Pegaso (IPA2|pe'ɰaso; Spanish for "Pegasus") was a Spanish brand of trucks, buses, tractors and armored vehicles, and, for a while, of sport cars. The parent company, Enasa, was created in 1946 based on the old Hispano-Suiza factory, under the direction of the renowned automotive engineer Wifredo Ricart. In 1990 Iveco took over Enasa and the Pegaso brand disappeared in 1993.

Enasa, a state-owned company, had its main business interest in the truck and bus market. In this way, Pegaso became one of the leading European industrial vehicles makers, with significant export activity both to Europe and Latin America; the Benelux, Venezuela and Cuba were Pegaso biggest foreign markets, while a substantial contract to supply tactical trucks to the Egyptian Army was signed in late 70s.

Main Enasa plants were located in Barcelona, Madrid and Valladolid. Between 1946 and 1990 Pegaso built 350,000+ units, yearly maximum production being 26,000+ in 1974.

The forties

First Enasa produced truck, just a slightly modified Hispano-Suiza 66G, was the Pegaso I, of which only a few units were made along 1946 and 47, mostly due to the severe shortages of the post-war era. An enhanced, but still petrol-engined, version, the Pegaso II (model code Z-203), was launched in late 1947 and reached some hundreds of units, while awaiting for a much needed diesel model. This was the convert|125|hp|abbr=on Pegaso Diesel (Z-202), nicknamed "Mofletes (chubby cheeks)" for its rounded bulbous front end, that made its debut in 1949 and quickly established itself as the leader of the in those days weak Spanish truck market. Artic tractor, road train and coach or bus versions were also available soon, and all together they became "El camión español (The Spanish truck)", as proudly stated Enasa badges and advertisements.

The fifties

Pegaso built about a hundred high-end Z-102 sports cars in the 1950s. The cars were in many ways advanced for the time, as they had all wheel independent suspension, a five-speed gearbox, very powerful supercharged engines, and were offered with the choice of Touring, Saoutchik, Serra or Enasa's own luxury bodies.

While in 1954 the old Pegaso Diesel engine was uprated to convert|140|hp|abbr=on, other Ricart's masterpiece, the Pegaso Z-207 truck, was ready to enter mass production, as it actually was from 1955 to 1959. It featured a splendid V6 engine and an unforgettable corrugated-sheet cab, which was also used in other Pegaso truck models in the 1960s and '70s, becoming a piece of the Spanish landscape.

Also technically advanced was the Pegaso Z-403 Monocasco, a two-level monocoque (chassisless) coach, fitted with the convert|125|hp|abbr=on diesel engine mounted amidships, and built between 1951 and 1957. Along these years Pegaso built too the more conventional Z-404 coach or urban bus chassis, that used to receive a striking body by Seida of Bilbao, and the Z-501 trolleybus, which featured electric equipment by Cenemesa.

In the off-road segment, first Pegaso product was a caterpillar tractor based in tecnology from Vender, an Italian specialist, and launched in 1957.

The sixties and seventies

In the 1960s and 1970s Pegaso kept pace with the impressive economic development of Spain (the so-called "Spanish miracle"), and tens of thousands of Pegaso trucks and buses ran through Spanish roads and cities and, more important, crossed borders in TIR sealed container traffic to link the Spanish economy with the European Economic Community, the Pegaso flagship by then being the 2011 Arctic tractor. In those years Pegaso marketed a full variety of commercial vehicles, the top of the line being 8x4 rigids, 6x4 semi-trailer tractors, 6x6 off-road dumpers and military armoured vehicles, a five-axle 10x4 special conversion for the Dutch market, and three-axle articulated buses; all of them featuring Pegaso's own engines of up to convert|352|hp.

In 1961 began the production of Pegaso Monotral buses and coaches, based on an Italian Viberti design that gave rise to a long line of Pegaso chassisless new models along two decades. First of the series was the successful 6030-N coach, equipped with an underfloor horizontal engine and single-tyre rear axle, making it a very light yet full-length vehicle.

In 1963 the aforementioned Seida reached an agreement with German Kässbohrer to license-build Setra chassisless coaches. These were equipped with Pegaso engines and other mechanical units and were marketed with simultaneous double badge as Setra Seida S14 and Pegaso 5070. Despite being rather expensive, these coaches were very successful in the Spanish market and competed well with Pegaso own Monotrals and all the other conventional chassis+body models. This was Pegaso main OEM business, others being to sell engines for railcars and shunter locomotives or to provide running units and cab components to Barazábal, a Vitoria-based maker of self-propelled cranes.

In 1968 Enasa took over S.A.V.A., and a year later the whole Sava range of light vehicles, with roots in British BMC designs, was rebadged as Pegaso.

In 1972 a new full range of heavy trucks was launched, featuring a spacious and moder-looking cubic-shaped cab. From then on the corresponding Arctic tractors, first the convert|250|hp|abbr=on 2080 model, and later on the convert|310|hp|abbr=on tilt-cab 2181, became the pervasive workhorses in Spanish highways.

On the military side, first production tactical truck was the 1963 4x4 Pegaso 3020, replaced in 1970 by the 3045 and the 6x6 3050. The subsequent enhanced models, the convert|170|hp|abbr=on 3046 and the convert|200|hp|abbr=on 3055, were pervasive in the Spanish Army; and in addition the 3046 was the matter of the substantial contract (up to 10,000 units) with the Egyptian Army. The 3046 was too very common in the Spanish forest fire brigades, where for obvious reasons it was nicknamed "Egipcio" (Egyptian).

Somehow related to the all-wheel-drive trucks were the four armoured vehicle models launched by Pegaso in the late 70s: the 4x4 airborne-able convert|170|hp|abbr=on 3545 BLR, the 4x4 amphibious convert|170|hp|abbr=on 3550 VAP, the very successful 6x6 306 hp 3560 BMR, and its derivative, the 3562 VEC, all of them also used in quantity by the Spanish Army.

In 1975 an agreement between Enasa and Allis-Chalmers lead to the production in Spain of Pegaso-engined Allis loaders and caterpillar tractors, marketed as Pegaso - Allis. This venture lasted for a few years, and eventually included Pegaso acting as dealer for Spain of the Italian-made Fiat-Allis construction equipment.

The eighties

In the 1980s, suffering from the saturation of the European truck market, Enasa looked for some kind of joint venture with other truck makers. A failed association in 1978 with International Harvester had resulted in Enasa taking over the British Seddon Atkinson, and a new Enasa subsidiary, Pegaso Agrícola, becoming the exclusive dealer for Spain of Case IH tractors and agricultural machinery. In a similar way, a market agreement with British Perkins Engines led to Pegaso Motor, exclusive dealer for Spain of the Perkins marine engines.

Later on, a joint-venture with DAF Trucks produced the cab for new heavy models of both makes, the DAF 95 and the Pegaso Troner, both launched in 1987, as well as the Seddon-Atkinson Strato which used the same cab.

In the rally-racing side, Pegaso all-wheel-drive trucks won the 1985 Rallye des Pharaons and the 1986 Paris-Dakar.

The end

After a last-minute aborted joint takeover by Daimler-Benz and MAN, Iveco eventually bought Enasa in 1990. At that time, Pegaso offerings included the Ekus (light), Mider (medium), Troner (heavy), Trakker (off-road) and Podium (buses and coaches) ranges; while a convert|500|hp|abbr=on futuristic concept truck with design by Francisco Podadera, the Pegaso Solo 500, had been exhibited in the 1989 Barcelona Motor Show.

Shortly after the Iveco take over, most of the Pegaso ranges disappeared from the market. On July 12, 1994, the very last Pegaso Troner went out the production line in the Barajas (Madrid) plant, the last Pegaso engine being made in 1995; but Iveco proceeded with selling Pegaso badged military trucks still for a couple of years.

ee also

*Pegaso Z-102
*Pegaso Z-207
*Pegaso Z-403
*Pegaso BMR
*Pegaso VEC
*Pegaso Troner


* cite book | author = Lage, Manuel| year = 1992 | title = Hispano-Suiza/Pegaso. Un siglo de camiones y autobuses | publisher = Lunwerg Editores, S.A. | id = ISBN 847782236 0

External links

* [ Catalog of all Pegaso models (in development)]
* [ Pegaso sportcars history]
* [ Links related with Pegaso cars and trucks. (Most of them in Spanish). Also pictures.]
* [ Monotral 6030-N coach]
* [ Spanish gallery of Pegaso trucks and trucking forum]
* [ Pegaso Solo 500 (in French)]

Gallery of Pegaso vehicles and memorabilia

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