Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Ultimate Mk1 Golf? I think so!

There are many people in the retro-car world that not only have a single, defining vision of an amazing auto-creation but also have the motivation and skills to build it too. Leaf through old CCC Magazines, Hot Car, Retro Cars or PPCs, and you'll find page after page of bizarre hybrid creations. V8 Fiat Pandas, Jag V12 engined Capris, all manner of weird and wonderful. Some are truly inspired, many are utterly awful.

Franco Sbarro, however, takes this to a whole different plane. He's been building some of the maddest, most eccentric and remarkably original cars in Switzerland since 1971. Many of them have been destined for oil-sheiks and wealthy eccentrics, some are one-off concepts to demonstrate some radical new thinking, or simply create a stir.

My favourite of all is the Sbarro Golf Turbo. I first saw it in a book when I was maybe 13 years old and it utterly captivated me, and it still stands today as an incredible creation.

Click the image below for a large-size readable copy of an article taken from CAR magazine in 1980.

How cool is that? 3.3 litres of aircooled flat-6 Porsche power, all wrapped in a very subtle Mk1 Golf bodyshell. And of course, that hinged floor - a trick he used again in later creations.

If I win the lottery, I'm getting on an aeroplane and heading straight to his front door, where I shall remain until he promises to build me a replica. Not an exact replica though, those 911s produce a heck of a lot more power and torque these days...

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