Pegaso Perfection Restored
This is a story of then and now. Then, as exhibited at the San Remo Concours 1954 with Pierre and Henriette Saoutchik aboard when new. And now, pictured above right as photographed by Dan Savinelli on January 2014 following restoration by Automotive Restorations Inc. The project is explained on the pages following; enjoy the ride!!
Here’s where we start. Pegaso number Z102-153-0136 & trend setting Saoutchik body in promotional literature. Henriette Saoutchik poses with the company’s creation. Note that this early fifties car carries ahead of its time styling clues from the end of the 50s decade. Shrouded vertical lighting and “space age” “swoop”. Noting the photo below this car was celebrated in it’s time. Our objective: Restore the car to the configuration and appearance seen in these photos. As built and original defined job & the details, we’ll let you be the judge.
As our client, Dennis Nicotra acquired 0136: Here at our shop, Fall 2103. Complete and shiny but when one looked closely…lots to be done.
Lets start here: Colors are certainly not as built nor were quite a number of key details. Bright work was tarnished and dented.
When we dug in: This finish was layers and layers of paints, fillers & other shortcuts in prep + finish work. Methodology: Back to bare metal!
Job 1 – Take it to bits..attentively. An interesting and helpful bit of detail evidence. Note the engine turned pattern of the aluminum panels found under the chassis plate. We knew how to proceed – Engine turned panels wanted making and fitting.
Lots to do: We had about a 3 month working window with quite a bit to accomplish: Pictures tell the tale: Suspension needed more than a cleanup – the all important chassis number stamping matches our plate – a wiring harness will be needed to original vs. this “1 patch at a time” job.
Back to bare metal then this body reveals some of its past. Very hand made with lots of contour correction then refinement needed before any paint goes on. Upper left: We rework & finesse the trunk edge & other details. Above: John and Will work to make the driver’s front fender become the shape Pierre Saoutchik intended.
Finish Prep: Metalwork completed to chromate epoxy base left then surfacing material applications while interior areas and parts get treated to Ryan’s spray gun.
A PAINTED PEGASO SAUOTCHIK CABRIOLET: Right, It is late November as Ryan and John remove interior area masks and prepare for polishing. The interior areas are all refinished in black as original with white accents were applied before overall color goes on. Once top coats are wet block sanded, compounded and polished the body shell goes to Charlie & Ray for assembly and all those details to be done. It is early December and deadlines are looming!!
RESTORATION ON TIME IS COORDINATION & CARE: Owner Dennis Nicotra commissioned the project to ARI . Time mattered: Plating has all got to be ready, mechanical rebuilding complete and details-details-details right down to the tools that one just might need one day? Hopefully not, but nice to know they are there. All is coming together nicely for our Pegaso project. These pics show promise.
DETAILS DEFINE THIS DESIGN: Each and every part of this one off car are unique and receive special attention: Left - fabricating engine turned underhood side wall panels. Above - grill work in copper plate for final fit & detail definition before it goes to chrome. Underbody components restored and finished as original.
FIT & FINISH: It is early January as trimmer Tony see to the last of the details…soon done and ready for Dan Savinelli’s photo studio.
TEAM EFFORT: All pays off - by mid-January we wrap it up. Charlie, Craig and Tony have it all down to a few final checks, a bit of testing and sorting then photos and off to Paris for this one.
DONE & DELIVERED!!! With Retromobile Paris as this Saoutchik bodied Pegaso's next stop, it better be good. IT IS, and was very well received back home.