Praga (company)

Praga is a manufacturing company based in Prague, Czech Republic. The company produced automobiles, karts and planes. The Praga V3S 5-ton truck was used by the Czechoslovak Army for more than half a century.[1]

Praga
TypeSpolečnost s ručením omezeným
IndustryAutomotive
Founded1907
Headquarters,
Productscars, trucks, karts, planes
ParentPRAGA-Export s.r.o.
Websitepragaglobal.com

HistoryEdit

 
Praga Mignon
 
Praga Alfa

Praga was founded in 1907 to build motor cars as a venture between entrepreneur František Ringhoffer and the company 1. českomoravská továrna na stroje ("First Bohemian-Moravian Machine Works", later a founding part of the ČKD factories). Ringhoffer only stayed for one year and in 1909 the trade name Praga ("Prague" in Latin) was adopted. One of its early models was built under licence from the Italian company of Isotta Fraschini.

Besides building its own vehicles Praga later also supplied engines and gearboxes for other vehicles, like aircraft and tanks.

In 1929 Praga merged with ČKD, one of Czechoslovakia's largest engineering companies.

In 1929 ČKD's BD motorcycle was re-branded under the Praga marque. This was an advanced four-stroke single-cylinder unit construction double overhead camshaft model of 500cc designed in 1927 by JF Koch. The "BD" designation was retained as its model name.

In 1932 Praga added a second motorcycle model, the BC. This had a single overhead camshaft engine of 350cc, shaft drive and a pressed steel frame. Praga ended production of both motorcycle models in 1933.

The factory was largely destroyed by air raids in 1945. After the Second World War it was rebuilt and resumed truck and bus construction. The firm was nationalized in October 1945. Passenger cars (only the mid-sized Lady) were also manufactured in small numbers until 1947, for use by government officials.

The M53/59 Praga was a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun developed in the late 1950s. It consists of a heavily modified Praga V3S 6 wheel drive truck chassis and twin 30 mm AA autocannon.

In 2006 the Praga brand was purchased by the British company International Truck Alliance with the intention to produce trucks under the Praga brand in Lublin, Poland.[2] In 2007 it produced gearboxes and hydraulic machinery. Later, the brand returned to the Czech company Praga-Export s.r.o.

In June 2011 the company unveiled their new race car Praga R4 at the Dutch Supercar Challenge in Belgium. It has an eight-cylinder engine of 520 hp, and has not yet been homologated for normal road traffic. According to its owner Petr Ptáček, the company is taking gradual steps, so that Praga cars will not only be seen on racetracks, but also made road-legal.[3]

The Praga R1 from 2012 is a race car which competed in the Dutch Supercar Challenge and Britcar sports car racing. In 2016, the company delivered the first limited edition of the supersport road car Praga R1R, a derivative of the R1 race-car. This marks the first road-legal car under the Praga brand since 1947.[4]

ProductsEdit

 
Praga Piccolo
 
Praga R1

AutomobilesEdit

All Praga automobile production stopped by 1947, but was restarted in 2011 when Praga constructed the R4S. It utilized a 3.2 liter V8 based on the Suzuki Hayabusa engine and produces 530 BHP, with a total weight of only 880 kilograms. A feature on the R4S are the markings for camber and toe, which eliminates the need of advanced tools, with a specific amount of "clicks" representing a certain degree of camber or toe.

MotorcyclesEdit

 
1929 Praga BD 500 DOHC motorcycle
  • Praga BD 500 DOHC (cs) (1929-1933)
  • Praga BC 350 OHC (cs) (1932-1933)
  • Praga ED 250 (1999-2003) - enduro
  • Praga ED 610 (2000-2003) - enduro

Praga TrucksEdit

 
Praga V3S was one of the best off-road trucks of its time[6]
  • Praga N (1915-1931) - 4 ton truck (4x2)
    • Praga TN - a base for Romanian ČKD TN SPE armoured car (8 built)
  • Praga A150 (1947-1951) - 1.5 ton light truck (4x2)
  • Praga RN (1933-1953) - 3 ton truck (4x2)
    • Praga RND (1934-1955) - modification of RN with diesel engine
  • Praga RV (1935-1939) - 2 ton army truck (6x4)
  • Praga ND (1938-?) - 7 ton heavy truck (4x2)
  • Praga V3S (1953-1990) - 3 ton all-terrain truck (6x6), produced around 130,000 units
  • Praga S5T (cs) (1956-1974) - 5 ton truck (4x2)
  • Praga UV100 (prototype 1985)
  • Praga UV120 (prototype 1985)
  • Praga UV80 (1992-2001) - multi-purpose medium truck (4x4)

BusesEdit

 
Bus Praga NDO

TrolleybusesEdit

Light TankEdit

 
Tank Praga LT vz. 38 (Panzer 38t) in the German Tank Museum
 
Self-propelled anti-aircraft gun PLdvK vz. 53/59 (1959–1978). The chassis and motor was produced in Praga.[7][8]

AircraftEdit

Artillery tractorsEdit

RacingEdit

Team Fórmula de Campeones – Praga F4 compete at the F4 Spanish Championship, a FIA Formula 4 racing championship. The first-ever running of a dedicated Praga class took at the Silverstone Circuit in April 2021 in the Britcar Endurance Championship, with seven Praga R1 racing cars.[9]

Series resultsEdit

Year Car Drivers Races Wins Poles F/Laps Points D.C. T.C.
2018 Tatuus F4-T014   Petr Ptacek 9 1 2 1 85 7th 4th
  Kilian Meyer 8 0 0 0 68 8th
  Rafael Villanueva Jr. 17 0 0 0 91 6th
2019 Tatuus F4-T014   Nerea Martí 21 0 0 0 35 16th 3rd
  Carles Martinez 21 0 0 0 111 5th
  Kilian Meyer 21 1 2 2 227 2nd
2020 Tatuus F4-T014   Carles Martinez 21 0 0 0 56 9th 3rd
  Quique Bordas 21 0 0 0 82 8th

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Nesmrtelná babička vejtřaska slaví šedesátiny
  2. ^ "Ve stínu obrů". Euro.cz (in Czech).
  3. ^ "Praga se vrací na silnice". Byznys.ihned.cz. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  4. ^ "Praga R1R". Pragaglobal.com. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  5. ^ Apral, K. "PRAGA 1930". www.classiccarcatalogue.com. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Nesmrtelná babička vejtřaska slaví šedesátiny". iDNES.cz. 2 April 2013.
  7. ^ VZ.53/59 JEŠTĚRKA (in Czech)
  8. ^ PV3S PldvK vz. 53/59 - JEŠTĚRKA (in Czech)
  9. ^ "First ever Praga one-make category takes to the grid at Silverstone". Praga Global. 25 April 2021.

External linksEdit