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Production of a single ČZ scooter ended suddenly 60 years ago. He also existed as NZeta

The single-track machine ČZ 501/502 was created between 1957 and 1964. Versions marked with a lower number can be recognized by the presence of the horn cover on the shield above the front wheel. The Type 502, which went into production in 1960, was distinguished mainly by technical changes that significantly improved its driving characteristics.

In fact, historically the only scooter produced in the territory of the Czech Republic was born in a long and painful way. The very capable designer Jaroslav František Koch, who already worked for the Avia aircraft factory during the First Republic, designed Praga motorcycles and also collaborated with the manufacturer of single-track machines from Strakon, had ideas for a comfortable scooter in his head since the 1940s. Officially, the development of the future Čezeta only started at the beginning of the 1950s.

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The two-seater scooter with the type designation ČZ 501 was presented to the public in 1956, and production of the first prototype series started practically immediately in Strakonice.

You can see how the individual details look, as well as the dimensions of the machine, in the photo gallery.

The representatives of the ČZ brand at the time did not think too much about coming up with the name. Their motorcycles were publicly nicknamed Číza or Čezeta, and the second term was also used directly on the bodywork.

Serial production, however, did not take place in Strakonice, but in the former Screw Factory in České Budějovice. According to the information Budejovice gossip the first scooter assembled here rolled out on September 17, 1957.

You can see how the machine was manufactured here in the following video:

Source: Youtube

The power unit became an air-cooled two-stroke single cylinder with a displacement of 172 cm3. It provided an output of eight horsepower, which was enough to grant a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour. The foot shift operated a four-speed gearbox. The weight of the machine with a self-supporting body was 133 kilograms.

Consumption reached 3.2 liters per hundred kilometers at a speed of 50 kilometers per hour. This means that with a full tank of twelve liters it was possible to travel less than four hundred kilometers without stopping.

Known as Pig

The main advantage of the machine was its unusual design, which also attracted the attention of customers in the then capitalist foreign countries. The headlight, which was pushed far forward, made the front part resemble the snout of a domestic pig. Logically, the people nicknamed this machine the pig.

Cezeta sold relatively well, for example, also in Great Britain or the USA. Licensed production even started in New Zealand in 1960. Čezety there was called NZeta and rolled off the production line for three years.

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However, the driving characteristics of the two-seater machine were not exactly great, especially in the first version of the 501. The rear wheel was suspended on a one-sided swing arm. The suspension of both wheels was provided only by rubber blocks.

The designers were aware of the shortcomings, so the 502 version received a modified engine that provided a higher output of 9.5 horsepower. This happened thanks to a change in the compression ratio and the simultaneous addition of a cooling fan. Originally, the cooling was only forced. Even more, the riders had to praise the new rear swinging double-sided fork and the new suspension of the front and rear wheels using classic springs and liquid shock absorbers.

More than 58,000 units of the first type 501, easily recognized by the presence of the horn cover on the front shield, were produced. The second is just over 62,000.

Also like a rickshaw

The attractiveness of the scooter was enhanced by, for example, two-tone painting, a spare wheel mounted on the rear or a high wind shield. There was a luggage carrier on the bow. Those who needed more could purchase a suspension device and a special suitcase on wheels. The Druzeta team offered a sidecar with a design that fully matches the scooter.

An interesting addition to the assortment was also the rickshaw – that is, the ČZ 505 cargo tricycle. It was offered in 1962 and 1963 and the front part was completely taken over from the Čezeta scooter.

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In 1964, the production of the scooter ended without a replacement, even though the ČZ 503 type had already been developed. However, the communist rulers decided that the ČZ Strakonice would no longer produce motorcycles. Jawa production should have been sufficient for the needs of the market, as it was expected that workers in socialism would already switch from motorcycles to cars. At that time, the assembly of the new folk type Škoda 1000 car also began.

And the highest state representative, Antonín Novotný, made it known that “we will not ride a motorcycle to socialism.”

Shortly after, orders for motorbikes came from abroad, so the production of classic ČZ motorcycles eventually continued in Strakonice.

However, the new scooter was no longer available and the production facilities in České Budějovice were integrated into the structure of the Motor company. Subsequently, parts for the fuel systems of various vehicles were produced here.

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