The Velorex was a three wheel micro car, constructed on tubular steel space frame, The bodywork was made from vinyl, stretched over the frame and fixed with turn-button fasteners. Power was from a two stroke Jawa motor cycle engine, with earlier cars having a 250cc single or twin cylinder engines, while later models boasted 350cc twins and were capable of about 85 km/h.
Built by the Velorex manufacturing company in Czechoslovakia, the design was apparently inspired by pre-war Morgan three wheelers. Post war car production in Czechoslovakia was very limited, so when the Velorex was released in 1950 at a quarter of the price of a standard car, it was much in demand. They remained popular for 20 years with production finally ceasing in 1971 when about 15,000 had been made. About half of that output was exported to other Eastern Bloc countries.
They appeared to drive reasonably well, particularly when compared to some other micro cars of the time. This no doubt explains the longevity of the model, along with the general shortage of motor vehicles behind the Iron Curtain – the people’s mobile tent!