Veteran Man started on the roofs of Křižík’s pavilions on Friday, June 11, and will last again until September 5, 2021, when it will be expanded by the traditional Days and Burgerfest. One hundred motorcycles are displayed on the open space of the roofs, some sets of rare pieces are under the tent shelters, but the area of six thousand square meters will ensure compliance with all hygiene regulations of the covid period. According to Tomáš Hübel from Výstaviště Praha-Holešovice, this is the first big motoring event after the covid breakdown, a real super-start of the summer season and especially a set of rare machines that you will not see together like this anywhere else.
The most numerous is, of course, the range of Jawa motorcycles, whether from Czech or Slovak production, the exposition of ČZ motorcycles, but also foreign brands Zündapp, BMW and Harley-Davidson is not negligible. Motorcycles are divided into three thematic areas. It’s relatively simple – these are pre-war, post-war machines and motorcycles with a story…
Motorcycles with a story? And what does that actually mean? We immediately learned this from Radek Uhlíř. As a boy, his grandfather let him ride on a “stump”, the first type of Jawa 50 Pioneer, but one day he told him that he was big enough, so let him climb to the ground, where there are a lot of parts, choose the right ones and assemble his own Pioneer! That’s what happened, Radek actually assembled and started Pioneer, but then switched to stronger and more powerful machines, while Pioneer rested on the ground again. He pulled out his first Pioneer for the exhibition and exhibited the collection next to the oldest machine in a period patina and cobwebs. This is the historic Laurin & Klement Slavia type B from 1903, the legendary motorcycle of Mladá Boleslav production of Mr. Václav Laurin and Václav Klement, actually the second model produced after type A. The exhibited “Béčko” was made in 1900-1903 a four-stroke single-cylinder with a capacity of 240 cubic centimeters, which gives 2 horsepower (1.47 kW) and drives the rear wheel with a leather belt. At the same time, it is one of the three most successful single-cylinder Laurin & Klement (540 machines were created, larger BZs were 690 by 1904 and the largest type L even 965 by 1910).
The gift of a French farmer
The curious story is related to the motorcycle of the French brand Monet-Goyon, founded by engineer Joseph Monet and patron Adrien Goyon in 1917 in picturesque Macon, where it survived until the end of the fifties. He was received by his uncle Radek Uhlíř from a French farmer when he returned home on foot after the end of the Second World War. The farmer wondered where the soldier himself was going, and when he learned that he was going home to Czechoslovakia, he took him to the barn, pulled out the old Monet-Goyon and said, “You will be there faster on a motorcycle!”
To the third of all good things, and so one more story. The black six-track Zündapp, a two-cylinder boxer KS-600, was the machine with which Radek Uhlíř went on his own wedding. There he got on a motorcycle solo, but during the wedding ceremony, his friends assigned a sidecar to the machine, so he immediately took the bride in a nice carriage!
Jawa and ČZ motorcycles, including the original Jawa 500 OHV “winch”, with which production began under the Wanderer license (yes, Jawa means Janeček + Wanderer), are well known, as are other Czechoslovak machines, of which only the Pioneer and the sports Jawa 90 are not in the collection older than fifty years, which is the rule for other motorcycles. Also beautiful is the collection of Praga BD motorcycles, four-stroke 350 and 500 OHC single-cylinder engines with a royal camshaft drive shaft in the cylinder head! There are three hundred and fifty with a rear-wheel drive articulated shaft and three different five-hundreds with a chain secondary transmission, one with a classic sidecar. The Praga BD 500 and 350 motorcycles were created after the merger of Českomoravská strojírna with the company Breitfeld-Daněk (hence BD), where the well-known engineer Jaroslav František Koch (1893–1983) is constructed, whose name is also associated with Čezet’s experience (also exhibited). The BD pens were created in five series, the last in 1935. The advanced valve distribution of OHC or even DOHC was not very widespread in our country at the time, but Koch relied on it. The Praga BD 500 became the first Czechoslovak motorcycle to take part in the popular Six-Day Competition (as early as 1930), where Czechoslovak Jawa and ČZ machines ruled for many years.
Collection of German boxers
The large-volume German Zündapp and BMW motorcycles received air-cooled two-cylinder engines with opposed cylinders, so-called boxers, suitable for rear-wheel drive with an articulated shaft. At the exhibition, you can see more than ten of them, in a military version with a sidecar, where two wheels were driven, including the side wheels at the sidecar. The exhibited military Zündapp is still trailing a two-wheeled truck trailer! Fifty-seven BMW R75 from the war years 1941–1945 are exhibited with a Steib sidecar and a 3 × 2 propulsion, the predecessor of the R12 (also class 750) even in two copies, both military and civilian. There are also BMW and Zündapp single cylinders, these two German brands have a separate exhibition. The highlight of Zündapp is the four-cylinder boxer K-800, which also excelled in the gearbox of designer Ricardo Küchen, which has chain gears instead of gears.
There is a lot to see at Veteran Mania. Plus, you can win a motorcycle! At the end of the exhibition, a black ČZ 125T from 1949 will be ready for the drawn visitor! It is open daily from 12 noon to 8 pm, on weekends and public holidays from 11 am to 9 pm.