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 known relation 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 about machines and would observe passing trains attentively.
At the age of 19, he was admitted to Charles-Rudolf University in Prague (Ta Kárl-Rútolf Univerzita), where he completed his Engineering course with distinction. 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 taking its first footsteps worldwide. But his father wasn’t convinced, since he considered the automobile industry as something without a future.
Franc Frojt then left Bohemia, going to St. Louis, Louisianne, at the time already one of the world’s capitals of the automotive industry. Frojt was hired at Dorris Motor Car Company where he was able to learn about car manufacturing and gain more practical engineering knowledge.
While at Dorris, Frojt suggested many changes to mechanics and car style, which were looked down upon 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 much the same”.
In 1918, he returned to his homeland Bohemia where he noticed that all the major industrialised nations except Bohemia already had their own car makers. Thus, Frojt sought to create a car industry for his own country to increase national pride.
His father died the next year, and Frojt inherited the family business. Subsequently, Frojt converted the company into the Ti Ersti Pémiši Motorverki (The First Bohemian Motorworks). Alongside horse carriages, the company produced their first car prototype, which was unveiled first in Prák and then the following year at the Paris Motorshow.
In Paris, everyone was curious about Frojt’s car. It had a strange rear engine, three front lamps and an aerodynamic design on three wheel--all different from what they were used to then in manufactured cars. 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”.
The first model started being manufactured during that same year, having all the characteristics that still remain trade marks of the company: luxury, a rear engine, aerodynamic styling, hidden wheels, three front lamps, and a numeric 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. During the first year of production, only five car units were sold. During next few years, sales got much better, from an average of fifty units produced up to two hundred by the start of German occupation. 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, they started exporting to the Holy Roman Empire, but few cars were sold there as competition was rather fierce.
i 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. The logo was also changed, with the bohemian lion being replaced by an eagle.
Germans forced the company to help with the war effort and start producing trucks and tanks alongside 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 officials, who bought most of them. 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 from building personal cars! People used to say as a joke that the German Car was “the Bohemian revenge for German occupation”. During next few years, only military equipment was produced, and the whole factory was completely destroyed by allied bombings by the end of the war.
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. There are persistent conspiracy theories that the design was not from Frojt at all, but from an obscure Italian refrigerator maker that went bankrupt and sold the design to Frojt. Frojt denied these accusations. Once again back to the car business, the company moved down market, cutting with its past. Bohemian car consumers needed a small cheap vehicle, as only a small number of people could afford pre-war-style luxury cars.
The Egg Car looked 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 stabilize the car and the driving wheel in the middle of the dashboard. Thanks to this driving position, the car could be exported to both right-driving and left-driving countries. Cheap and well-built, the Egg Car soon became a best seller worldwide, being also produced under license in several countries, as the Nesälštorf factory wasn’t able to produce enough cars to satisfy the demand. A second factory was established in Pryn in 1954
Meanwhile new versions of the Model 2.33 were introduced: a van, a pick-up, a convertible, and a longer family car with a larger engine, Model 2.66 Ten Krós Ojvákän (Great Egg Car).
In 1955, the Bohemian royal family decided to replace their German-made limousines (mostly Daimler Benz) for national built cars. The Habsburgs made a fifty-year contract with Ti Frojt Motorverki to supply themselves with cars. Once again, the company was able to return to the up-market car business, and for a start it briefly re-introduced the pre-war Model 6.200. In 1956, it started the production of the 8.266 Ta Kénikina Terésija (Queen Terésija), an all new limousine that was also produced as a convertible for parades and funerals. It was a powerful and fast car that was exported to royal families across Central Europe and the Middle East (King Said al-Saud from Saudi Arabia bought five).
Model 8.266 followed the 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 the Medal for Industrial Merit by King Ernšt.
Recent years and future plans
During the 1960’s, new models were introduced and exports grew worldwide. Model 8.266 Queen Terésija was produced alongside 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 large egg-shaped van with six modular 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-seat sedan that included all the technological gadgets possible in the late 1960’s. Only 300 were produced during next three years, as its price was astonishingly high.
Franc Frojt died in Prák in 1977, meaning that the company is currently managed by his inheritors.
During the 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 million units were produced in Bohemia (plus six millions abroad under license by other car manufacturers).
During the 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. In 2016 it gathered with Tesla-Westinghouse in a joint-venture launching Frojt-Tesla brand, producing in a new factory in the NAL Tesla turbine electric engined cars under regular Frojt shells.
The two-millionth car was produced in 1987, and the third millionth was produced ten years later. By now, the four-millionth unit has probably already been built. Nowadays, Frojt produces on average over 100.000 units yearly, which makes it a medium-sized car manufacturing company in the world. Several partnerships have been established with different medium-sized foreign car makers, exchanging components and new technologies to help each other survive and face the major world automotive players.
Over 95% of its production is composed of cheap popular cars, while the luxury ones are produced in small numbers. Even so, Frojt remains both a well-established name for average people and a symbol of status among the rich. And most of all, Frojts have put Bohemia at the automobile world industry map.
Frojts in popular culture
Due to its peculiar styling, Frojts have a constant presence in movies, especially in futuristic and science-fiction ones. They also have a regular presence in comic books, literature, and philately, so it has become a cult car both for the average person (the Egg Car or simply the Frojt) and for the rich one. Frojts became one of the most easily recognisable cars in the world thanks to their original design language, just like Franc Frojt wished.
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 own a car and drive.
Frojts became synonymous with driving cheap and at the same time with driving expensive, and their designs are even today far from conventional, just like first one that 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|
- Aragon: Societat Ibèrica d'Automòbils de Turisme/Sociedat Ibérica de Automóbiles de Turismo (SIAT) produced them as the SIAT 166 (1955 to 1977). Since 2011, New Egg Cars have been produced under license as the SIAT Montserrat.
- Batavia: Spijker Automobielfabriek N.V. produced them as Spijker 25 HP (1955 to 1979).
- Corea: Hiendai Motors produced them as Hiendai 166 (1963 to 1978).
- HRE: VEB Bayerische Motoren Werke produced them as the "BMW 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.
- Muntenia: S.C. Automobile Piteşti produced them as Mini Piteşti (1958 to 1977).
- NAL: Consolidated Motors Corporation produced them as Dover 1-6-6 (1965 to 1975), in order to fight the down-market Japanese-made imports. Smallest ever-made car by a North American brand.
- Republic of the Two Crowns: Fabryka Naconała Sułowadór (FNS-National Factory of Automobiles, in English) produced them under two of its several brand names: Wenedki Frojt 166 (1957 to 1983) as a passenger car and Szyrena 166 (1958 to 1983) as a van and pick-up truck. Note several larger Frojt models were produced under license under the FNS’s brand Warsina. Ti Frojta Motorverki has a minority stake in FNS.