The history of Jawa 750

In the interwar period, František Janeček founded an armory, the main purpose of which was to produce army orders. In 1927, however, the soldiers stopped taking away grenades and machine guns, so the Prague factory worker thought about where to go next. With the intention of producing sewing machines , he had a large factory built in Týnec nad Sázavou, but sewing machines never moved into it. In 1929, Janeček obtained a license for Wanderer 500 OHV motorcycles , which created the still famous Jawa brand.

Motorcycles in the company's production program did not remain alone for long. Four years after the start of motorcycle production, Janeček buys the license for DKW Meisterklasse cars and thus begins the era of Jawa two-wheeled vehicles. The first type was the small car 700 introduced in 1934, but by far the most famous pre-war car of the brand is the racing 750 . To this day, especially with the coupe body, many experts call it the most beautiful Czechoslovak and Czech car not only of the pre-war period, but also of the post-war period.

The Jawa 750 was created for one and only reason – to take part in the famous Czechoslovak 1000 mile race in 1935 , organized by the Autoklub of the Czechoslovak Republic. The endurance race, which took place already in 1933 and 1934, led through Prague, Kolín, Německý Brod, Jihlava, Velké Meziříčí, Brno, Břeclav, Bratislava and back, which the pilots completed twice, without a break and in full traffic! They traveled a total of 1,600 kilometers . Jawa was originally supposed to participate in the race a year earlier with a specially modified 700 model (one with a coupe body and one with a roadster body), but due to problems with the two-liter two-stroke four-cylinder engine , it withdrew at the last minute. However, the prepared riders did not give up their performance in the race, they received chassis, prepared bodies and two-cylinders with a volume of less than 750 cm 3 from the Janeček factory and stood at the start of the race. The Roadster ended infamously when the Vitvar – Pánek crew seized the crankshaft after the first turn in Bratislava. On the contrary, the coupé, designed by the well-known aerodynamic guru Paul Jaray, performed excellently and the Kaiser-Kronberger crew took second place with it in the category of closed vehicles up to 750 cm 3 .

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And it was the "failure" of the Jawa factory team in the second year of the endurance race that led Janeček to build a special for the Czechoslovak 1000 miles in 1935, which was named Jawa 750 . A total of six two-seater red cars were created (there was also one development prototype with light paint), three coupés and three roadsters , with a frameless construction and a load-bearing wooden lattice frame of the body, on which the axles and the engine were attached. The body itself, especially in the coupe version, was made according to strict aerodynamics rules , which can be seen not only in the rear flowing part, but also on the two-part windshield or the missing door handles (they opened from the inside). The Roadster received two deflectors of small dimensions, as is the case, for example, with today's Caterham models. While there are three reflectors in the front, the classic group lights are completely absent at the back.

Perhaps thanks to the victory a year earlier, Janeček decided to build a liquid-cooled two-stroke two-cylinder with a volume of 745 cm 3 into the bowels of the 3650 mm long car. The power of 26 horses is not at all dazzling, but the aerodynamic Jawa weighing only 705 kilograms (the roadster was 5 kilograms lighter) was able to move up to 120 km/h! A three-speed gearbox drove the front wheels.

The success in the race was extraordinary. In the category up to 750 cm 3 , Jawa took the first three places , while the winning roadster with the Kaiser-Kronberger crew literally flew through the track with an average speed of 83.7 km/h. At the same time, Jawa also won the prestigious award of the President of the Republic for the most successful team. However, the plant was canceled after 1935, due to the fading economic crisis and later the beginning of the occupation, at least three Jawa 750 roadsters later fell into private hands.

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To this day, out of a total of six produced specials , only one has officially survived . His complete torso, damaged by corrosion and rot, was acquired in 1992 by the National Technical Museum in Prague and 9 years later began a demanding and expensive renovation to its original state. It was completed on June 15, 2005, symbolically on the day of the start of the Czechoslovak 1000 miles seventy years earlier. The car is still part of the museum's exhibition . It is interesting that the Jawa 750 Roadster is on display in the Auto-Moto Museum in Novopack , also in a carefully restored condition. However, it is not clear whether it is a replica or the original model from 1935. Officially, we have to stick to the fact that they have the only original 750 in Prague.


Source: Jawa, National Technical Museum,,,, book History of Jawa automobiles, author: Jan Králík