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1956 Avia MK3 Streamliner


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#1 captainmarco

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 15:40

1956 Avia Mk3 monoposto streamliner.

This is an extremely rare Czechoslovakian built race car.
Miroslav Jurca, a very talented driver with good connections to the Avia airplane and car facility was given permission to build himself a highly developed race car.
He built a streamliner with steel frames and an aluminum and magnesium skin, powered by a BMW 750 cc 4 stroke, opposed piston motorcycle engine.
The design of the body is clearly inspired by the aircraft experience gained by Avia from the 1920's up to the time of this cars construction.
The car is quite sophisticated for its time featuring fully independent front and rear suspension and a trans-axial gearbox.
The Avia is low to the ground and aerodynamically clean weighing under 900lbs.
It was raced in the Eastern bloc and Austria.
During the late 50's the Avia was seized by the communist authorities.
It surfaced in a German museum where it was misidentified as 1948 BMW race car with unknown history
It passed through the hands of various collectors and in 1987 was shipped to the USA and purchased by Bruce McCaw who then sold it to the Pat Hart Collection.
It was shown at Pebble Beach in 1996.
The restoration was done in Neracephotos@hotmail.comw Zealand by Barry Leitch.
In 2010 Mark Sange bought the car and intends to show and race the Avia .


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#2 Alexey Rogachev

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 17:39

The only mentioning this car found in my archive is in 'Premiéry nadšení', a book about Czechoslovakian racing cars, by Karel Řepa. It's a very short paragraph without any photos and technical data, and the car is called Avia III there. If you are interested in it, I think I would be able to translate it from Czech into English.

#3 captainmarco

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 23:25

The only mentioning this car found in my archive is in 'Premiéry nadšení', a book about Czechoslovakian racing cars, by Karel Řepa. It's a very short paragraph without any photos and technical data, and the car is called Avia III there. If you are interested in it, I think I would be able to translate it from Czech into English.


Hi Alexey
I want all info i can get, so if you could send info (IN ENGLISH) to my email address that would be great. captainmarco@cs.com
thank bestREGARDS CAPTAINMARCO I WILL SEND PHOTOS OF THE CAR.I DON'T NO HOW TO POST ON THE F0RUM. MAYBE YOU CAN POST THE PHOTOS FOR ME. I THINK THE CAR RACED IN GERMANY?

Edited by captainmarco, 23 July 2010 - 23:27.


#4 Alexey Rogachev

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 15:00

Firstly, how to post images to the forum: http://forums.autosp...showtopic=70638.

Secondly, here is a translated text from the book by Řepa:

The 12th local Svazarm organization at Avia national enterprise in Praha-Letňany along with other specializations had an 80-member motor club with some racing drivers. They were cross-country motorcycle drivers Pospíšil, Lím, and Maleček, and automobile drivers Barcal and Jurča. The latter had a new third version of Avia 750, which resembled Barcal's Avia II by some details of the chassis and the engine. Jurča's Avia III appeared in 1956 and got a nickname "flying saucer" for the unusual shape of its aluminium body. Its best ever racing result was at Krnov circuit. This last Avia 750-cc car was later bought by O. Pasch, who added a keel behind the driver's seat.

For those who can read Czech here is an original text:

Dvanáctá základní organizace Svazarmu n. p. Avia v Praze-Letňanech měla kromě dalších odborností také osmdesátičlenný motokroužek s několika závodnímu jezdci. Z motocyklistů terénářů to byli Pospíšil, Lím a Maleček, z automobilistů Barcal a Jurča. Posledně jmenovaný jezdil s novou, v pořadí již třetí Avií 750, až na některé detaily podvozkově a motoricky shodnou s Barcalovou Avií II. Jurčova Avia III vyjela v roce 1956 a pro její neobvykle tvarovanou hliníkovou karosérii ji někteří jezdci nazývali "létající talíř". Největšího úspěchu dosáhla na okruhu v Krnově. Tuto poslední závodní Avii kategorie do 750 cm3 později koupil O. Pasch a její karosérii opatřil ploutví za jezdcem.

Thirdly, Michal Velebný, a great specialist in the history of Czechoslovakian racing cars, sent me his article about this car today. It is much more detailed than the foregoing one and has some illustrations. I hope Michal wouldn't be against posting it here but I'm going to ask him to make sure. If he gives a permission, I'll post it too.

#5 captainmarco

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 18:24

Dear Alexey,
Thank you for your help I really appreciate the information.
I have been in contact with Jurcas son and he explained that the car was confiscated by the Communist authorities and he thinks it may have been raced by another driver in Germany.
I am trying to find out who raced the car and at what venues?
If you give me your e mail address I can forward you some photos of the car.
I will be showing the car at Quail Motorsports Gathering in Monterey California on August 13th and in October I plan to race it at Infineon Raceway.
Any further info you have helps me to understand and share the history of the wonderful car.
With great appreciation.
Mark.









Firstly, how to post images to the forum: http://forums.autosp...showtopic=70638.

Secondly, here is a translated text from the book by Řepa:

The 12th local Svazarm organization at Avia national enterprise in Praha-Letňany along with other specializations had an 80-member motor club with some racing drivers. They were cross-country motorcycle drivers Pospíšil, Lím, and Maleček, and automobile drivers Barcal and Jurča. The latter had a new third version of Avia 750, which resembled Barcal's Avia II by some details of the chassis and the engine. Jurča's Avia III appeared in 1956 and got a nickname "flying saucer" for the unusual shape of its aluminium body. Its best ever racing result was at Krnov circuit. This last Avia 750-cc car was later bought by O. Pasch, who added a keel behind the driver's seat.

For those who can read Czech here is an original text:

Dvanáctá základní organizace Svazarmu n. p. Avia v Praze-Letňanech měla kromě dalších odborností také osmdesátičlenný motokroužek s několika závodnímu jezdci. Z motocyklistů terénářů to byli Pospíšil, Lím a Maleček, z automobilistů Barcal a Jurča. Posledně jmenovaný jezdil s novou, v pořadí již třetí Avií 750, až na některé detaily podvozkově a motoricky shodnou s Barcalovou Avií II. Jurčova Avia III vyjela v roce 1956 a pro její neobvykle tvarovanou hliníkovou karosérii ji někteří jezdci nazývali "létající talíř". Největšího úspěchu dosáhla na okruhu v Krnově. Tuto poslední závodní Avii kategorie do 750 cm3 později koupil O. Pasch a její karosérii opatřil ploutví za jezdcem.

Thirdly, Michal Velebný, a great specialist in the history of Czechoslovakian racing cars, sent me his article about this car today. It is much more detailed than the foregoing one and has some illustrations. I hope Michal wouldn't be against posting it here but I'm going to ask him to make sure. If he gives a permission, I'll post it too.



#6 Alexey Rogachev

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 17:30

Here are the photos of the Avia III as it is now, which captainmarco has sent me:

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BTW, I have discovered another thread on this forum regarding the Avia III: http://forums.autosp...showtopic=57904.

#7 Alexey Rogachev

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 05:13

By Michal Velebný's permission I'm posting here his article about the Avia III:

How variegated may be a destiny of a racing car, tells the following story of

the Avia travelling around the world

In the very beginning of the story was Miroslav Jurča, a Slovak driver racing in a BMW 328 sportscar, who moved to Prague in the fifties. There he became a member of a local Svazarm organization at the national enterprise Avia Letňany, which comprised a successful 750-cc sportscars driver Václav Barcal, who raced the Avia II BMW.

The chassis of this car, built by Barcal in 1954 together with Hovorka's HMV II, inspired Jurča to create his own car, the Avia III BMW, which made its first appearance in 1956. "Svět motorů" wrote at the time: "The Prague driver Jurča can be proud of his car, which stands out for its fine carefully elaborated aerodynamic body shape. Due to the air-cooled BMW 750 engine, mounted in front, the car is very low."

Thanks to his shape, the car became popular and received a nickname "the flying saucer" from spectators. In 1956-1960, Miroslav Jurča took part in Czechoslovak racing events at all the tracks of those time, including Strahov, Ecce Homo in Šternberk, Ostrava etc. In 1960, he sold it to Oldřich Pasch, who had raced a Minor. As he also drove Alois Gbelec's Wartburg Sport, he used to lend the Avia to other racing drivers from Prague, Josef Kaněk and Václav Pohůnek.

Due to the development of Formula 3, sportscars racing in Czechoslovakia was discontinued in 1964, and Pasch sold the car to an acquainted butcher. Then we lose track of the story, the car changed its owners several times – according to unchecked information, sometimes even illegally. The only fact from that period is a coloured photo published in the book by Adolf Kuba "Automobil v srdci Evropy" ("A car in the heart of Europe") in 1986.

In the late eighties it re-appeared in Germany, where it was known as a works BMW car used by someone to escape from East-Berlin to West-Berlin. Then its owner changed again, and the car was sold to the United States in 1988. The new owner restored it and even drove it in the popular historic race in Pebble Beach in 1996.

The title of the present story suggests a round-the-world trip – the small Avia got a new owner again, who wasn't satisfied with its state, so in 2003 he sent it to a specialized workshop in New Zealand for painstaking renovation. After returning to the USA it took a honourable place among 35 other cars in the Hart Properties collection in Washington.

The story, however, doesn't finish here. Miroslav Jurča's son and his pregnant wife left Czechoslovakia in 1984, and in Austria their son David was born. They found their new home in the United States, where David grew listening to the stories of his grandfather whom he had never seen but viewed old yellowed photos from racing tracks of the fifties. He inherited racing genes and so himself became a successful racing driver. Due to the Internet, the present-day world is small. One day David discovered a photo of the Avia at Pebble Beach, got acquainted with the author of this story and then found traces of the New Zealand restoring workshop. Moreover, he found out that the car which he had only heard of, the car built by his grandfather's own hands, was only some 50 km from his home.

Miracles happen − one word led to another, and in February 2006, fifty years after Avia's appearing, David visited its present-day owner and symbolically drove some twenty metres in it.

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Jak pestré mohou být osudy závodního speciálu, dokládá následující příběh aneb

Avia na cestě kolem světa

Na samém počátku příběhu byl Miroslav Jurča, slovenský jezdec, závodící na sportovním voze BMW 328, který se přistěhoval v padesátých letech do Prahy. Stal se členem základní organizace Svazarmu n. p. Avia Letňany, kde si v závodech sportovních vozů třídy do 750 ccm úspěšně vedl Václav Barcal, jezdící na voze Avia II BMW.


Podvozek vozu, který Barcal postavil v roce 1954 společně s Hovorkovým HMV II, se stal Jurčovi inspirací pro stavbu vlastního vozu Avia III BMW, se kterým poprvé vyjel v roce 1956. "Svět motorů" tehdy napsal: "Velmi pěknou konstrukcí karoserie se může pochlubit jezdec Jurča z Prahy, jehož vůz vynikal skutečně přísnou aerodynamikou. Motor BMW 750, chlazený náporem vzduchu, uložený vpředu, umožnil jeho nízkou stavbu."

Vůz se díky svým tvarům stal populárním a byl diváky nazýván "létající talíř". Miroslav Jurča se s ním v sezónách 1956 až 1960 zúčastňoval závodů v Československu na všech tehdejších tratích, včetně Strahova, Ecce Homo ve Šternberku, Ostravě apod. V roce 1960 jej prodal Oldřichu Paschovi, do té doby závodícímu s Minorem. Protože jezdil i s vozem Wartburg Sport od Aloise Gbelce, Avii půjčoval i dalším pražským jezdcům, Josefu Kaňkovi a Václavu Pohůnkovi.

Od roku 1964 s rozvojem třídy Formule 3 přestaly být závody sportovních vozů vypisovány a Pasch vůz v druhé polovině šedesátých let prodal jednomu známému řezníkovi. Pak se stopa ztrácí, vůz několikrát změnil majitele, podle neověřených údajů i nelegálním způsobem. Faktem je pouze jeho zveřejněná barevná fotografie v knize "Automobil v srdci Evropy" autora Adolfa Kuby z roku 1986.

Na konci osmdesátých let se objevuje v Německu, kde byl ověnčen pohádkou o továrním voze BMW, se kterým někdo podjel při svém útěku celní závoru mezi východním a západním Berlínem. Následně změnil majitele a v roce 1988 byl prodán do Spojených států. Nový majitel vůz zrestauroval a v roce 1996 se s ním dokonce zúčastnil oblíbené veteránské soutěže v Pebble Beach.

Titulek tohoto příběhu ale hovoří o cestě kolem světa – malá Avia totiž opět změnila majitele, který se stavem vozu nebyl úplně spokojen, a tak se v roce 2003 na určitý čas octnula ve specializované dílně až na Novém Zélandu, kam ji poslal na pečlivou renovaci. Po svém návratu do USA zaujala čestné místo ve sbírce dalších 35 vozů firmy Hart Properties ve státě Washington.

Tím ale náš příběh nekončí. Syn Miroslava Jurči v roce 1984 opustil spolu s manželkou v jiném stavu Československo a až v emigraci v Rakousku se jim narodil syn David. Svůj nový domov našli ve Spojených státech, kde David vyrůstal a kde slýchal i vyprávění o svém dědovi, kterého nikdy neviděl, ale kterého obdivoval na zažloutlých fotografiích ze závodních tratí padesátých let. Závodní geny ale zdědil a stal se úspěšným závodníkem. Díky modernímu světu Internetu je dnešní svět malý. Jednou David objevil fotografie Avie z Pebble Beach, sešel se s autorem onoho článku a získal stopu do renovátorské dílny na Novém Zélandu. A nejen to – zjistil, že vůz, o kterém slýchal jenom vyprávět, vůz, který postavil vlastníma rukama jeho dědeček, se nachází ve sbírce pouhých 50 kilometrů od jeho domova.

Zázraky se dějí – slovo dalo slovo a v únoru 2006, padesát let po vzniku Avie III, David navštívil současného majitele a s vozem symbolicky ujel i pár desítek metrů.

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#8 Alexey Rogachev

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 17:11

Posted Image

#9 uechtel

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 07:16

Thanks for posting these pictures. It is amazing to see how flat the car is designed with still enough space for the engine. Compared to the other cars on the grid it looks really much more professional.