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Lot 103: Parradine Pegasus V12

Classic Car, Motorcycle & Automobilia, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (24 June 2009)

The brainchild of Humberside millionaire John Parradine, the Parradine Pegasus was launched amid great fanfare at the 1990 Geneva Motor Show. Designed by Richard Oakes, it was the first production car to feature a composite Kevlar/carbon-fibre bodyshell and was powered by a tuned version of the fabulous 5.3-litre Jaguar V12. The chassis was a massive tubular space frame affair built of 3.5mm wall thickness EN50B high yield steel tubing, designed to take torsional stresses for engines up to 600bhp. The interior was luxuriousy trimmed by Callow and Maddox (trimmers of show cars for Bentley and Jaguar) in Italian saddle hide and buckskin  as you would expect of a car costing 92,000 and designed to take on Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. Parradine initially envisaged making about 50 cars, but so warmly was it received at Geneva that he took orders for 398, each backed with a deposit of 5,000. Noting the huge interest that had been aroused, President Mitterrand of France then stepped in to offer Parradine a purpose-built manufacturing facility at the Magny Cours race circuit, believing that there was some kudos to be had from having a supercar produced on French soil. Jaguar boss John Egan also supported the project and supplied many of the components at heavily discounted prices, while chief Jaguar engineer Professor Jim Randall helped with some of the development work. However when the first Gulf War broke out in 1991 and the price of oil began to soar, in true 'cheese-eating surrender monkey' style, Mitterrand abruptly withdrew his support after just 19 cars had been completed. There were also rumours that other more established car makers had put pressure on the French government to pull the plug on what was shaping up to be a fairly serious rival sportscar. John Parradine was forced to refund the depositors, cut his losses and retreat to Humberside where he tried to sell off the remaining components. This particular Parradine Pegasus is chassis number 5 and is believed by the vendor to be one of only two in roadworthy condition, the other being in Australia and the remaining 16 stored away in private collections (one was destroyed in a fire in Edinburgh). The car was track tested at Magny Cours pre-delivery and was reputedly clocked at 173mph. It was then exported to the UK  minus its engine, powertrain and wheels to reduce customs duty  where it was bought by a wealthy Essex builder. He re-fitted a Jaguar V12 engine and powertrain with six Weber 40DCOE carbs, custom-made manifolds and linkages and the correct Compomotive wheels. In this form the car is believed to produce about 330bhp. The Pegasus then covered some 3,000 miles before being taken off the road and laid up for about ten years. It then had one further keeper before being acquired by the current vendor in 2006. He states that: The car is fully road legal and generally in good condition. It has just been fitted with new carpets, mohair hood and the seats and other trim items are excellent. I have spent over 9,000 (all documented) in re-commissioning the Pegasus over the past two years and this includes new tyres, rebuilt Compomotive wheels, new clutch, lightened and balanced flywheel, rebuilt gearbox, new aluminium radiator, full suspension rebuild with new springs and dampers, rebuilt carburettors etc. The only known faults are an erratic heating system, the plumbing to the new radiator could do with some development (although it does not run hot or leak) and the steering rack mounting bushes need replacing as the car feels imprecise at speed. There are several large files of information with the car, including the original bill of sale from Parradine France and full provenance from new, along with original press releases, magazine articles, road tests etc. With an MOT and tax until September, the car is ready for immediate use and has covered around 1,000 miles since the recomissioning. Altogether a most fascinating survivor from a 'what-might-have-been' chapter of motoring history that is sure to prove a talking point at any car show!

Lot Details
Auction Classic Car, Motorcycle & Automobilia
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster
Lot Number103
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberJ694 BVW
Chassis numberPMC5
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)5343
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors