c.1903 Slavia (Laurin & Klement) 2¼hp Model BZ  Frame no. 1731 Engine no. 1727

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Lot 601
c.1903 Slavia (Laurin & Klement) 2¼hp Model BZ
Frame no. 1731 Engine no. 1727

£ 11,000 - 14,000
US$ 14,000 - 17,000

c.1903 Slavia (Laurin & Klement) 21/4hp Model BZ

c.1903 Slavia (Laurin & Klement) 2¼hp Model BZ
Frame no. 1731
Engine no. 1727
“The Slavia was built in the Austro-Hungarian Empire by the Czech Laurin & Klement factory. The name Slavia was also used by the Laurin & Klement machines built under licence in Germany.” - Erwin Tragatsch.

Founded by two cycling enthusiasts, mechanic Vaclav Laurin and bookseller Vaclav Klement, Laurin & Klement produced its first bicycle at the Mlada Boleslav factory in 1895, choosing the patriotic ‘Slavia’ (Slavonic) trade name. The company built its first motorcycle in 1899, going on to become one of Europe’s leading motorcycle manufacturers in the pioneering early years of the 20th Century. Like many of its contemporaries, Laurin & Klement experimented with variety of engine positions before settling on what is today regarded as the conventional one. The engines too varied considerably in configuration, singles, v-twins and even inline fours being made. Production of bicycles ceased in 1905 at around the same time as the introduction of the new four-cylinder motorcycle and the appearance of the firm’s first automobile: the twin-cylinder Model A voiturette. Laurin & Klement switched to car production exclusively in 1908 - thus ensuring its two-wheeled products’ future rarity - and was bought by rival Skoda in 1925.

This Slavia was discovered in the former East Germany in 1979 in a dilapidated condition and subsequently restored over a long period of time, any missing parts being painstakingly re-manufactured using a similar machine as a pattern. The machine is equipped with the then-common surface carburettor and optional high-tension magneto instead of the troublesome ‘make and break’ low-tension ignition system. Stored in its former owner’s living room, it has not been used for some considerable time and will require careful re-commissioning and the usual safety checks before use. This rare European ‘pioneer’ is offered with a copy of the complete pictorial history of Slavia/Laurin & Klement motorcycles.
c.1903 Slavia (Laurin & Klement) 2¼hp Model BZ  Frame no. 1731 Engine no. 1727
c.1903 Slavia (Laurin & Klement) 2¼hp Model BZ  Frame no. 1731 Engine no. 1727
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