Franco Sbarro, a Swiss based car designer modified a few Countach QV models into his very special Sbarro Special Countach. I have found several replica's lately, but the real thing does exist.
According to the Sbarro Design Studio's, Franco built only eight cars, a bright red one and a white metallic Countach, both of them can be seen here. He also built a black over red one, but this one was wrecked only weeks after the customer took delivery of it in Switzerland. A fourth one Franco finished years after the previous ones, as with the others, on special demand of a very wealthy customer. This last one was finished in red over a white leather interior, this specific car was shipped to Japan and the current status and where-about are completely unknown to me.
Sbarro kept the front and rear spoiler of the original Countach, but he installed special side skirts to the car, incorporating cooling ducts for the rear disc brakes. Both intakes cool down the brakes, but none of them supplies air to the engine compartment, although the fourth conversion did use an air intake on top of the engine cover. Grabbing air on the roof and ramming it into the engine bay, trying to keep the hot-headed tuned V-12 cool. These Countach SV 5200 QV received a 5.2-Liter engine tuned to shred out about 515 Bhp at 7800 rpm instead of the standard 455, which made the Countach reach a top speed of 330 Km/h. Seven cars used the standard engine, but the red one (not the Japanese car) which is featured on these pages received an even higher tuned engine later on, now delivering about 550 Bhp to the massive rear wheels.
As you can see on the images, Franco looked at the Miura and added the 'SV' badge on these Countach.
The white car was first delivered to a customer in Europe, but later it was shipped to the United States, while the red car on this page is now located in The Netherlands, where it was for sale in 1997. I couldn't get a price on this car, but you can bet on it I wouldn't be able to afford it anyway. Since only four cars were built, these will still be very expensive. Especially the last one will cost an stupendous amount of money if it ever becomes available on the market.
But, be aware, a 'normal' Countach could get rather difficult to maintain, particularly the six dual Weber carburetors, getting all of them aligned was a very difficult task, but just imagine this engine tuned by a specialist. As we all know a tuned engine gets fragile, and needs special attention, also some parts may be very hard to come by, some standard parts of the Countach already are hard to find.
But just get into these Specials, turn the key and drive away, the looks you would get driving one of these cars is enough to just forget all the trouble and money it took to acquire one and keep it running.
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March 24. 2005
Text © Mark Smeyers
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