While its newest models come with quite a few restrictions, many older Ferraris find themselves being used for all sorts of projects. Some builds, like Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera’s Aero 3, give the donor Ferrari a full re-skin. Others, though, focus on transplanting the Italian powertrain into more mundane cars. And one of these builds, the Sbarro Super Eight, is now up for grabs.
Sbarro has done whacky things to more than just Ferraris
Switzerland isn’t usually on most car shoppers’ world maps. However, the country does have a native automotive industry—albeit a small and sometimes odd one.
For example, there’s Rinspeed, which restores classic cars, modifies new ones, and creates the occasional limited-production concept. Over the years, it’s produced cars like the sQuba, a fully-submersible, fully-electric Lotus Elise, and the Bedouin, a Porsche 911 Turbo-based truck/ute, Autoweek reports.
On the flip-side from Rinspeed’s esoteric escapades is Monteverdi, which focused on luxury GTs powered by foreign-made engines. It later expanded into luxury SUVs, built on the chassis and powertrains of models like the International Scout.
Sbarro—unrelated to the fast-food chain—is somewhere in-between the two. The company pre-dates Rinspeed, Car and Driver reports, and its founder, Franco Sbarro, started out making replicas of famous race cars, Petrolicious reports. Later on, though, it pivoted to creating custom builds based on existing vehicles. And just like Rinspeed, Sbarro’s catalog has plenty of varied entries.
In the late 70s, the Swiss automaker created the Windhound. It’s a luxury SUV built on a G-Wagen chassis with Mercedes’ 6.9-liter V8 under the hood, Petrolicious reports. Watchmaker TAG-Heuer then commissioned Sbarro to create a mobile multi-person office. Which it proceeded to build out of a Cadillac sedan, Petrolicious reports.
The 1980s saw Sbarro’s take on the Mercedes-Benz C126, the coupe version of the W126 Mercedes S-Class, Road & Track reports. The coupes were stripped down and fitted with Recaro bucket seats, new front and rear bumpers, a wide-body kit, disc wheels, and, crucially, gullwing doors. That’s on top of the shutter-shade-like grille treatment.
But that wasn’t the only Sbarro creation to come out of the 80s. There was also the Ferrari 308-powered Super Eight hot hatch.
Turning a Ferrari 308 into the Sbarro Super Eight
The 1984 Sbarro Super Eight isn’t the company’s first hot hatch, The Drive reports. It’s actually a successor to an earlier car, the 1981 Super Twelve.
It was a hatchback like the Super Eight, albeit powered by two mid-mounted 1.3-liter Kawasaki inline-6 engines. They were joined into a single V12, and connected to two linked chain-driven 5-speed transmissions, Top Gear reports. The result was a 1763-lb hot hatch with about 240 hp, Hagerty reports.
Compared to that, the Sbarro Super Eight seems almost tame, which is the point. It too has a mid-mounted engine, albeit one taken from a Ferrari 308 GTB. The 3.0-liter V8 makes 255 hp, Car reports, sent to the rear wheels via a dog-leg 5-speed manual.
The powertrain isn’t the only thing the Sbarro Super Eight retains from the Ferrari 308 GTB, R&T reports. While the fiberglass body is bespoke, the chassis is from the 308. So are the interior gauges, shifter, and most of the switchgear.
And, if you’re interested, it could be yours.
Getting it, or any of the Swiss automaker’s other cars, won’t be easy
This Sbarro Super Eight has been up for sale before. It sold on eBay in Belgium in 2018, R&T reports, though we couldn’t determine the final bid. As of this writing, it’s once again being sold in Belgium, this time at dealer Speed 8 Classics.
However, it won’t come cheap. The current asking price is roughly $183,100. That’s significantly more expensive than even a Concours-level Ferrari 308 GTB Quattrovalvole, which usually goes for $100k, Hagerty reports. And on Bring a Trailer, the average price is closer to $60,000-$80,000.
To be fair, some of Sbarro’s other creations have sold for less. A one-off 4WD convertible Citroen Jumpy went for roughly $21,170 in a 2017 auction, Hagerty reports. Others, though, like the Rolls Royce Camargue modified for the Moroccan royal family have commanded higher prices than the Super Eight, BaT reports.
It doesn’t help that many of the Swiss automaker’s cars are extremely rare, even if they’re not one-offs. That gullwing-ed C126, for example, is one of just 14 in the world.
Still, the person who buys it will likely have the only Ferrari hot hatch in the world.
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