Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Most Astonishing Pegaso

Not many Pegaso automobiles were ever built during the period 1951-57 when the brand was active.  Cars were a minor activity of what was essentially a Barcelona based truck manufacturer described here.

There is also some Internet-based information regarding the Pegaso automobile line here and here. However, there is very little other than photographs having to do with the Pegaso model that interests me the most.  In fact, there seems to be no agreement even as to its name other than it was one of the Z-102 series.  Besides Z-102, its name might have included "BS 2.5 Cúpola" or "Berlineta Cúpola" or just "Cúpola."

It is also unclear who styled it.  Some sources credit Italian coachbuilders, others suggest that Pegaso designed and built it in-house.  I have been saying "it" having for years assumed that it was a one-off, but several sources indicate that two cars of the design were actually built.

What matters is that the Pegaso under discussion has a design that was astonishing when it first appeared more than 60 years ago and that continues to astonish (me, anyway) even now.  This is not to say the design is a great one, but it's a good one with the ability to fascinate as well as astonish.

Let's take a look.


The original car was painted yellow, as shown here.  The most serious design defect was that the backlight (rear window) shape failed to blend with the roofline curve, as is evident in this side view.

After being introduced in Europe in 1952 it was displayed at the 1953 New York Auto Show, where this photo was taken.

Here is another early picture.  For a while a red (I think) stripe decorated the top of the car.

This is a fairly recent picture, probably taken at a concours d'élégance.  The paint is now silver, but it might be that second car whose original paint color is unknown to me.

Another view, this featuring the front end.  The wheel housings are mostly covered by the fenders, probably for aerodynamic reasons.  This implies a wide side overhang beyond the wheels which would give the Pegaso an awkward appearance to our eyes in 2013 if seen from the rear.

This shows the Pegaso "opened up."  Well, not completely opened; the access panel covering the rear wheel remains closed.  Also note that the door windows do not roll down due to the extreme concave shape of the inner side of the door; instead, they swing out to open.


Seth Rosner said...

The second photo, of the young woman entering the one-off Pegaso Z-102b 'El Dominicano' I took with a Leica IIIf and 50mm f/2 Summitar lens. I believe I still have the negatives.

Donald Pittenger said...

Seth -- Apology for the late reply, but I was in Hawaii last week.

Anyway ... Wow!!

Seth Rosner said...

Hello Donald, a propos the photo, from where did you get it; not an issue with you, but it is copyrighted

Donald Pittenger said...

Seth -- I drafted the post years ago, so forget that detail. Got if off the Interned while doing a Google images search, most likely. I almost always avoid images marked copyrighted unless I'm pretty sure the claimant is using the image generated by a different source. I try to use images that were intended as publicity ... from manufacturers, auction houses, private sellers. In theory or actuality some might be copyrighted, but if their intent was to be disseminated, then I figure they're fair game.

Then again, there's that fuzzy "fair use" concept. It applies to quotes of writing, but a lawyer might contend that the use of a photo to illustrate a point in the context of other photos from other sources fits that idea.

As for the photo in question, I didn't know the original source and assumed from the look of it that it might well have been a publicity photo. Plus, it was 60 years old and unlikely to cause me trouble.

I delete images if requested to do so, but that is extremely rare.

Seth Rosner said...

not a problem, Donald. she was a very cute chick. the Pegaso was also very nice! ;-) can't believe it's 55 years ago! can't believe the Pegaso and I are still here and still having fun! Though I'm more in the Ferrari solar system since they are slightly more numerious. Would still adore to have the blue Z-102 Touring Superleggera berlinetta that I photographed at that New York Show!