April 1953: Praga V3S truck produced for first time

Praga V3S

Seventy years ago, on 2 April 1953, the first Praga V3S multi-purpose, all-terrain truck rolled off the production line in Prague’s Vysočany. The military vehicle was one of Czechoslovakia’s best-known postwar products.

Praga V3S during a Czechoslovak expedition to Australia,  1969 | Photo: Moravské zemské muzeum Brno

The Praga V3S was produced between 1953 and 1990 in Czechoslovakia and was exported to over 70 countries.

The designers were given only four months to get from development to prototype stage and were mainly inspired by America’s Studebaker US6 and Russia’s similar ZiL vehicles.

Over the decades around 130,000 units were manufactured. It was among the best off-road cargo vehicles of its time and was used by the Czechoslovak army for many decades, serving for a wide variety of purposes.

Photo: Archive of VHÚ / Czech Army