The Prostejov firms of Frantisek Wichterle and Josef & Frantisek Kovarik were both formed in the late 1880s to manufacture agricultural machinery, such as threshers, winnowers and harvesters. Wichterle also produced steam portable engines. The turn of the century saw both firms move into producing a range of stationary engines, at first running on petrol and later using producer gas and crude oil. The First World War led to a restriction on supplies for non-military production, and the two firms were forced to cooperate in order to survive. In December 1918 they merged to form Wichterle-Kovarik, which at the time was the largest manufacturer of agricultural machinery in the newly-created state of Czechoslovakia. The production of steam portable engines was continued, but the firm also branched out into building a 50 hp motor plough, which remained in the product line until the mid 1920s. Automobiles were also built, and these carried the "Wikov" name, which was a contraction of Wichterle and Kovarik. The late 1920s saw the emergence of the firm's first agricultural tractor, the four-cylinder Wikov 32, followed by the two-cylinder Wikov 22 in 1930. These were fitted with petrol/paraffin engines, respectivveltbut diesel engines were offered later, and the tractors evolved into the Wikov Diesel 35 and Diesel 25. These were built until the Second World War, when the focus shifted to military production. After liberation the firm was nationalised, but continued to produce a range of agricultural machinery under the name Agrostroj Prostejov for many more years.

(Click on images below to enlarge)

Wikov 22 at the Caslav branch of the Narodni Zemedelske Muzeum (National Agricultural Museum), Czech Republic in 2007.

Wikov 25 at the Prague branch of the Narodni Zemedelske Muzeum (National Agricultural Museum), Czech Republic in 2007.

Wikov 35 at the 'Historicke Zemedelske Stroje' Muzeum (Historic Agricultural Machinery Museum), Boskovice, Czech Republic in 2007.


TOP       BACK       HOME
Copyright 2006-2017 David Parfitt. All rights reserved.