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Homepage. This page: Original photographs of two-stroke, twin-cylinder, Aero Minors built in Czechoslovakia.

Aero Minors in The Netherlands.

Ad Fahner was kind enough to send over the following three photographs, of two Aero-Minors that belonged to his family.

Two-door Minor saloon.

The first is a side-view of a standard two-door Minor saloon car. The Minor was built between 1946 and 1952, and was powered by a twin-cylinder, two-stroke, 615cc engine, its twenty horsepower driving through the front wheels. The design in fact harks back to the war years, and was originally penned by Jawa engineers on the quiet, as the Jawa Minor, during German occupation. Nine prototypes were built in 1944, and were given the fictional name of Bohemische Werk Minors (BWMs).
The design incorporated streamlining that had begun to make itself evident in car design in the late 1930s, and continued to progress throughout the late 1940s and well into the 1950s. There are shades of VW Beetle and Peugeot 203 (which Ad's parents also owned an example of) in its profile, I think, and like the German car, was designed with frugal, motoring-on-a-budget, considerations at the forefront of its designers' minds. Short on unnecessary ornamentation, it's a good-looking and - for its time - up-to-date car, although the rear-hinged doors are something of a throwback to pre-war ideas on coachwork creation.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Side view of an Aero Minor saloon car
Perhaps the most (in)famous Minor owner in the world was Joseph Stalin no less. In 1949, he celebrated his 70th birthday, and many firms from across the Communist world sent him gifts of all shapes and sizes. The Aero works decided to send him a Minor saloon, adorned with a number of upgrades to inject a little more pizzazz into their gift's rather sober styling. Amazingly, the car survives and is being restored, after whiling away its early years on display in a Moscow-based museum.

Film footage of Minor cars and station wagons.

The British Pathe website includes a short film that promotes the saloon and station wagon versions of the Czechoslovakian Minor. It can be seen on this page: Aero Minor film. The station wagon (estate) version was a part-steel, part-wooden, bodied vehicle, not unlike Britain's own Morris Minor Traveller. Ad's family owned one of each Aero Minor variant, as his photographs demonstrate.
Aero Minor brochure illustration of the estate car

The "woodie" station-wagon.

The next of Ad's photos is a side-on view of the Minor station wagon, parked outside the family's greengrocery. Its part-timbered construction is clear to see, as is the advertisement for their business in one of the rear side windows. The premises, at 29 Wirdumerdijk in Leeuwarden, Friesland, The Netherlands, is now a mobile phone shop, and the frontage has changed little.
Aero Minor estate car
The second view of the estate car has Ad's step-mother sat behind the wheel of the same car.
Another photo of the Minor station wagon
Many thanks for sending the photos over.
Return to Page 19 in the photographic archive, or visit the main index here.
If cars of the Eastern Bloc countries are of interest, I can recommend the following book that was reviewed on OCC a short while ago: Cars of Eastern Europe - The Definitive History.

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