Over 100 classic pre-World War II cars start epic 1,000-mile race from Prague

Setting off from opposite Czechia's Autoklub building, the commemorative event emulates a famous race from Czechoslovakia over 90 years ago.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 13.06.2024 11:57:00 (updated on 13.06.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Thursday morning saw the start of the three-day, famous Czechoslovak 1,000 Mile race that set off from Prague 1’s Opletalova Street. Featuring around 120 cars from the pre-World War II period, the race will culminate in front of the National Technical Museum (NTM) on Saturday evening. Spectators gathered from around 5 a.m. to witness the start of the race.

Some cars took part in original race

Vintage cars such as old-school Alvis, Tatras, Lagondas, and Bentleys, as well as a special Jawa Minor and Aero 50 HP from the 1930s appeared on the starting grid this morning. Notably, the Jawa took part in the original and first Czechoslovak 1,000 Mile race in 1933. Only a handful of cars in the race are the exact same vehicles that took part in the original race almost a century ago.

Opletalova Street is the same road where the same race started in the 1930s. It is also the location of the headquarters of the Czech Republic Autoklub, which convened this race before World War II. The goal of the race, however, is to keep as steady a speed as possible rather than vying to be the fastest.

This year is special

The NTM, which co-organizes the event, says that this year’s event commemorates 90 years since the most famous "Mílí" race in 1934. “Ninety years ago, all domestic car manufacturers had at least one car represented, and some competitors set record times that remained unsurpassed a year later. The absolute fastest at that time was racer Jindřich Knapp in a Walter Standard S car, who traveled the entire race at an average of almost 104 kilometers per hour,” NTM noted.

Saturday will also give families the chance to entertain their kids with small vehicles at the Czech Pedal Cars workshop at the NTM from 2 p.m. – admission is free.

The Czechoslovak 1,000 Miles was an automobile race that took place in 1933, 1934, and 1935. It was inspired by the famous Italian Mille Miglia (1,000 miles) race. In keeping with the original route, drivers will “race” towards Bratislava – crossing via Brno – before turning back towards the Czech capital. The commemorative event started in 2015.

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