70 years ago, the Praga V3S truck saw the light of day – the legendary windbreaker
After the end of the Second World War, the vehicle fleet of Czechoslovakia was in a deplorable condition. The army has issued a request to build a truck that can drive through even the worst terrain, overcome obstacles without major problems, its weight in the field will be a maximum of 2 tons and 3 tons in standby mode. It was supposed to have a three-axle chassis with a maximum speed of 5,5 km/h.
The first attempt at a matching truck belongs to the Tatra 128
The Mladá Boleslav car manufacturer was entrusted with the assembly of the "V3T" (military three-ton special) truck model, and the Tatra company was to build it. However, the Kopřivnica factory was unable to accept this, and therefore took the initiative into its own hands. The T128 truck left the factory gates in 1950. Unfortunately, it was unable to meet the weight requirements during field testing, but the army gradually ordered 4062 cars.
Praga is developing its first truck
The army was still looking for a suitable candidate for the production of a truck that would meet the specified conditions. When designing the windbreaker, Praga was based on the previously tested V3T and Tatra 128 cars. The Prague automaker wanted to equip its trucks with a six-cylinder engine with a power of 73,5 kW, which was cooled by water. Even though it was lighter than the air-cooled five-cylinder diesel engine with a power of 73,5 kW, the army decided to use the Tatra brand engine. Unfortunately, they missed the mark and during the test drive of the Praga V3S prototype, the Kopřivnice engine broke down. The Praga engine was allowed to be used for test drives, but mass production was to have an air-cooled engine, more suitable for military purposes.
Successful sale of trucks to the military
Over the next few years, the truck needed to be produced several more times, with the second prototype completely burning down due to two joined tanks and a misplaced battery. The third prototype underwent demanding testing to determine its durability and other driving characteristics.
Series production was launched on 2/4/1953, although the Klement Gottwald Automobile Works produced only 183 units. Later, the production of the V3S model with a Tatra engine was started.
Praga V3S – a truck with many faces
Despite the adverse conditions that the driver of the windbreaker had to endure, it became popular not only in the army, where it found use, for example, as an ambulance or a car providing a radio signal. The Praga V3S was also used for civilian purposes, where it was transformed into a fire truck, a crane or the less popular faecal truck. Its versatile use was overshadowed by an uncomfortable interior, which was very noisy when driving, and without power steering, the ride was hardly controllable. The production of the Praga V3S model lasted for 35 long years and in 1988 it was discontinued and thus became a thing of the past.
History of a company that produces reliable trucks
In 1909, the Prague automobile company "Prague" was established, while its name was intended to evoke the impression of an international brand, and therefore comes from the Latin translation of the place of origin - Prague. It wasn't until two years later that the car company successfully broke ground. František Kec, as chief designer, designed a military truck that proved itself in the Austro-Hungarian army. By 1914, the Praga company also began to produce passenger cars, the sale of which was in full swing before the start of the First World War. President TG Masaryk drove the well-known luxury model Praga Grand 1912. In 1919, the well-known designer František Kec became the head of the Praga company, and thanks to his modern approach, the automobile company began to flourish. Her sales have increased several times and she has also won several awards.
After the end of World War II, the Praga automobile company was forced to move its production to Vysočany. The company was nationalized in 1945, and a year later it came under the wing of ČKD. In the following years, it produced only trucks and utility vehicles. In 1953, the first Praga V3S prototype also left the factory gates, the so-called "whacker".
After the Velvet Revolution, the company was transferred to private ownership and a few years later Praha Čáslav resumed the production of all vehicles. The production of trucks was carried out in most of the state, unfortunately, with a small take, the car company was unable to turn a profit, and therefore ceased its activities in 2004.
The company has acquired a new owner and currently aims to return to the limelight thanks to the production of luxury racing cars with the most modern equipment. Motorcycle production was also resumed.
Sale of trucks TIR Centrum
Unfortunately, our offer does not include this 3-year-old legend Praga VXNUMXS, but it is certainly not deprived of today's much more powerful workers. On the e-shop you can view, for example, Tatra, Renault or Scania trucks.