Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Prague Technical Museum

National Technical Museum in Prague

View into the main hall. The collection in the main hall is spread across four terraces.

A view down on the 1930s car section

Another view looking down on the Tatra 77a

We start our tour on the top floor

Zlín Z-XIII Sport plane. A 1937 sports plane

A stunning example of mid 30s sports aircraft. Types like this were used to develop ideas for military aircraft. http://www.ntm.cz/en/en-heslar/zlin-z-xiii

Another view from above

The Motorcycle Gallery

1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmuller. The earliest production motorcycle in the world.

1902 Puch 2hp

1924 Bekamo

1924 Motor Company 1000, powered by a JAP engine

1923 Poustka 150

1926 Ner-A-Car

Bohmerland were a German motorcycle company that found itself in Czechoslovakia after the end of the First World War. They built eccentrically styled motorcycles with extended bench seats for two, three and four passengers.

Premier were an English motorcycle company that was built under license in Czechoslovakia.

1931 Jawa 500 OHV


1937 CZ 175cc motorcycle

1937 Ogar motorcycle. These were produced for a short period in the mid 1930s.www.ogary.unas.cz

1934 BMW R60 military motorcycle

1942 Dalnik 250 single track auto prototype. This unsuccessful, unorthodox vehicle was powered by a Jawa motorcycle engine.

Jawa Perak

Jawa Pioneer moped

Czetta 'the Iron Pig' scooter

Ground Floor Car Collection

The 1898 Nesseldorfer President. This is the actual first automobile manufactured in Central Europe. It built by the Nesseldorfer wagon works at Koprivince, which would later become Tatra. It was based on the Benz Victoria but with a number of improvements. As soon as it was built it was driven from Koprivince to Vienna to attend the first Austro-Hungarian auto exhibition. After the exhibition the car remained in Vienna with the Royal Automobile Association. It was used originally as a driver training vehicle and then preserved as a historic vehicle. The car was donated to the Czech National Museum in the 1960s and is a registered national historical monument.   

1906 Laurin and Klement Type A. Founded in 1895 as a bicycle maker in Mlada Boleslav . They soon moved into motorcycles and then motor cars. In 1925 the company was bought out by the Czech armaments manufacturer, Skoda, under whose name they continue to build cars today.

De Dion vis a vis

1908 Velorex 8/10 - no relation to the later post-war Velorex microcar company

1912 Renault Torpedo with a Bugatti roadster behind

1911 Laurin and Klement Type S

1912 Bedelia cyclecar. These enjoyed a good reputation in racing

1923 Laurin and Klement RM/K

1923 Benz

1935 Jawa 700 streamline endurance racer. Czech motorcycle manufacturer Jawa began building DKW cars under license in the early 1930s. They soon developed their own independent style.

This special bodied endurance racer was built for the 1000 miles of Czechoslovakia in 1935. Six cars were built but this is the only surviving example. 

Tatra T70 limousine. Tatra are famous for their exotic, rear-engined cars but they also built large, conventional front-engined cars like this Tatra 70. This car was used as a presidential limousine and also included as a national historic monument. 

Z-4 sedan. Another obscure Czech car manufacturer of the interwar years.

1934 Tatra T77a. Tatra's revolutionary rear-engined streamliner is of course represented at the National Museum.

This car was purchased by a European collector after the collapse of the Communist government but it was seized when he attempted to take it out of the country. The car was confiscated, restored and presented to the National Museum. The sale of Tatra 77s and 77As in Czechia is now restricted and they cannot be exported. http://www.tatraworld.nl/t77-register/

1936 Z-5 Express

Aero were another Czech marque of the interwar years. Like Jawa, they were building a copy of the German DKW, but their cars diverged quite substantially from the DKW template. They offered neat, sporty little cars powered by a 600 or 700cc two-stroke engine. This larger model featured a four cylinder, four-stroke engine

Pre World War II section

Planes, trains and automobiles

The post-war section. This is Russian Zil limousine

A pre-war Tatra T87. This is also designated a national historic monument.

Velorex Exhibition

The National Technical Museum had a special display of Velorex microcars. The display was running from May to November 2016.

The Frantisek brothers began building simple go-kart like microcars in the 1940s. They expanded the concept in the 1950s with the Velorex Oskar, which was produced until 1971. These light cars were powered by a twin cylinder Jawa motorcycle engine.

The Oskar was constructed around a steel tube frame. This frame was then covered in a vinyl skin, held in place with press studs. It was motoring at its most basic but it did fill an important niche in the market.

Later models featured a fibreglass body and had four wheels.

A late custom sports model was produced in the 1980s with a modern fibreglass body.

For more information here is a link to the museum website http://www.ntm.cz/en

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