Legendary brands you never heard of: Pegaso
The Koenigsegg of the 50's resurrected for a few weeks in Brussels.
Not many of us remember the once renowned luxury cars of Pegaso, the Belgian national car museum Autoworld still managed to gather about a dozen Pegasos, which is probably one of the largest ensembles of vehicles of this millennium from the short-lived Spanish luxury brand.
Pegaso was a Spanish company noted for its trucks and motor coaches, but also produced luxurious supersports cars for a short but memorable period of seven years.
Pegaso’s chief technical manager was Wifredo Ricart who earned a reputation as chief engineer at Alfa Romeo, designing the successfoul Tipo 512. In 1945, he was hired in his home country, when he was actually just passing by, preparing to take on a job in the US at Studebaker.
Instead, he decided to stay in Spain, and signed up to lead the creation of a new Spanish automotive group, Enasa, that consolidated what was left of the Spanish branch of Hispano-Suiza. Pegaso became a major commercial vehicle company that also spawned an impressive series of luxury coupés.
The Pegaso Z-102 was the most renowned sports car of the brand, available in coupe and cabriolet version also with individual bodyworks furnished by coachbuilders. The model was introduced in 1951 and remained in production until 1958 with a total production of about 80 cars.
The car was the fastest production car in the world at the time of its introduction, reaching a top speed of 150 mph (243 km/h) in Belgium.
The record breaker from Jabbeke was a white twin-compressor V8, but you could believe from this impressive showcar to beat the white sharks from Spain.
One of my first encounter with the Pegaso was at the Louwman Museum. Unfortunately, this exhibition did not include their bright yellow Cupola concept, that was designed to be the car of the future.
The exhibition included 12 coupés and truck from the Pegaso brand. The first set of cars include four Z-102 coupés and two roadsters.
The Z-102 series shared the same platform and was offered with a series of V8 engines ranging from 2.5 to 3.2 litres.
The white ENESA Pedralbes roadster was conceived as a race car (with a cool head restraint) named after the Pedralbes Race Track of Spain.
The other set of 6 cars illustrate the variation of bodywork offered from impressive gran turismo coupé to lightweight roadsters. Despite the decision to manufacture alloy bodies to save weight, the cars were still quite heavy ultimately deprived racing success.
The central stage was occupied by one of the most remarkable car, the 1953 Thrill Coupé with its impressive side wings.
The car was powered by the 2.8 litres engine peaking at 170 hp, and the breathtaking shape was conceived by Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera and featured many innovative elements like bucket seat with seatbelts.
The third set of cars included a series of Luxury coupés designed by noted coachbuilders but also factory projects, like the green the ENASA Berlinetta.
My personal favourite from this line-up was the steel blue coupé from Touring Superleggera.
The exhibition was wound up to make space for the Porsche 70 exhibition, that occupied all the free space of the Museum.
The Belgian national auto museum Autoworld opened its exhibition, honoring the 70th anniversary of the company.
Autoworld usually hosts 4-5 of these major temporary exhibitions that occupy the gallery and the two smaller exhibition spaces in the ground floor, whereas about a dozen smaller exhibitions are held like the Pegaso-exhibition.