Hamann Classic Cars | 1954 Pegaso Saoutchik Coupe
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1954 Pegaso Saoutchik Coupe

A brief history of Pegaso

Total Production: 86 between 1951 – 1958

Named after Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology, the Pegaso Car Company produced very rare and exotic sports vehicles. The Barcelona native Wilfredo Ricart was one of Enzo Ferrari’s colleagues at Alfa Romeo’s race department designing race-car and aero engines. However, the two of them were not exactly friends. Enzo Ferrari disliked the very well dressed University graduated Spaniard and made often fun of him. Ricart left Alfa Romeo after the war
and was appointed by the Spanish government to establish a national truck manufacturing company. He teamed up with various engineers and technicians to begin working on their own sports car. This eventually resulted in 1951 in the Pegaso Z102 astonishing the automotive world that such highly advanced sports car came out of Spain.


A very modern race bread V8 engine was placed in the Pegaso Z102 which made it a supreme competition for the Ferraris built in Maranello, Italy. The Pegaso was fitted with double overhead camshafts, a feature that had been confined to competition vee-type engines, though they were utilized on Jaguar’s famous XK120 inline six.
The engine also featured sodium-filled exhaust valves for cooling, an oil cooler and dry-sump lubrication while also using extensive use of light alloy. The option of one, two or four Weber carbuteors could be fitted while compression ratios ranged from 7.8:1 to 9.0:1 to keep up with post-war Spain’s unpredictable gasoline octane levels.


Receiving the elite status of being the only Spanish automobiles to receive international supercar status during the 1950s, the Pegaso Z102 was introduced in 1951 at the Paris Auto Salon. With a top speed of 140 mph, the vehicle featured 250 horsepower at 6300 rpm. The Pegaso Company had extensive experience construction large 9-liter coaches. No one expected such a cutting edge sports car from a bus and truck company. A total of only 86 Pegaso Z102 were produced, with 25 of them receiving bodywork from Saoutchik.


The Pegaso was a replacement for the esteemed Hispano-Suiza and was created to be a sports vehicle of the highest quality. Producing up to 300 hp, all Pegaso models were powered by dry-sump V8 engines that ranged from 2.5 to 3.2 liters and featured torsion bar suspension, de Dion rear axle along with arear mounted 5-speed gearboxes with ZF limited-slip differentials. The 2.5 liter Z102 achieved 50 mph in just 8.3 second and 0-100mph in 35.0 seconds and 18.2 seconds for the ¼ mile from stand still.


A Pegaso with a Touring Spyder bodywork with single screen for the pilot, equipped with a super charged 2.8 Litre engine set the new flying mile speed record on the famous Belgian Jabbeke autoroute between Ostende and Ghent of 243 km/h with a standing start kilometer of 159 km/h (151 mp/h).


That speed record for the flying mile was broken shortly after by Jaguar test and race driver Norman Dewis with a specially modified Jaguar XK120 Roadster Prototype. Dewis achieved a record breaking top speed of 277 km/h (172 mph).


The Z102 range comprised of various Coupe and Spyder body styles , in the beginning with in house designs but eventually with Saoutchik and Touring designs.


The ambitious Wilfredo Ricart tried also to establish Pegaso automobiles as successful competitors in motor racing. The effort was rewarded by dominating national Spanish track events and hill climbs. Establishing Pegaso in international races proved to be difficult as the drum brakes had problems with the relatively heavy Pegasos. Pegasos entered at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1952 and Le Mans ended in early retirement and the Carrera Panamericana with an accident.


The Pegaso Z102B featured an increased engine with 2,816cc by 1953. And some cars used for competition were fitted with 3.2 litre engines. Competition cars were often fitted with superchargers, in one case even with dual super chargers. All Pegaso models including the non-competition cars were fitted with a variety of Weber carburetor setups from one, two or four as in this Saouthchik Coupe from 1954.


During the last days of Pergaso manufacturing sports cars “for the Connoisseur” as the Pegaso slogan was, Ricart worked on a continuation model of the Z-102, the Z-103. Only three examples were built though with advanced V8 engines with 3.9 litre, 4.5 littre and even 4.7 Litre engine displacement. The 4.7 litre V8 had a poweroutput of not less than 300 bhp at 5,500 rpm and 347 lbs torque at 4,500 rpm.


Pegaso models were largely hand-built and very innovative and advanced for their time. Only 86 models were ever built but larger production numbers were not achieved, most likely due to their extremely high price and limited funding. The government owned company was interested in a profitable operation producing trucks and busses and not exclusive and fast sports cars for privileged international clientele.


Production ended in 1958 and the Pegaso resumed exclusively producing trucks and buses. The Pegaso truck company became part of IVECO.


Pegaso Tipo Z-102B 2.8 Saoutchik Coupe Speciale Chassis


The Pegaso Z-102B on display here was displayed on the Pegaso stand during the 1954 Paris Auto Salon and purchased during the show by a Mr. Lamy de Caen of Paris, France. Monsieur de Caen competed in at least two motors sport events. One in the Rally Panamoricaine in 1954 with start #65 and in May 1955 in the Rally Sable Solmes with start # 83 where he finished 1st over all. Eventually this Pegaso found it’s way to the States in the late 50’s when a Mr. Don Rickert of Alabama purchased the car. In May of 1964 he sold this beautiful Pegaso to the famed Harrah’s Collection in Reno, Nevada. When Bill Harrah passed away in 1978 Holiday Inn purchased his land including his car collection of not less than 1,300 cars. With the exception of 150 cars, which Holiday Inn planned to use for a Museum they were going to build, all the acsr were sold or auctioned off including this Pegaso 102B. In 1987 chassis 1500 146 was eventually purchased by the Imperial Palace Collection of Las Vegas, Nevada. During the ownership of the Imperial Palace the car was restored to absolute Concours show quality and meticulously maintained until Don Williams of the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California
purchased the car. Although still in excellent condition the Blackhawk collection performed yet another Concours show quality restoration.


Having changed owners in 2017 the new owner decided to restore this Pegaso Z102B to the highest Pebble Beach Concours show quality. The color scheme was changed from a rather boring looking red to the exciting color scheme in true Pegaso spirit it is presented here today. Also the interior was restored again using period correct materials and paying attention to even the smallest details.


The red wall tires compliment this beautiful automobile very well and were especially manufactured per order to fit this outstanding Pegaso. Now, after 36 years it has found it’s way back to Paris where it was fitted by the Paris based coach builder Saoutchik , displayed at Paris Auto Salon in 1954 and delivered to a wealthy Parisian.


Chassis number 0146 is one of only five Examples of the Z-102B Sa outchik Series II
Coupe built.


A Pegaso with a Touring Spyder bodywork with single screen for the pilot, equipped with a super charged 2.8 Litre engine set the new flying mile speed record on the famous Belgian Jabbeke autoroute between Ostende and Ghent of 243 km/h with a standing start kilometer of 159 km/h (151 mp/h).