The Pegasus brand is OMG’s value/economy brand. The brand was conceived in 1946 by Rathbone and Associates, but the first models did not come out until the 1953 model year. This gave Olympus ample time to build up assets, such as a large volume plant, and parts inventory, to help mitigate costs.
Pegasus debuted three models on 29th of July, 1952 as 1953 models. All three models were available, only in standard trim, and the only color available was black. All three models featured a 1.3 Liter Inline 4, with twin-Eco carburetors; this was known as the Pegasus 4. The Pegasus 4 was capable of 60 hp, and 96 lb ft of torque. Most importantly, it was very easy to build; this would become the hallmark of the Pegasus brand, as enthusiasts loved tearing down, rebuilding and modifying these engines. These models also came equipped with a 4 speed manual transmission.
The Courrier was an entry level sedan. It featured basic seating, with two individual seats in the front, and a bench in the rear. This model would remain largely unchanged until 1980, other than safety features that were made standard equipment by law; such as padded dashboards, 3 point safety harnesses, and the like. Heat was standard, but Air conditioning and radios had to be added aftermarket.
The Porter was a short wheelbase van, that was available as either a minibus with seating for 5, or a light delivery vehicle with seating for 2. Like the Courrier, the Porter came with 135/75C13 tires, mounted on basic steel rims. A spare tire was attached at the front, so as not to take up any precious cargo space. The Porter was very popular among conversion enthusiasts, as its simple design allowed for easy modification.
The Wanderer varied from the Courrier and the Porter, in that it had much larger wheels, and a 4x4 transmission. The 4 wheel drive train was derived from OMG’s Star brand, with which this vehicle shared a line. Still, the Wanderer featured the Pegasus 4, similar to its siblings. Much like the Courrier and Porter, enthusiasts loved this vehicles ease of tear-down, and rebuild. Many customize Wanderers can still be found today.
In 1960, Pegasus released two more models, specifically for fleet orders. Those were the Traveler Sedan, and the Hauler pickup. Being that these vehicles would be delivered to various municipalities and commercial organizations, that would likely emblazon their own logos on them, they were shipped in primer. Primer also became an option on Pegasus other models. This allowed Pegasus owners further customization, without raising costs. Unlike the Courrier, Porter, and Wanderer, these vehicles would receive updates as their upper trim chassis-mates did, keeping them current in style.
The Traveler Sedan was a mid-size sedan, built on the same line as the Olympus Libra Coupe, and the Star Family-man line (available in coupe, sedan, and estate). As such, in addition to the standard Pegasus 4, some units were shipped with left over Olympus or Star power trains. The Traveler often had quality issues, as many were built with recycled parts from the more expensive models: The Olympus Libra for example, had an insanely high QA expectation, and this allowed only the best Libras to leave the plant, while at the same time mitigating costs for both models.
A 1960 Traveler, customized for use as a taxi. Even better, this particular example came equipped with the Libra’s Inline Six motor and Lux-O-Matic transmission.
A 1962 Traveler, customized for the Portland, Michigan police force. This model was originally equipped with a Pegasus 4, but was swapped out for the Orion Leopard’s 300 cid V8.
The Hauler was built on the same line as the Star Tradesman Pickup. It, being much larger than other Pegasus vehicle, and used in a more utilitarian role, was given a new 8 Cylinder motor. The Pegasus 8, is quite simply two Pegasus 4 blocks, married by a shared crankshaft at a 90 degree angle; this had a displacement of 2,546 cubic centimeters, put out 121 hp, and 175 lb ft of torque. Still other examples also feature leftover and recycled Star Tradesman power trains.
In 1970s, Pegasus became OMG’s ‘import fighter’ changes had to be made to the lineup, to make the vehicles more competitive. By the end of the decade, the automotive industry was evolving, and the traditional rear wheel drive car fell out of favor. The new Courrier and Porter were debuted in 1979, as 1980 models. The Wanderer was discontinued, but would return again in the 1990s. These new models featured contemporary styling and front wheel drive. While the Pegasus 4 had gone through numerous updates in the previous decade, that was merely to meet fuel efficiency and environmental standards; they still offered a simple layout, and 60 peak horsepower and 95 lb ft. of torque.
Like its predecessor, the Porter came in bot passenger, and commercial variants; both of which were popular for their customization.
The Courrier was now available in 3 door or 5 door variants. These were very simply designed, and were quite affordable, though not quite as popular as its predecessor. (To be continued…)