Publish date: 2016-04-04 10:18:24
Every success story starts with humble beginnings. Even the Spanish automaker who built the fastest road cars of the 1950s is not an exception.
The Birth of Pegaso
A long way back, Wilfredo Ricart became head of Alfa Corse, the racing department of Alfa Romeo. His arrival led to his rumored controversial partnership with Enzo Ferrari who has been working there. Ferrari then left while Ricart remained.
After the World War II, Ricart returned to Spain when it was already in peace. In his comeback, he planned of designing and manufacturing a better Spanish Sports car compared to the cars produced back in that time. This was something that he knew would interest the government in Spain.
When Ricart made it to the ENASA, the firm was still not known for producing sporty coupes. Actually, Empresa Nacional de Autocamiones SA was famous for the buses and trucks that they produce.
But then, it was the government who supported Ricart’s notion. That’s why a shop in the old Hispano-Suiza factory was opened. From there, Ricart built his new lines of sports cars which he named after the mythical Greek creature, Pegasus. And then, Pegaso was born.
Over time, Ricart has proven his expertise on engine design and utilization.
Ricart’s first design was named as the Z102. And, he used all his knowledge into the car’s chassis and design which came out as a staggering car.
The car had much stable handling after the gearbox and final drive were mounted together. The incredible potential of the chassis resulted from the extremely short-wheelbase, suspension arrangement, and the massive drum brakes.
For the aesthetics of the Z-102, Ricart asked for the help of Carrozzeria Touring, Serra, and Saoutchik so that they could give a stylish body for the highly-capable chassis. These brilliant coach-builders also did a hard job in reducing the car’s weight. The reduction in weight is combined with 2.8 and 3.2-liter variants of four-cam V-8 engine. As a result, this made the car capable to beat the top speeds of the latest Ferraris during its time.
With Ricart’s great desire to enter the Pegaso name among the ranks of the automotive elite, he succeeded in integrating luxury and performance. But then, the price he needed to pay resulted to a halt for Z-102 after 1958. Sad thing for Ricart though since there was only a little return of investment for this promising car.
By 1960s, the Pegaso name still lived but to new lines of buses and trucks. The name carried on until Iveco took over.
The Reason Behind Why The Series II Z-102 Was Special
A Series II Z-102 was part of the 2013 RM Auctions at Amelia Island. The said car had a Saoutchik Cabriolet body. The Chassis 3-0136 was a very special Z-102.
During 1958, only 84 units of the Z-102 were manufactured. That is why each car is special in its own right. But Saoutchik only manufactured 18 bodies for Pegaso. And, only 8 out of the 18 units were Series II while only one was a Cabriolet.
Truth be told, there were three Cabriolets produced by the coach maker. Yet only one is regarded as the prototype. The other two Cabriolets were Series I that is why the 3-0136 was a significant part of Pegaso history.
Back in April 1954, the car also took part in the San Remo Concours d’ Elegance in a blue finish. Saoutchik’s son, Pierre drove it on the show.
By 1958, the Cabriolet was converted to a Berlinetta when its owner grew tired of the Cabriolet. But in early 1990s, the car was restored to its original configuration. This decision was in respect to the car’s special place in Pegaso history.
According to conceptcarz.com, “A lovely testament to Ricart and Spain’s place in supercar history, the Pegaso Z-102 Series II Cabriolet is a prize highly deserving of a place of prominence in any collection and in post-World War II automotive history.”
The Pegaso Series II Cabriolet was bought at the 2014 Gooding & Company for $990,000. The lucky buyer had always wanted a Pegaso since day 1 that he saw it back in 1954.
Reference and Photos: