King Khaled of Arabia, attracted by the Windhound, asked Franco Sbarro to build him a version adapted for falconry, one of his favourite sports. The king wanted a vehicle capable of going at full speed over the different types of terrain found in Arabia and one that allowed him to hunt without leaving the vehicle.
Franco Sbarro was given a free hand to do this project except that he had to use a Mercedes engine (90% of the king’s fleet is Mercedes). A 217 BHP version of the 6.9 litre V8 was used. All six wheels, the most eye-catching feature of the vehicle, are driven. There is a 350 litre petrol tank to provide sufficient range. The ground clearance can be changed hydraulically from 25 cm to 42 cm. The top speed is roughly 125 mph which is ample for off-road! Sbarro solved the problem of hunting without leaving the vehicle by having seats that can be raised hydraulically by 80 cm. This allows the hunter to rise-up through the two open sun roofs and work the birds without leaving his seat. As for the falcons, they have a special refrigerator to keep the morsels of meat fresh that they receive as rewards.
The Sbarro Windhound and Windhawk represent the best late seventies off-road vehicles. The Windhound was far more elitist than the Range Rover and really didn’t have any competition. Regarding the 6WD Windhawk, only the Lamborghini LM could match its performance but not its reliability. Sbarro proved once and for all that he could create original vehicles and at a very high standard.
Text Courtesy of Phillipe Calvet