Pegaso Z-102, unknown Spanish supercar
It is customary to say that Ferruccio Lamborghini created his model after a serious dispute with Enzo Ferrari. Little do we all know that he’s not the primary to offer such a response. He was definitely preceded by a Spanish engineer, Wilfredo Ricart. A superb engine builder, he was usually on the forefront, for instance designing an engine with 4 valves per cylinder from the Twenties, constructing a extremely environment friendly racing automotive, the Rickert 226, or working for the celebrated producer Hispano-Suiza. Nice resume, proper?
Escaping the Spanish Civil War in 1936, this allowed him to enter Alfa Romeo, the place he designed plane engines, appointed director of particular analysis. Then, he discovered himself on the Biscione Racing staff, after it was purchased from Enzo Ferrari. As a outcome, Rickert discovered himself working with the Commendatore, with whom the connection was so unbelievable that in 1938 the latter left in a shock. Ferrari prefers dependable options that work, Rickert excessive sophistication… In 1939 he would design the extremely subtle Alfa Romeo 512 racing, mid-engined, which might undergo World War II…
After the battle, Rickert returned to Spain and, after a rotation by way of the Studebaker subsidiary, took over administration of ENASA, Empresa Nacional de Autocamiones SA, created in 1946 from the wreckage of the Spanish subsidiary Hispano-Suiza to supply the Pegaso truck. He additionally manages to get sufficient funding from the federal government to design the ultimate automotive that may change into Spain’s technological showcase (which will need to have happy Franco).
It was the Pegaso Z-102, full of cutting-edge options, that precipitated fairly a stir when it was introduced on the 1951 Paris Motor Show. Ferrari higher be careful! Especially for the reason that press is bursting with enthusiastic feedback: “The purest gem of vehicle mechanics,” wrote Automobile Magazine.
Moreover, whereas Ferrari builds vehicles with very primary suspension (inflexible rear axle, leaf springs), Rickert does precisely what he likes: he dives into hyper-technology, giving the Z-102 a semi-independent de Dion rear axle, Then very superior. . A peccadillo, nevertheless, faces the monument enthroned below the hood: a V8 with 4 overhead camshafts, made totally of alloy and geared up with a dry sump.
This 2.5 l develops 180 hp within the S model, probably the most muscular, i.e. a selected energy of 72 hp/l, very uncommon for an atmospheric block of street vehicles on the time. The field, 5-speed please, is put in on the again for higher weight distribution. With its longest last gear, this permits the Pegaso to succeed in speeds of 230 km/h. Apparently, this technological monument is the quickest passenger automotive on the planet! But that is not all: it is also geared up with a neat inside, for instance geared up with a height-adjustable steering wheel.
If the manufacturing unit physique, with its admittedly fashionable “pontoon” look, lacks class, consumers can costume the automotive in Touring and customise it to their liking. However, it nonetheless added an enormous and fully undesirable worth to a Spain that was then very poor and autarkic. As a outcome, gross sales don’t cease. More significantly, though the automotive stays unknown, because of lack of funds it can not depend on the competitors to make up for what it lacks, which is the precise reverse of Ferrari.
It definitely belongs in prestigious races just like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, however its lack of growth prevents it from being aggressive and even completed! In addition, it beat a pace document of 241 km/h on the Belgian Jabbe motorway in 1953. However, it was geared up with a compressor, so it didn’t correspond to the marketed mannequin and the document wouldn’t be allowed.
Also, if the Z-102 is probably the most fashionable and quickest automotive on the planet, nobody is aware of it and misses its shot as a result of it’s a locomotive for the Pegaso truck agency. If a Z-103 variant, simplified and due to this fact cheaper, was launched, it might promote only some copies. ENASA stopped spending in 1958 and thanked Rickert in 1959 (he later established himself as a marketing consultant). The incontrovertible fact that the Z-102 was produced nearly totally in Spain, with little concentrate on exports and the institution of an actual community of distributors, did not assist both.
84 Pegaso Z-102s had been constructed, principally outfitted in Touring and Southchick, which stay legendary. disgrace Rickert was too preoccupied with know-how and never sufficient profitability, so lacked realism in automotive issues… in brief the precise reverse of Enzo Ferrari, however there, worse.