Frantisek and Mojmir Stansky owned a bicycle repair shop in the village of Parnik near Ceska Trebova. In the mid-1930s, they began designing a small three-wheeled car. Their first prototype was built in 1943 using steel tubing wrapped in sheet metal and some bicycle parts. They named the vehicle Oskar ('kára na ose,' or 'car on axle').
In the mid-1940s, their cars were clothed in leather rather than sheet metal. This made them lightweight and more economical, costing about a quarter of the cost of a typical car.
In 1950, the Stránský's workshop was transferred to Velo, a small manufacturing company in Hradec Králové, later renamed to Velorex. The following year, six workers and the machinery were moved to a new plant in Solnice.
Production was modest; 120 examples of the 'Oskar' 54 were produced in 1951. The following year, 180 examples were produced. In 1954, eighty workers built 40 vehicles per month. By 1959, the company was producing 120 vehicles per month. Production moved to a new plant in Rychnov and Kněžnou in 1961.
František Stránský died when a test prototype crashed on January 21, 1954. After refusing membership in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Mojmir was fired. In 1956, the vehicle's name was changed to Velorex - Oskar and then just to Velorex.
A new model was introduced in 1963, named the Model 16. It was modernized again in 1968. In 1971, the production of three-wheeled cars came to an end as the company switched to the production of a four-wheeler, the 'Model 435-0.' The four-wheeler would turn out to be a commercial failure for a number of reasons, and its production was stopped in 1973.
The Velorex 16/350 was designed as a special car for the disabled. It had seating for two individuals and was powered by a motorcycle engine JAWA 350. The two-stroke, two-cylinder unit displaced 344 CID and had 16 horsepower.
The Velorex vehicles had many components that were true to the spirit of the classic cyclecar. The components included the motor, wheels, fenders, and even the small gas tank. They had a birdcage frame that was covered in a removable leatherette material called 'Igelit'.
Disabled individuals were able to purchase the vehicle at a substantial discount through the Invalid's Organization. Hand controls were available.
by Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2016
1966 Velorex 16-350
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Performance and Specification Comparison
|1971||Ford (2,054,351)||Chevrolet (1,830,319)||Volkswagen (1,128,784)|
|1970||Ford (2,096,184)||Chevrolet (1,451,305)||Volkswagen (1,193,853)|
|1969||Chevrolet (2,092,947)||Ford (1,826,777)||Volkswagen (1,241,580)|
|1968||Chevrolet (2,139,290)||Ford (1,753,334)||Volkswagen (1,191,854)|
|1967||Chevrolet (2,206,639)||Ford (1,730,224)||Toyota (1,068,321)|
|1966||Ford (2,212,415)||Chevrolet (2,206,639)||Volkswagen (1,168,146)|
|1965||Chevrolet (2,375,118)||Volkswagen (1,174,687)||Toyota (1,068,321)|
|1964||Chevrolet (2,318,619)||Ford (1,594,053)||Toyota (1,068,321)|
|1963||Chevrolet (2,237,201)||Ford (1,525,404)||Fiat (957,941)|
|1962||Chevrolet (2,061,677)||Ford (1,476,031)||Fiat (957,941)|
|1961||Ford (1,338,790)||Chevrolet (1,318,014)||Volkswagen (807,488)|