sbarro was chief engineer of the Scuderia Filipinetti who committed these formidable machines in competition. The car has no secret for Sbarro, who spent hours in the preparation. The GT40 seems to fascinate him even to the point that it will restore some of them. This has also attracted a lot of problems, as in the case of chassis #1048. The car had experienced many vicissitudes since its construction in 1966. Its then owner, Jean Pierre Van Den Doorn, gave it to Sbarro for a light restauration in December 1979. In 1980, the car was sold by Sbarro to Giuseppe Lucchini, but without its original chassis plate. This plaque was subsequently used by Sbarro for a replica GT40 he sold to ... Jean-Pierre Van Den Doorn! Suddenly, Lucchini and Van Den Doorn felt each possess the "real" GT40 # 1048. The case was brought to justice. A similar story happened with the GT40 chassis # 1033, Sbarro sold to a collector. But another GT40 with the same chassis number was in the United States. Again, disputes of experts and court battles took place and gave reason to Franco Sbarro. This does not extradite him to take the car, canceling the sale.
These stories of real GT40 pose many problems of authenticity for cars that have suffered during their lives with many changes and restorations and many owners. To some experts, only the chassis number authenticates the identity of a car. For Sbarro, and it is the opinion held by the court in Case # 1033, only a vehicle accompanying documents are authentic. They allow the owners to return over successive restorations and repairs and untangle a tumultuous history.
If the restorations made by Franco Sbarro are interesting, it's impossible to provide an exhaustive list of all the GT40s that went into the hands of Sbarro. Even experts and collectors GT40 owners are not all agree on the history of these fantastic Le Mans winner cars. Some have been adapted for road use, as evidenced by the 1968 ACA catalog reproduced below.
Given the excitement generated by the GT40 and the rarity of the car, the idea of a replica is quickly coming to the spirit of Franco Sbarro. And he wanted it as close as possible to the original. At that time, Ford sold the De Tomaso Pantera. An ideal car as a basis for the Sbarro's replica because datasheet was fairly close to the GT40 including a 5.7 Ford Cleveland engine. Sbarro uses the Pantera on which he placed a body of glass fibers. The work was so carefully that even the experts can be wrong, if we are to believe the story of the chassis # 1048! Sbarro indeed had enough original material to build models entirely in accordance with the GT40. In this case, a certificate of authentication was supplied with the car. A model painted in black was exposed in the Centre Espera in Pontarlier, France .
text Philippe Calvet, automatic translation (so be indulgent !)
Sbarro GT40 réplica. Base : De Tomaso Pantera. Engine V8 Cleveland 5763 cc. Mid engine. Rear wheel drive. 5-speed manual. Brakes : 4 discs.
Ford GT40 Street (1968-1969) : 4
Ford GT40 Replica (1982) : 1
Ford GT40 replica 2 (1982-1985) : 6