Racing Ricart from 1929. This unique exhibit comes from The Salvador Claret Automobile Collection

Wifredo Pelayo Ricart Medina (15 May 1897 – 19 August 1974) was a Spanish engineer, designer and executive manager in the automotive industry, who spent his professional career in Spain and Italy.

Born in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain), Ricart graduated in 1918 as an industrial engineer. His first job was in a Hispano-Suiza dealer, but he soon moved to a new company, Motores Ricart-Perez, that successfully produced industrial engines.

At that time, in the wake of Hispano-Suiza’s automotive success, Barcelona swarmed with automotive initiatives. In this technically exciting environment, Ricart became increasingly interested in automobile engineering, and in 1922 designed his first car. It featured a 4-cylinder, 16-valve 1.5-liter engine which was advanced for its time. Two of these cars ran in the Barcelona Grand Prix for voiturettes, one winning its second race, a few months later.

In 1926, Ricart founded his own company, Motores y Automóviles Ricart, and in October presented two prototypes of the new Ricart car at the Paris Motor Show, gaining a lot of attention. Nevertheless, financial difficulties compelled Ricart to merge his company with the one of industrial tycoon Felipe Batlló, to produce cars under a new brand, Ricart-España. It was for this company he designed a new model addressed to the high segment of the market, with a 2.4-liter 6-cylinder engine. Again this venture failed due to the general economic slump.

In 1930, Ricart became a member of the American Society of Automotive Engineers and he established himself as an independent consultant, working for different European firms.

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