1910_1

Praga since 1907

Praga brand was founded almost 100 years ago and managed to manufacture a vast number of automobiles, truck and bus vehicles, motorcycles, airplanes, military and agricultural machinery and vehicles during the time of its existence. Several models were introduced in every sphere of its production, some soon earning fame and popularity which helped to gain a good reputation in the eyes of the public. Praga’s history is remarkable especially in the first half of the 20th century, the period during which the company manufactured models in every mentioned area of production, thus acquiring a respectable spot in the general history of vehicle and aircraft production.

1910_2

1907 – 1919

The Beginning

Praga enters the field of automobile industry at the end of the first decade of the 20th century. The first serially manufactured model is Praga V Charon which is followed by models Alfa, Grand and Mignon; and precisely these three vehicles will become quickly the distinctive cars of the company. Their production is launched in the beginning of the second decade and Praga’s success is channelled mainly thought their production and popularity. The second decade is also marked by an extensive production of truck vehicles – and it is precisely this type of production which is continued by the company for almost 90 years. Praga trucks are demanded considerably during the WWI by the army because they are able to provide logistics and transport even in difficult war conditions. The war also postpones the production of previously mentioned automobile models which is reinstated in the early 20s.

Praga Charon

Praga Charon

Praga Mignon 1911 – 1924

Praga Mignon 1911 – 1924

Praga V & T

Praga V & T

Praga Grand 1912 – 1921

Praga Grand 1912 – 1921

Praga L and LD

Praga L and LD

Praga Alfa 1913

Praga Alfa 1913

Praga R

Praga R

Praga K

Praga K

Praga N

Praga N

1920_2

1920 – 1929

Motorcycles and motorsport

Naturally, the company’s scope of activity is not limited only to automobile production. Praga continues with production of truck and bus vehicles as well as agricultural technology. Moreover, the first official motorcycle Praga 500 BDS is put into serial production by Praga’s experienced construction engineer J. F. Koch. The bike proves to be most popular in an option with a sidecar; 500 BDS also participates successfully in several racing and expedition events.
This growing success of Praga in this decade was challenged by the Great depression at the turn of 1920s and 1930s. However, we shall see that even these difficult circumstances did not diminish the position of Praga in the years to come.

1920_1

1920 – 1929

Roaring twenties

During the 1920s, Praga focused mainly on automobile production – and Praga is surely remembered mostly for models manufactured during these times. The company continues to produce proven Alfa, Grand and Mignon types, making several technical and design alternations to produce vehicles tailored to current needs of the market. A new type Piccolo is introduced in 1924; this vehicle serves as a substitute for gradually growing Praga Alfa and represents more affordable vehicle which became instantly popular among wide scale of customers. We may even say that Praga Piccolo represents Praga’s most popular automobile in the pre-war market.

praga-agriculture

1920s

Praga agriculture

Praga began to manufacture motor ploughs in 1913 and continued with it until 1925 with the total of three models produced. Since they proved to be able of a good fieldwork, the number of produced vehicles topped one thousand and rose even more after several factories purchased licenses for these motor ploughs.

Praga Mignon 1911 – 1924

Praga Mignon 1911 – 1924

Praga Grand 1912 – 1921

Praga Grand 1912 – 1921

Praga L and LD

Praga L and LD

Praga R

Praga R

Praga K

Praga K

Praga N

Praga N

Praga Grand 1922 – 1926

Praga Grand 1922 – 1926

Praga Alfa 1922 – 1926

Praga Alfa 1922 – 1926

Praga Piccolo 1924 – 1926

Praga Piccolo 1924 – 1926

Praga AN

Praga AN

Praga Mignon 1925 – 1929

Praga Mignon 1925 – 1929

Praga MN and LN

Praga MN and LN

Praga Alfa 1926 – 1928

Praga Alfa 1926 – 1928

Praga Alfa 1927 – 1929

Praga Alfa 1927 – 1929

Praga Grand 1927 – 1932

Praga Grand 1927 – 1932

Praga Piccolo 1927

Praga Piccolo 1927

Praga Piccolo 1928 – 1932

Praga Piccolo 1928 – 1932

Praga 500 BDS

Praga 500 BDS

Praga AT

Praga AT

Praga Alfa 1929 – 1933

Praga Alfa 1929 – 1933

1930_2

1930s

Multifarious thirties

The beginning of the 1930s is marked by the Great Depression, which impacts on all the areas of industry in the Czechoslovak lands. At the same time, 1930s represent probably the most diverse period in the company’s production. Praga continues to manufacture the already existing models and develops new models Baby, Golden, Lady and Super Piccolo (an enhanced alternative of previous Praga Piccolo). First Praga motorcycle 500 BDS is followed by a new 300 BCS; with these two being the only bikes serially produced until the late 1990s when Praga Enduro is introduced to the market.

1930_1

1930s

Praga in the skies

Praga continues with the production of truck and bus vehicles as well, later introducing type TOT, company’s first trolleybus. However, the biggest happening is the development and production of Praga aircrafts, which began during these years. The main representative in this category is probably Praga E.114, a single-engine sport airplane, sometimes referred to as Air Baby.

Another novelty in company’s portfolio is the production of light tank vehicles which foreshadows the grievous times of the WWII. Praga light tanks were in armies of Sweden, Etiopea, Romania, Iran, Peru, Switzerland, Latvia and Czechoslovakia.

Praga L and LD

Praga L and LD

Praga N

Praga N

Praga AN

Praga AN

Praga MN and LN

Praga MN and LN

Praga Grand 1927 – 1932

Praga Grand 1927 – 1932

Praga Piccolo 1928 – 1932

Praga Piccolo 1928 – 1932

Praga 500 BDS

Praga 500 BDS

Praga AT

Praga AT

Praga Alfa 1929 – 1933

Praga Alfa 1929 – 1933

Praga 350 BCS

Praga 350 BCS

Praga E-39

Praga E-39

Praga BH-111

Praga BH-111

Praga TNSPE

Praga TNSPE

Praga Piccolo 1932 – 1934 (P201-5)

Praga Piccolo 1932 – 1934 (P201-5)

Praga Piccolo 1932 – 1933

Praga Piccolo 1932 – 1933

Praga SND (SNDgs)

Praga SND (SNDgs)

Praga TN (TND) ; TO

Praga TN (TND) ; TO

Praga RN

Praga RN

Praga P-1

Praga P-1

Praga Air Baby (E-114)

Praga Air Baby (E-114)

Praga Baby 1934

Praga Baby 1934

Praga Golden 1934 – 1935

Praga Golden 1934 – 1935

Praga Super Piccolo

Praga Super Piccolo

Praga Piccolo 1934 (P 306-307)

Praga Piccolo 1934 (P 306-307)

Praga RND

Praga RND

Praga RV

Praga RV

Praga T III – T9

Praga T III – T9

Praga Baby 1935 – 1937

Praga Baby 1935 – 1937

Praga Lady 1935 – 1937

Praga Lady 1935 – 1937

Praga AH-IV

Praga AH-IV

Praga AV

Praga AV

Praga E-210

Praga E-210

Praga Alfa 1937 – 1942

Praga Alfa 1937 – 1942

Praga Golden 1937 – 1938

Praga Golden 1937 – 1938

Praga Piccolo 1937 – 1941

Praga Piccolo 1937 – 1941

Praga TOT

Praga TOT

Praga E-51

Praga E-51

Praga Lady 1938 – 1947

Praga Lady 1938 – 1947

Praga LT vz. 38

Praga LT vz. 38

Praga E-211

Praga E-211

1940_1

1940s

Second World War

The Second World War brings subordination of the factories to the German occupation forces. Praga’s experienced engineers and employees are forced to labour in German factories while new manufacturers hope that their work in Praga will prevent the Nazis from sending them abroad. Praga’s factories are producing military vehicles and machinery – mainly consisting of light tank LT mk. 38 and transport vehicles. This production is affected by several acts of sabotage by patriotic employers.

1940_2

1940s

Second World War

Praga still manages to produce some automobile vehicles, including models Alfa, Piccolo and Lady, along with some truck and bus vehicles. During an allied bombardment in 1945, nearly 90% of company’s production area is severely damaged. Therefore, Praga moves to Vysočany after the war, where another ninety-seven Praga Lady vehicles are produced and mark the end of automobile production of Praga for a long time. In the years to come, Praga focuses only on production of truck and bus vehicles.

Praga AN

Praga AN

Praga MN and LN

Praga MN and LN

Praga AT

Praga AT

Praga SND (SNDgs)

Praga SND (SNDgs)

Praga RN

Praga RN

Praga Air Baby (E-114)

Praga Air Baby (E-114)

Praga RND

Praga RND

Praga RV

Praga RV

Praga T III – T9

Praga T III – T9

Praga AH-IV

Praga AH-IV

Praga Alfa 1937 – 1942

Praga Alfa 1937 – 1942

Praga Piccolo 1937 – 1941

Praga Piccolo 1937 – 1941

Praga Lady 1938 – 1947

Praga Lady 1938 – 1947

Praga LT vz. 38

Praga LT vz. 38

Praga E-114

Praga E-114

Praga A150

Praga A150

Praga E-1

Praga E-1

1950

1950s – 1980s

Trucks and utility vehicles

Praga is strictly focused on the production of truck vehicles since the late 1940s. Two very popular models are manufactured: Praga V3S, an all-terrain truck and utility vehicle produced at first for military purposes, but soon becoming a frequent choice for civil purposes as well. The second model is S5T which is a road option of V3S. Owing to their reliability and variability, these two models are quite widespread and it is not hard to meet V3S on Czech roads even today – partly because this model has been in production for incredible time of almost forty years. After further rearrangements of the car industry in 1964, Praga’s factories are commissioned to produce transmission components for a majority of Czechoslovak truck vehicles. Therefore, Praga does not return to the sphere of construction and production itself until the 1990s.

Praga RN

Praga RN

Praga RND

Praga RND

Praga AH-IV

Praga AH-IV

Praga A150

Praga A150

Praga V3S

Praga V3S

Praga S5T

Praga S5T

1990_1

1990s

Enduro bikes

Praga manufactures a motocross and enduro motorcycle in the late 1990s. For this sole purpose, the company hires several experienced engineers of Jawa Strašnice. First prototypes are then introduced in 1997 and the production of ED 250 starts the following year. The bike was later available in a homologated option suitable for road traffic. Even though “Enduros” represent only a small chapter in the book of Praga’s history, they achieved success even outside of the Czech Republic. Let us mention at least two racing achievements: Phil Converse who came second in Motorcycle Cross Country Series in the USA with his Praga ED 250 in 1999 and Martin Lind who reached the 7th place in the world championship with his Praga ED 610 in 2000.

1990_2

1990s

Truck vehicles

Praga also reinstates production of truck vehicles, manufacturing several types capable of movement in difficult terrain conditions. Type UV 80 is followed by several models branded with names of cars of the beginning of the 20th century: ALFA TN and UN, GOLDEN and (later) GRAND. These vehicles are mainly used by the state for several purposes including road maintenance and by the fire brigade.

Praga V3S

Praga V3S

Praga ED 250

Praga ED 250

Praga ED 610

Praga ED 610

Praga Grand 2001

Praga Grand 2001

Praga Golden 2001

Praga Golden 2001

Praga Alfa UN ; TN

Praga Alfa UN ; TN