Mar 22 2016

Hemmings Blog: 1952 Pegaso Z-102 Cupola takes Best in Show Concours de Sport at Amelia Island

Hemmings Blog has published an article of the two Best in Show winners at the 2016 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Check out the 90 comments on the article.


Howard Kroplick

1952 Pegaso Z-102 Cupola takes Best in Show Concours de Sport at Amelia Island

Hemmings Blog
Kurt Ernst on Mar 14th, 2016

Best known for producing trucks and buses, Spanish automaker Pegaso also built high-end sports cars from 1951-’58. The exact quantity produced (believed to be 80) remains something of a mystery, but only two “Cupola” models, with a distinctive and oversize rear window, side exhausts and partially skirted fenders, were ever built. Of these, chassis 0102 150 0121, a car first shown at the 1953 New York Motor Show, is the sole survivor, and, on Sunday, the stunning yellow coupe, now owned by the Louwman Museum, took Best of Show Concours de Sport at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
The car’s radical styling wasn’t penned by a single designer; instead, Spanish students were asked to sketch what cars would look like in the future, and the resulting design cues were brought to life by in-house coachbuilder Enasa. For display in New York, chassis 0102 150 0121 was painted in the same livery seen at Amelia Island, down to the red tires.
Power for the Cupola came from a normally aspirated, double-overhead camshaft, 2.5-liter 90-degree V-8, rated at 165 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque. It was shifted through a five-speed manual transmission. The car’s compact size and relatively light weight (below 2,900 pounds) would have delivered engaging performance, and the car did compete in the 1954 La Carrera Panamerican race while owned by Dominican President Rafael Trujillo.
The car was still in Trujillo’s possession at the time of his May 1961 assassination, and its whereabouts for the next two decades are something of a mystery (though it was reportedly seized by the government following Trujillo’s death). By the mid-1980s, the car, now painted silver, was part of Peter Kaus’s Rosso Bianco collection, and in 2006 it was acquired by Evert Louwman and the Louwman Museum in The Hague, Netherlands. In 2015, the car emerged from a six-year restoration, and made its public debut at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, where it was awarded the BMW Group Trophy.
 The Best of Show Concours d’Elegance award went to a Brewster-bodied 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Sedanca de Ville owned by the Nethercutt Collection in California. Fittingly, the regal car boasted ties to Hollywood, as it was reportedly once owned by silver-screen star Constance Bennett and appeared (briefly) in The King and the Chorus Girl.
Look for more Hemmings Daily coverage of Amelia Island, including a gallery of photos from the event, in the coming days. For a complete list of category winners, visit
UPDATE (17.March 2016): Updated Pegaso production data was sent to us by reader Gerard Wilson. According to Memoria d’un mirage : els Pegaso Z – 102 esportius, published by the Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona in 2001, a total of 80 Pegasos (71 Z-102 and 9 Z-103 models) were produced.

Photo by Malcolm Hogan, courtesy Automotive Addicts.

1952 Pegaso Z-102 Cupola. Photos by Richard Lentinello, unless otherwise indicated

1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Sedanca de Ville


Mar 22 2016 Howard Kroplick 8:21 PM

March 14, 2016 8:45 pm
If there was ever an uglier car made, I’ve yet to see it. And I’ve seen a lot.

March 14, 2016 8:50 pm
I hereby call for mandatory drug testing of all Amelia Island judges…

March 15, 2016 11:54 am
How about some vision testing also?

Jay Busse says:
March 14, 2016 9:10 pm
Reading these comments I am reminded of Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not cast your pearls to swine…”

Peter Atherton
March 14, 2016 9:29 pm
In the early ’60’s the Pegaso was at Edgar Jurist’s Vintage Car Store,in Nyack,NY.The roof had been cut off to create a roadster,it was painted white,and rather seedy looking.Fortunately,the entire top was still with the car.I never knew what had happened to it thereafter,but it’s nice to see it restored!

Joe S.
March 14, 2016 11:39 pm
When will the clowns start bailing out?

March 15, 2016 7:49 am
My 65 Checker wears that color much better

Sal Pugliese
March 15, 2016 12:52 pm
I have attended every Amelia Island Concours since its inception and it just gets better every year !
Although my favorite show was 3 years ago when Ferrari was the spotlighted brand and 11 GTO’s paraded thru downtown!!
How often do you see $35M cars driving on public streets !!!
Pegasos were one of the highlighted brands this year and of the 84 or so examples produced, this one had to be the ugliest of the litter!!!
How it won an award for anything is beyond me !!!!
There were several gorgeous examples of the brand worthy of a trophy, but to select the “yellow peril” is a mystery to most in attendance !
The side pipes look to be sourced directly from a J.C. Whitney catalog and the roofline is incongruent with any line of the body !!!

March 15, 2016 4:00 pm
The Oscar-Meyer Weinermobile is easier to look at than this thing. Sorry, but mustard paint and ketchup wheels are making me want a hot-dog for lunch!

Howard Munday
March 15, 2016 5:10 pm
Now I finally know where Nash(American Motors) hotshots got their upside down bathtub designs they are so famous for and I always ass/u/med they came from the “camel” design team that was charged with designing a “horse”. I saw a brown one of those on the road once and thought a red tired turd had escaped it’s designer.

I’m a died in the wool classic car guy and live just a ferry ride away from Amelia Island but have never once wasted my time attending the Amelia Island Concours de Elegance, nor do I even bother to look at nor read the Times Union’s daily coverage of the Concours and cars. I will admit having visited the venue via tv with “Chasing Classic Cars”. Usually I don’t bother to watch the whole show when Wayne’s at the Concours, like I usually do the actual chasing episodes.

Looks like my lack of affinity for the Concours has been very much more rewarding than I even realized. Most of the attendees have probably never laid down two long screaming black marks on a rural road or even a dark city street while behind the wheel of a 1965 GTO 0.30 over-bored 428, four barrel Hurst/Muncie 22 “Rock Crusher” four speed.
Whole new world!!!!!!!!!

Sal Pugliese
March 20, 2016 9:56 am
I’ve attended the Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance every year since its inception 20 years ago… I’m also a die hard muscle car collector and have campaigned a 1961 Pontiac Catalina in Nostalgia S/S for years… So much for your theory !!!

Sal Pugliese :
March 20, 2016 10:49 am
It’s quite obvious you’ve never been to the Amelia Concours D’Elegance because muscle cars are, and always have been, a major participant !!
This year, Todd Werner, noted muscle car collector, brought his ORIGINAL #43 Richard Petty Hemi Plymouth Superbird .. He lit up the crowd when called to receive his award and the unmufflered 800 HP Hemi rumbled it’s way to the show stand !!!

March 15, 2016 5:38 pm
Anyone else see the early Nash design similarities????

Vince Wilson:
March 15, 2016 5:48 pm
If I owned an “average”auto at that show, I would be hesitant to bring it before those judges again.
I feel for the other owners of truly fine automobiles.

March 15, 2016 9:39 pm
Being polite, I’d say this design was challenged. How about that huge rear window? Yuck! Must have been conceived after a heavy bout of sangria consumption.

March 15, 2016 9:41 pm
Usually, the winners of these events are worthy…This is seriously ugly automobile!

March 15, 2016 10:34 pm
When I publish my dictionary of slang, I will use this photo with the definition of “Ugly As Sin.”

Looks aside, the mechanicals of a DOHC V8 with a 5-speed manual were fairly advanced for 1952. Chevrolets still had dip-cup engine oil lubrication in their flathead 6-cylinder!

John C. Kovalo
March 21, 2016 12:17 am
I think 1950 was the last year for the dippers, as well as babbited rods.

March 16, 2016 1:38 am
The Cupola looks like someone made a car out of one of Ronald McDonalds shoes.

March 18, 2016 6:19 pm
That exact car complete with red walls, appeared on the cover of a 1953 Popular Science which I remember seeing and reading as a teen. It was billed as the world’s most expensive auto at the time ($29,000 I believe). Also noted was the fact that it was built to drive on the primitive Spanish roads in the heat and not overheat. Ugly today? It seemed to be a real show stopper to me at the time.

Tom Turner
March 19, 2016 8:15 pm
“Design by committee” Is considered a put-down. Designed by a schoolkid would be too. This car was designed by a committee….of schoolkids. I there any surprise it’s so awful?

Dan Haapala
March 20, 2016 2:47 pm
Yes it’s ugly BUT, it’s the coolest ugly car I’ve ever seen (next to a Crosley). It’s unique and as such really appeals to me as it must have to the judges. BTW Madman the 52 Chevy 235-6 was OHV not flathead, just saying:)

Mar 23 2016 frank femenias 11:33 PM

I can’t stop laughing….....thanx

Mar 24 2016 Ted 12:02 PM

Yes,it’s an ugly car,but it’s different and something out of the ordinary. It looks a little like the jaguars,the long front,maybe even the corvettes,not saying they’re ugly,but the same design as them. It’s a little bit of everything,like a prototype.

Mar 27 2016 Henry 1:59 AM

The children have complained! - BUT one saw a lot of “innovations” after WWII.  Somewhere in my Archives I think is a Popular Science or Science & Mechanics or Mechanix Illustrated where this car was on the cover. Pegaso had little distribution in the US, the only place then with money, so it couldn’t succeed. As to the restoration - KUDOS of the highest order! A well-deserved award. In fact, if I find my magazine, I will give it to the museum!

Mar 27 2016 S. Berliner, III 8:23 PM

There were some very hairy Pegasos built but the Cupola sure as HELL ain’t one of ‘em!  I can’t believe Ed Jurist ever gave that hideosity house room!  Nash tub - YES!  ‘49-50 Mercs and Hudsons weren’t much better.  You Lawn Guylanders may enjoy my yarn about my neighbor’s Pegaso at <> and scroll way down. or at <> and scroll up two paragraphs, to “Another great ‘modern’ marque was the Spanish Pegaso”.  That event occurred around 1975 in North Shore Acres in Glen Head.

Mar 27 2016 S. Berliner, III 8:49 PM

P. S. - It was Popular Science in the June 1953 issue, red side-walls (on chrome wires) and all!  It is variously described as a 1951 Coupe Aerodinamica Cúpula and as a 1952 BS 2.5 Cupula Coupe, but always as Cupula, NOT Cupola.  It was shown at the 1953 NYC Auto Show.  I particularly like the BS designation!

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