27 November 2011

The Minor Car Brand

I wrote an article recently and it featured car sales in Sweden from the 1950's. I asked for help as I was looking for a German brand, not Czech and found nothing. I made a mistake of reading Tj (Tjeckien - Czech) as Ty (Tyskland - Germany). Then I got this email shown below. A big thanks to Roul for his kind assistance:

Dear Mr. RayCee,

With pleasure I follow your blog and read your question about the Minor. I could remember the Minor from some old car magazines I own. In a solid car book I also found some additional information about the brand.

There are several car brands with Minor in the name. It turned out that all those names are related: Jawa Minor. The car was by the way not German, but built in the Czech Republic between 1945 and 1950. Aero was an (sports)aircraft factory, that started (sports)car production in 1928. During WW2 and without de knowledge of the German oppressor it had been working on a new car: the Aero Pony/P and the 1500/R.

In 1947 till the end of the car brand its successor at first was called Aero-Minor II and later on just Minor. It was a car with front wheel drive, a two stroke engine of 616 cm3 that produced 20 HP at 3500 rpm. Back in ‘48 it was the first car who concurred the Sahara dessert without any technical problems!

From that car I could not find a review or a proper photo, but I did find a few (hilarious) Dutch adverts. I include two scans of those adverts in this mail.



The first one is dated 1948 (November 3). A translation of the text: “It came, saw and conquered, this elegant car mend for four persons, with a three speed gearbox, an overdrive and front wheel drive. Hydraulic brakes and independent springs on all four wheels. The exceedingly strong 20 hp engine, economical as a Scotchman (1 -liter- to 12 -kilometers-), can take you over a distance of 90 kilometers. Price f (Dutch Florin) 3535 (in that time a VW Beetle was priced at NFL 3460); from stock deliverable”.


The second one is dated 1950 (October 7): the price has risen and the fuel consumption went down. Together enclosed this advert make you believe that it is your choice: less mileage with your current car or a Minor with a low fuel consumption! It appears to me, that nothing has changed since then, only the number of car brands.

How many cars Minor in totally could sell, I don’t know.

I hope this is (a part of) the information you were looking for.

Regards

Roul

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

According to czech wikipedia, more than 14.000 units were produced, out of which more than 50% were sold abroad...

RayCee said...

Thank you adding this detail, Anon. The Minor cars look stylish for their time. I wonder why they went out of business? Strange how that goes sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I did some search on Minor and it looks that the reason for ending the production was the need for aircraft production capacities - beginning of cold war :( . After the end of the production, some business counterparts showed interess in licenced production, but as the licenced production required some parts to be still fabricated in the original factory, the licence was not sold.
Althogether 14 187 units were produced.
some pictures can be seen at http://www.jawa-50.cz/clanek/25_historie-jawy-jawa-minor-2-aero-minor.html

RayCee said...

Thank you for that link. It seems that the Jawa company made Minor cars. They also make Jawa motor bikes. My father had a couple of Jawa bikes when I was a boy so they exported them down here.

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