Ti Frojta Motorverki
|Ti Frojta Motorverki|
|Type||Privately held company|
|Slogan|| Ta Noja Folke Téch Cojtolti|
New Order of the Ages
|Key people||Franc Frojt (Founder), Kárl Frojt (CEO & Director)|
|Revenue|| €5 million Crowns (BKK) |
Franc Frojt (1894-1977) was the eldest son of Rútolf Frojt (no relation known with famous Bohemian psychoanalyst Síkmunt Frojt), a well established businessman who owned a horse carriage factory in Nesälštorf, Tešänlont, called Ta Nesälštorfiša Vákänpó (founded in 1880).
Since childhood, Franc Frojt was passionate by machines and used to observe with attention the passing trains.
At the age of 19 he was admitted at Charles-Rudolf University in Prague (Ta Kárl-Rútolf Univerzita) where he concluded with distinction Engineering Course. On his return from Prák he tried to convince his father to move his business from horse carriage manufacturing to automobile manufacturing, an industry which was then giving its first footsteps worldwide. But his father wasn’t convinced as he considered automobile industry as something without future.
Franc Frojt left then Bohemia going to St. Louis, Louisianne, at the time already one of the world’s capitals of automotive industry. Frojt was admitted at Dorris Motor Car Company where he was able to get experience about car mass production and more practical knowledge about engineering.
Frojt suggested then many changes about mechanics and car style, which were rather disapproved by his superiors. For him, as he later wrote in his memoirs, “we can’t distinguish from distance a Dorris from an Astra, a Winton from a Daimler Benz. All cars look pretty the same.”
In 1918 returned to homeland Bohemia where he noticed all major industrialised nations already by then had their own car makers. Bohemia didn’t and for Frojt was a national pride subject to creates car industry in his own country.
On the next year his father died and Frojt inherited family business. Frojt converted then the company in the Ti Ersti Pémiši Motorverki (The First Bohemian Motorworks). Alongside with horse carriages the company produced a first car prototype which was unveiled firstly in Prák and in the next year at Paris Motorshow.
In Paris no one was indifferent to Frojt’s car. It had a strange rear engine, three front lamps and aerodynamical design on three wheels all different to what was used then in car manufacturing. A journalist from conservative kemrese newspaper Lla Bost di Bunent described and mocked the car as “a wheeled U-boot which lost its way to water”.
Manufacturing started during that same year having all the characteristics which still remain trade mark of the company: luxury, rear engine, aerodynamical styling, hidden wheels, three front lamps and confusing model name. The production version of the prototype became the Model 6.166 (6 for the number of cylinders, 166 for the engine displacement in ounces). People used to refer to these models by nicknames. Model 6.166 became known as Ta U-Pótna (The Submarine).
Sales were slow and Frojt wasn’t able to give up horse carriage manufacturing for years. On first year of production only five car units were sold. During next years sales got much better, from an average of fifty units produced up to two hundred by German occupation start. During the 1930’s new models were added to line-up, the Model 6.133 Ta Klojna U-Pótna (The Small Submarine) (a more economic version of the original model), the Model 6.200 Ta Frošna (The Frog) (a completely new model for the first time with four wheels) and the impressive 8.400 Ta Kikanta (The Giant) (upper market six wheels limousine of which only three were made and all units lost during the coming war).
Horse carriage manufacturing was finally abandoned in 1936.
During this period exports started to the Holy Roman Empire but few cars were sold there as competition was rather harsh.
In 1939 Bohemia was incorporated at the Holy Roman Empire. The company and its cars names were germanicised becoming respectively Die Erste Böhmischen Motorwerke and Freud. Also the logo was changed being the bohemian lion replaced by an eagle.
Germans forced the company to help on war effort and started to produce trucks and tanks alongside with luxury cars. During occupation a new three wheels sports car was introduced, the Model 6.233 Ten Tojčvákän (German Car) which won its nickname from german officialdom which bought the majority. But the German Car was rather unsafe and difficult to handle. Many german officers died driving their Model 6.233’s and situation got so serious that, in 1943, by order of Adolf Hessler in person the company was forbidden of building personal cars! People used to say as a joke that the German Car was “the Bohemian revenge for German occupation”. During next years only military equipment was produced and by the end of the war the whole factory was completely destroyed by allied bombings.
Post war years
In 1949 Bohemia regained independence. Frojt’s factory was in ruins. The company and its products names were once again bohemicised. But, to avoid confusion with the Ti Ersti Prynäriši Mašinverki (famous Bohemian producer of machine guns) it was renamed Ti Frojta Motorverki.
Once again it produced horse carriages but in 1952 a new model, the 2.33 Ten Ojvákän (The Egg Car) or simply Ten Frojt (The Frojt), was introduced. Once again back to car business it moved down market cutting with its past. Bohemian car consumers needed a small cheap vehicle as just few people could afford pre-war style luxury cars.
The Egg Car seemed just like an egg with three wheels powered by a small 2 cylinder engine capable of transporting the driver and two passengers. The major curiosity was its lambda engine (inverted V engine) which helped on car stability and the driving wheel on the middle of the dashboard. Thanks to that driving position the car started to be exported to both right driving and left driving countries. Cheap and well built the Egg Car soon became a best seller world wide also produced under license in several countries as the Nesälštorf factory wasn’t able to produce enough cars to response the demands. A second factory was inaugurated in Pryn, in 1954, and horse carriage manufacturing was definitely abandoned that year.
Meanwhile new versions of the Model 2.33 were introduced: van, pick up, convertible and a longer family car with larger engine, Model 2.66 Ten Krós Ojvákän (Great Egg Car).
In 1955 Bohemian royal family decided to replace their German made limousines (mostly Daimler Benz) for national built cars. The Habsburgs made a fifty years contract with Ti Frojt Motorverki to supply them with cars. Once again the company was able to return to up market car business and for a start it briefly re-introduced the pre-war Model 6.200. In 1956 started the production of the 8.266 Ta Kénikina Terésija (Queen Terésija), an all new limousine which was also produced as convertible for parades and funeral car. It was a powerful and fast car which was exported to royal families across Central Europe and Middle East (King Said al-Saud from Saudi Arabia bought five).
Model 8.266 followed Bohemian queen in life and in death. It transported the deceased Queen Terézija to the cemetery in 1959 and as someone wrote as a joke “it was capable of 100 miles per hour ride to the cemetery” .
In 1961 Franc Frojt was awarded with the Medal for Industrial Merit by King Ernšt.
Recent years and future plans
During the 1960’s new models were introduced and exports grown worldwide. Model 8.266 Queen Terésija was produced alongside with Model 8.266 Ten Kénik Ernšt (King Ernšt), launched in 1963, so had appeared new sporty luxury cars. But the main innovation at that time was the all new Model 4.106 Ta Vurštna (The Sausage), an egg shaped big van with six modulable seats.
In 1968 the company celebrated its millionth car produced.
To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the original concept car, in 1969 Frojt astonished the automotive world with the introduction of the impressive Model 8.333 Ten Fynfcik (The Fifty), a sporty five seats sedan with included all possible technological gadgets possible in late 1960’s. Only 300 were produced during next three years as its price was astonishingly high.
Franc Frojt died in Prák, in 1977, being the company currently managed by his inheritors.
During 1970’s old models were being replaced regularly by new ones. All except the famous Egg Car which remained in production until its replacement by the Model 4.100 Ten Noj Ojvákän (The New Egg Car), in 1986, after over two millions units produced in Bohemia (plus six millions abroad under license).
During early 1980’s some high luxury models weren’t launched, or were at least cancelled, due to the rise of oil prices caused by the Persia-Iraaq War.
Being in the innovation front line Frojt already announced the interest of producing their own tesla engined car, following the route started in 2007 by Dorris-Miçubixi.
The two millionth cars were produced in 1987 and the third millionth was achieved ten years later. By now the four millionth units was already surpassed. Frojt produces nowadays in average over 100.000 units yearly, which makes of it a medium world car manufacturing company.
Over 95% of its production is composed by cheap popular cars while the luxury ones are produced in small numbers. Even so Frojt cars remain both as a well established name over the average people so as symbol of status among the rich. And most of all Frojts had put Bohemia at the automobile world industry map.
Frojts in popular culture
Due to its peculiar styling Frojts have a constant presence on movies, especially on futuristic and science fiction ones. Their presence is also regular on comic books, literature and philately so as became a cult car both for the average people (the Egg Car or simply the Frojt) so as for the rich ones. Frojts became one of the most easily recognisable cars in the world thanks to their original design language, just like Franc Frojt wished.
References on music also appear. The most notable is definitely the English zone rock band Pink Frojt which uses a highly stretched Egg Car on their concerts.
The Egg Car became one of the ultimate symbols of the post-war European reconstruction. The cheap and economic Egg Car permitted millions of average people to be possible to own a car and to drive.
Frojts became synonymous of driving cheap at the same time of driving expensive and their designs are even today far from consensual, like when first one was produced decades ago.
List of models
|Models||Bohemian nickname||English nickname||Production years||Body types||Number of seats||Sales figures||Notes|
|Model 6.166||Ta U-Pótna||The Submarine||1920-35||4 doors saloon, 4 doors convertible||5||905||First ever produced car by Frojt|
|Model 6.133||Ta Klojna U-Pótna||The Small Submarine||1932-38||4 doors saloon, 4 doors convertible||5||1000||Same design as first model but smaller engine|
|Model 6.200||Ta Frošna||The Frog||1935-43||4 doors saloon, 4 doors convertible, 4 doors sedanca||5||560|
|Model 8.400||Ta Kikanta||The Giant||1937-38||4 doors limousine||6||3|
|Model 6.233||Ten Tojčvákän||The German Car||1940-43||2 doors coupe, 2 doors convertible||3||250||Last model produced during first period|
|Model 2.33||Ten Ojvákän||The Egg Car||1952-86||2 doors saloon, 2 doors convertible, 3 doors van, 2 doors pick up||3||2,000,000||Also produced abroad under license (see below). Also known as “the Frojt”|
|Model 2.66||Ten Krós Ojvákän||The Great Egg Car||1953-75||4 doors saloon||4||500,000|
|Model 6.200||Ta Frošna||The Frog||1955-56||4 doors saloon, 4 doors convertible||5||35||Pre-war model briefly re-introduced|
|Model 8.266||Ta Kénikina Terésija||The Queen Terésija||1956-63||4 doors limousine, 4 doors convertible, 5 doors funeral car||6||450|
|Model 8.266||Ten Kénik Ernšt||The King Ernšt||1963-72||4 doors limousine, 4 doors convertible, 5 doors funeral car||6||300|
|Model 6.200||Ta Hojfišla||The Shark||1965-71||2 doors coupe, 2 doors convertible||4||700|
|Model 4.106||Ta Vurštna||The Sausage||1968-75||5 doors van||6||150,000||World’s first ever produced modulable seats car|
|Model 8.333||Ten Fynfcik||The Fifty||1969-72||4 doors sports saloon||4||300|
|Model 8.266||Ten Telfín||The Dolphin||1972-83||4 doors limousine||6||850|
|Model 4.106||Ta Noja Vurštna||The New Sausage||1975-84||5 doors van||6||200,000|
|Model 8.266||Ten Acht||The Eight||1979-80||4 doors saloon, 4 doors sedanca||5||100||Cancelled due the rise of oil prices caused by the Persia-Iraaq War|
|Model 6.200||Ten Klojn Acht||The Little Eight||1980-88||4 doors saloon, 4 doors sedanca||5||1500||Same body shell as cancelled Model 8.266 but with smaller engine|
|Model 8.266||Ta Kénikina Kristína||The Queen Kristina||1983-92||4 doors limousine||6||300|
|Model 4.100||Ten Noj Ojvákän||The New Egg Car||since 1986||5 doors saloon, 5 doors van, 2 doors convertible||5||900,000||European Car of the Year 1986|
|Model 4.100||To Folkškupé||The People’s Coupe||1989-96||3 doors coupe, 2 doors convertible||4||150,000||Sports car based on the New Egg Car|
|Model 6.200||Ta Flaška||The Bottle||1992-2000||4 doors saloon, 4 doors sedanca, 3 doors shooting break||5||2000|
|Model 8.266||Ten Ótopónär||The Highway Car||1994-2001||2 doors coupe, 2 doors convertible||4||700||High speed sports car|
|Model 4.106||Ten Pus||The Bus||1997-2005||5 doors van||7||250,000||The return of the modulable seats car|
|Model 4.106||Ten Voltvákän||The Forrest Car||since 1999||5 doors off-road car||5||125,000||First ever off-road vehicle by Frojt|
|Model 6.200||Ten Seks||The Six||since 2000||4 doors saloon, 4 doors sedanca||5||1400|
|Model 8.266||Ten Noj Ótopónär||The New Highway Car||since 2001||2 doors coupe||2||500|
|Model 8.266||Ta Kénikina Katerína||The Queen Katerina||since 2003||4 doors limousine||6||300|
|Model 6.200||Ten Krós Voltvákän||The Great Forest Car||since 2004||5 doors off-road car||5||500||Luxury off-road car|
|Model 4.100||Ten Kropä||The Crab||since 2006||4 doors saloon, 4 doors sedanca||5||75,000||Longer version based on the New Egg Car|
|Model 6.200||Ten Klojn Ótopónär||The Little Highway Car||since 2007||2 doors coupe, 2 doors convertible||2||N/A|
|Model 8.266||?||?||announced for 2009||4 doors sports saloon||5||not yet in production|
Beside the two million egg cars produced in Bohemia should be added other six million produced under license in other countries and under other car marques beside Frojt:
- Corea: Hiendai Motors produced them as Hiendai 166 (1963 to 1978).
- Batavia. Spijker Automobielfabriek N.V. produced them as Spijker 25 HP (1955 to 1979).
- Italy: Fabrica Torinese di Automobili di Turismo s.p.a. produced them as FTAT Topolino (1955 to 1977). FTAT has, since 2007, produced versions of the New Egg Car and its related models as the "FTAT 500".
- Muntenia: S.C. Automobile Piteşti produced them as Mini Piteşti (1958-77).
- Russia: the Egg Car was produced as PAZ-112 (1956 to 1984) by Petrogradsky Avtomobilny Zavod.
- HRE: VEB Autowerke NSU produced them as the "VEB Isetta"(1955 to 1985). There has been talk of regaining the license from Frojt to produce the New Egg Car as a new version of the Isetta.