Laurin & Klement

In 1894, Vaclav Klement and Vaclav Laurin opened a bicycle repair shop in the city of Mlada Boleslav, around 30 miles north-east of Prague. They soon began to manufacture their own bicycles, and these were followed by motorcycles by the end of the decade. In 1905 they built the first Czech automobile, the “Voiturette A”, which was soon to be accompanied by a range of buses and trucks. Around 1911 they introduced the “Excelsior” motor plough, which was developed in association with the Rudolf Baecher company of Roudnice - this motor plough was offered in two sizes, 40 and 80 hp, with an engine that ran on paraffin. They also built aeroplane engines, petrol road rollers and stationary diesel engines on the Brons system. During the First World War, Laurin & Klement was forced to switch to military production, but in 1918 they resumed manufacture of cars and trucks. A further variant of the Excelsior motor plough was introduced around this time, with a 40 hp petrol engine. Production numbers were limited, which was reflected in the high price of this machine, and sales were slow in an increasingly competitive market. Financial difficulties led to the purchase of Laurin & Klement by Skoda in 1925.

(Click on images below to enlarge)



Laurin & Klement P5 "Excelsior" 40 hp motor plough at the Caslav branch of the Narodni Zemedelske Muzeum (National Agricultural Museum), Czech Republic in 2007.



Laurin & Klement P5 "Excelsior" 40 hp motor plough at the Prague branch of the Narodni Zemedelske Muzeum (National Agricultural Museum), Czech Republic in 2007. This example is no. 1214 and was built after the takeover by Skoda.

 


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