Avia III

1956 Avia III

For Sale at Fantasy Junction | Emeryville, California

Photo - Fantasy Junction

Photo – Fantasy Junction

Avia is a Czech company that is still in the auto business. They were founded in 1919 and had become part of Skoda by 1928. They built aircraft beginning in 1920 and throughout WWII. After WWII, the company was nationalized and aircraft production ceased. By the 1960s, they had launched heavy vehicle production under their own name (after years of producing trucks for other brands).

Between 1956 and 1957, Avia experimented with cars, building between 12 and 15 light cars. One was a streamliner – the car you see here. And it was raced in hillclimbs in period by designer and Avia employee Miroslav Jurca, who had built the Avia cars as an after-hours project. This car uses a 750cc BMW twin making 15 horsepower. The body is lightweight aluminium.

This car lived incorrectly for years as a BMW-Veritas until Jurca’s grandson correctly identified the car after it had been presented at Pebble Beach. The car has since been completely restored and has seen track time at events like the Monterey Historics. Only two Avia road cars still survive, as heavy truck production continues to this day. This is the only Avia streamliner. It is for sale in California for $325,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold, Mecum Monterey 2014, high bid of $185,000.

One of the World’s First Microcars

1921 Moll-Mobil III Chemnitz Roadster

Offered by Coys | Graz, Austria | October 12-13, 2013

1921 Moll-Mobil III Chemnitz Roadster

The Moll was introduced during the cyclecar craze of the early 1920s. Many cyclecars of the era were small – but this was was downright tiny. It was one of the first true microcars ever built.

Introduced in the early 1920s, the Chemnitz Roadster was constructed by Moll-Werke AG of Chemnitz, Germany. It used a 125cc single-cylinder engine that is mounted between the driver’s legs (this car features tandem seating – the passenger sits directly behind the driver).

This car is listed as a 1921, likely because they have no idea when it was built. My records show the company in existence from 1922 through 1925 and this Mobil III model having been built from ’24-’25 with a more standard light car preceding it. In any case, this is one of two or three of these to survive and it is in excellent restored condition. Read more about it here and see more from this awesome sale here.

Update: Sold for about $14,500.