Iconic Saoutchik Body: Pegaso Z-102 Berlinetta

Named for the mythical winged horse, the striking Spanish-built Pegaso sports car emerged at the 1951 Paris Salon.

Produced in the former Hispano-Suiza factory in Barcelona, it featured an advanced high-performance twin-cam V-8 and was unabashedly intended to challenge Ferrari. At one time the Pegaso was the world’s fastest production automobile, with a top speed of 150 mph. By the time of production’s end in 1958, about 84 examples had been made, many of which were outfitted with splendid custom coachwork.

The sporting berlinetta offered here is one of seven second-series berlinettas produced on the Z-102 chassis by renowned Parisian coachbuilder Saoutchik. While each differs in its fine details, all featured dramatic styling with a low roofline and emphatically curved fenders, forming hooded arches over the round Marchal headlights and opening up around the wheels. The result is a dramatic visual sensation of power and speed.

This Pegaso was delivered with right-hand drive, though the chassis, interestingly, was numbered 150, indicating a left-hand-drive model; it was also equipped with the desirable twin-ignition cylinder head. Records in Carlos Mosquera and Enrique Coma-Cros’ book, Ricart-Pegaso: La Pasión del Automóvil, indicate that the original owner was Domecq de la Riva, likely Don Pedro Domecq de la Riva, a prominent Spanish aristocrat and sportsman of the period.

Subsequently exported to the United States, it was eventually acquired in 1983 by Frans Pelzer, an enthusiast in Maastricht, the Netherlands. In an interview with Pegaso author Mario Laguna, published in La Aventura Pegaso (pp. 50–51), Mr. Pelzer noted that the car had been found in solid original condition, with all of its parts, about 95 percent of which were used in the restoration. The only major component changed was the gearbox, replaced with a correct unit from another Pegaso. With the work nearly complete, the car was sold to a new owner in the United States in the summer of 2005, and was completed stateside. Afterwards, it was judged 2nd in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

In its current ownership, the Pegaso, striking in its tuxedo-hued black livery with a cream roof, was an Amelia Award winner in the special Pegaso class at the 2016 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. As one would expect, it presents in beautiful condition throughout, with rich, tight, clean leather upholstery, and sparkling paint and chrome, and is ready for further show appearances.

As Pegasos gain in recognition and popularity worldwide, the Saoutchik examples have become some of the most desirable of the breed. This superbly restored automobile would therefore be one of the crown jewels in any collection of modern sporting automobiles, and a star on future concours fields.

Learn more

Report by rmsothebys.com