3 June 2011

Sbarro Monster G

Franco Sbarro.
If you ask those that know of his work to describe him in a few words, chances are you'll hear phrases along the lines of  'Automotive visionary' or 'One cog short of a full gearbox'. Whatever you think of his contributions to automotive history, you can't deny he has his own ideas of how to do things.

Case in point; at the 1987 Geneva Motor Show, visitors to the Sbarro stand were greeted by... a monster.
Monster G is the name of this huge 4x4, commissioned by a German guy in Los Angeles and rolling on aircraft wheels. Few cars have been equipped, to my knowledge, with wheels from the landing gear of a Boeing 747; 20 inches high (not circumference - 20 inches high) and 14 inches wide. Kinda makes a donk look a little weak and feeble in comparison. These were modified and then fitted with specially designed tyres from Goodyear. The chassis, meanwhile was from more prosaic origins, coming from a Range Rover. Due to the immense size of the wheels the Monster G stands at 2.3 metres (7 ft 5 inches) tall, so no problem finding it in the supermarket car park, although the act of parking in a space would no doubt prove problematic...

Probably not the best car to take shopping anyway, with its chrome roll cage, lack of doors, minimal weather protection and exhaust pipes poking through the bonnet. The body by the way, is entirely made of Kevlar, which was not so common in 1987, let alone now. Standard equipment included amongst other things, not only a generator in the back but also a minibike. So in case of breakdown off you ride to reach the nearest garage, no doubt handy in some of the 'wilder' parts of downtown LA.
As for the engine, Sbarro used a 6.3 litre Mercedes V8 developing 350 bhp. At the time, the only 4x4 with a higher power output was the 450 bhp Lamborghini LM002.

While not a thing of beauty, you have to admit that the Monster G is most impressive. With the current breed of super-SUVs (Cayenne, Q7, X5 et al) proving so popular, what chance a new Monster G, Mr Sbarro?

No comments:

Post a Comment