JAWA museum in Konopiště will keep an enthusiast busy for several hours (Photo gallery)

JAWA museum in Konopiště will keep an enthusiast busy for several hours (Photo gallery)

JAWA is a well-known Czech manufacturer of motorcycles and mopeds. 2019 marks 90th year in JAWA history and during that time this company has created many memorable machines. The JAWA museum in Konopiště houses a nice collection of the very best of JAWA – come, take a look.

JAWA Moto was established back in 1929, in Prague, Czechoslovakia. It was founded by a local businessman František Janeček, who purchased the motorcycle division of Wanderer. In fact, that is how JAWA name was formed – JAneček WAnderer.



Czechs are very proud of JAWA. There are at least two JAWA museums in Czech Republic – one in Rabakov and one in Konopiště. If you’re a true JAWA enthusiast, you should probably visit both of them. In fact, you should also visit the National Technical Museum in Prague, where you can take a close look at JAWA 750 – a unique JAWA racing car. We visited the museum in Konopiště and this is what we saw.

The JAWA museum in Konopiště is rather small, but it is also packed with interesting motorcycles. Here you can see Suzuki and Hercules motorcycles, both featuring rotor engines.

The JAWA museum in Konopiště is around 1 hour drive from Prague. There are plenty of signs, directing you to this place. The museum itself is rather small, but it is packed with historic motorcycles, posters, pictures and trophies. All motorcycles in this collection still have original paint and, as far as we know, most of them are in working order.

In addition to a lot of polished motorcycles, the museum also displays trophies, historical documents, posters and pictures.

 

That’s what we call studded tires… Of course, this is not a motorcycle for street use.

 

The museum has a lot of racing bikes – in its day JAWA was big in motorsports.

The JAWA museum also has a nice collection of ČZ motorcycles. ČZ once belonged to Česká zbrojovka Strakonice, which was a major competitor of JAWA, but companies merged in 1948.

ČZ motorcycles.

 

JAWA enthusiasts will easily spend several hours in this museum.

 

Most exhibits are 100 % original and unrestored. We were told that they are also in working order.

 

JAWA 350 Nanuk with streamlined body – this motorcycle was used by Veřejná bezpečnost (Police forces of Czechoslovakia).

 

The oldest motorcycles are resting by the wall – some of them are over 80 years of age.

 

The museum displays several special Jubilee models from different decades.

 

If you want to see more, you will have to visit the museum itself. It is located very close to the famous Konopiště castle so it is definitely worth the drive.

JAWA Museum in Konopiště

Address – Konopiště 30, 256 01 Benešov, Czech Republic

The museum is closed on Mondays.



Other interesting reads:

JAWA 750 – a victorious sports car most people never heard about;

FSO Syrena Sport – the most beautiful Polish car ever;

What happened to pop-up headlights?

Tour in Tomark Aero airplane factory;

Why cars used to have whitewall tires, but don’t anymore?

Did you know that JAWA made cars? JAWA 750 looked cute, but was also surprisingly fast

Did you know that JAWA made cars? JAWA 750 looked cute, but was also surprisingly fast

JAWA is a well-known motorcycle manufacturer, founded in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1929. This year it is celebrating its 90th anniversary and brand’s fans all over the world are organizing meets, trips and other events. However, one JAWA’s creation is not going to be participating in any of them – the only surviving JAWA 750 is residing in National Technical Museum in Prague.

JAWA was founded by a Czech businessman and inventor František Janeček. He bought a motorcycle division of  a German company Wanderer and immediately started making affordable motorcycles called JAWA (JAneček and WAnderer). At some points in its history JAWA was hugely successful, exporting its motorcycles to more than 120 countries. However, the company found itself on the edge of bankruptcy several times and nowadays JAWA-branded motorcycles are manufactured in India.



Although JAWA has a lot of fans in many countries, few of them know that JAWA was once a manufacturer of automobiles as well. Janeček always wanted to make cars and was looking for ways to do that. In 1933 he signed a license agreement with Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen of DKW, which allowed him allowed him to make JAWA 700,  based on the DKW F2. 1,002 of these cars have been produced between 1934 and 1937, when 700 was replaced by a brand new 600 Minor. This car reached production levels of over 14 thousand with around half of these cars being exported. However, in 1946 JAWA 600 Minor has been replaced by Aero Minor – a car that did not wear JAWA’s badge.

JAWA 700 – the first car with JAWA badge. (Addvisor, Wikimedia(CC BY-SA 4.0)

But let’s come back to 1935. JAWA wanted to participate in the famous 1000 miles Czechoslovakia race. In fact, JAWA was supposed to be participating even a year before, but its modified 700 simply wasn’t reliable enough. This time JAWA made 6 cars – three roadsters and three coupes to take part and eventually win the race. And what a car the 750 was!

JAWA 750 was just 3650 mm long and weighed 705 kg.

It may not show in the pictures, but JAWA 750 is rather small – it is only 3650 mm long and very narrow. Its body is made from sheet metal, formed around a wooden frame. Aerodynamic shape is pleasing to the eye and a bit Bugatti-esque. Being as slippery as possible was so important that JAWA 750 didn’t even have mirrors or door handles. Keeping the weight down was crucial too, which is why this car has only one windscreen wiper. Coupe JAWA 750 weighed only 705 kg – roadster version – 5 kg less.

JAWA 750 was so aerodynamically focused, it didn’t even have mirrors or door handles.

 

All these efforts were put into this car in order to compensate for its rather weak 750 cc twin-cylinder two-stroke water-cooled engine, producing just 26 bhp. This minute powerplant was driving the front wheels through a 3-speed transmission. And boy, was it fast – its top speed was 120 km/h, while the average speed during the race reached 83,7 km/h – totally enough to win!

Behind the disproportionally big grille there was a water-cooled 750 cc engine driving the front wheels.

Not only JAWA 750 won the 1000 miles Czechoslovakia race in its class, it occupied the entire podium! This was enough to grant the President’s award for the most successful team. However, JAWA could not repeat this achievement.

Due to poor economic situation, 1000 miles Czechoslovakia race did not come back the next year. JAWA continued being involved in racing, but this time with its motorcycles. Surviving JAWA 750 models fell into the hands of private users and majority of them perished in rust. The only surviving example came into the hands of the National Technical Museum in Prague in 1992. In 2005, 70 years after its legendary triumph, the restored JAWA 750 was revealed to museum’s visitors.



Also read:

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Goliath GD 750 – three-wheeler truck with a tiny engine was more useful than it looks;

Reliant TW9 – an Ant, which was useful pretty much everywhere;

Scammel Scarab – it is not your ordinary semi-truck – it is the mechanical horse.

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