Sbarro SV-1, 1973


In March 1973, Franco Sbarro exposed for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show. The stand is small, but it opens a series of uninterrupted participations 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 sets SV1, he then 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, which will directly affect 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 interior is strengthened. The chassis is connected to a tube with double side roll cage submerged in a two-piece polyester filled with polyurethane foam. The SV1 is equipped with two sprinklers that are 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 experimente the technique to assemble 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.

The car, financed by Stanislas Klossowsky who also worked on the Stash, has not found a buyer at the time. 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.


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




4-rotor Wankel engine Wankel NSU Ro80


mid engine


4 x 497 cc (3980 cm3)


4 carburators


300 BHP @ 5500 rpm


rear wheel drive


5-speed manual


1320 kg


4 discs


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


2 gullwing doors/ polyester

top speed

230 to 240 km/h




Principales sources : Auto Journal spécial salon, septembre 1974 / Site officiel Espera / Catalogue Sbarro 1991.


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