In 1945 the brothers built the first batch of cars, using leather cloth instead of sheet metal as the bodywork. Three vehicles were powered by motorcycle engines ČZ 150 cm³, three with PAL 300 cm³ (6 HP) and six with Jawa 250 cm³. The price was about 1/4 of the cost of a typical car.
Car industry of post-war Czechoslovakia was not able to provide sufficient number of vehicles for its citizens, resulting in long waiting periods and quotas. Several models of small cars had been built either by amateurs or in small series (e.g. Kreibich, TRIGA Tripolino, JAB).
In 1950 the Stránský's workshop was transferred under Velo, a small manufacturing company in Hradec Králové, later renamed to Velorex. In 1951 the machinery and six workers were moved into a new plant in village Solnice. In 1951 120 vehicles Oskar 54 were produced, year later 180 and in 1954 eighty workers produced 40 vehicles per month. In January 21, 1954 František Stránský died when a tested prototype crashed. His brother Mojmír refused membership in Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and was fired. In 1956 the name was changed to "Velorex - Oskar" and then just to "Velorex". In 1959 the company produced 120 vehicles per month. In 1961 part of the production moved into a new plant in Rychnov nad Kněžnou. Maximal speed of the cars was 30 km/h.
In 1963 production of newly designed "model 16" started (with motors ČZ 175 and Jawa 350 type 572) and the model was modernized again in 1968. In 1971 production of three wheeled cars stopped and the company switched to production of four-wheeler "model 435-0" with motor Jawa 350 type 572 - 04. Problems in design and manufacturing and inability to compete with higher category cars (including the cheap Trabants) turned the four-wheeler into commercial failure and its production was stopped in 1973. Plans to produce a small car similar to Fiat 500 or a riksha like truck didn't materialize.
Spare parts for Velorex vehicles were produced first in Solnice plant, after 1975 in Rychnov nad Kněžnou. In the middle of 1980s India tried to obtain a license to produce the three-wheelers; the deal failed because the original tooling didn't exist anymore.
|Oskar 54 , Velorex Oskar, Velorex 16/250||2,500|
About 1/2 of production was exported into countries of Eastern Bloc (Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, East Germany) - 7,540 vehicles in total. In Czechoslovakia the demand exceeded the supply and the new cars were sold only to the crippled after thorough examination by an official commission. Part of the production was allocated to companies and organizations.
As of 1996 62.5% of the three-wheelers sold on area of Czechoslovakia were still registered. As of 2006 the vehicle can be still seen occasionally and it obtained cult-like status among its owners. Several Velorex clubs exist in the Czech Republic. Rallies are regularly organized in Boskovice (last in 2007) and in Lipnice nad Sázavou, inside the Lipnice Castle (next rally in 2007). Until 2000 only the motorcycle driving license (A) was required, afterwards the B1 license (car from age of 17).