1937 Presto Herrenrad Model 72 (German)

1937 Presto Gents Bicycle Model 72

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presto_unrestored

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1936presto_ad

In the poster above, the Model 72 is the second one up on the left, above the Model 208 motorcycle. In the price list below, the cost of this Gents version was RM 78, or RM 83 if fitted with balloon tyres (which made it Model 72B).

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This pre-war German herrenrad is currently being prepared for me in France, so is pictured here in its unrestored state.

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It’s quite amazing seeing the finished result after Pat has worked his magic – especially in this cold and wet January weather, as most of Pat’s wizardry takes place in a cold workshop …and often outside. I’ll add more pictures as its restoration continues.

UPDATE: SEE RESTORED PRESTO at bottom of page

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History of Presto Werke, Chemnitz

Presto Werke, Chemnitz, 1910

Presto Werke, Chemnitz, 1910

Before WW2, Chemnitz was one of the main centres of the German transportation industry.

Georg Günther established ‘Presto Works Guenther & Co’ in 1895. At that time there was only one other bicycle manufacturer (Winklhofer & Jaenicke) in the city. From 1901, the company experimented with motorized cycles and, in 1907, they also built and distributed Delahaye cars under license from the French company. Cars were subsequently built and sold under their own name. The bicycle receipt below is dated 1928.

1928presto_receipt

Mergers followed the economic crises of the 1920s, car production ceased, and the company became ‘National Motor Company A-G’ or ‘NAG-Presto.’ NAG also had financial difficulties, and its premises were sold to Auto Union. Presto focused again on production of bicycles motor parts and, like most of their competitors, also marketed a lightweight motorcycle with Fichtel & Sachs engine (below).

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In 1939, Presto had around 850 workers. Very few German manufacturers made bicycles during the war, due to a shortage of materials. Presto turned mostly to war production, but as they were a small company, until 1942 they were still able to make bicycles for the civilian market.

The company ceased trading on 30th April 1943. The Presto works were destroyed. After the war, a company resurrection was attempted with around 30 employees to manufacture bicycles, but it came to nothing.

Though it’s usually difficult to date bicycles with any accuracy when we find them, at least we know that all Presto bicycles are pre-1942.

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PRESTO RESTORED

New photos have now arrived of the Presto restoration.

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The above photos were sent in February 2009. Now, in May 2009, after my recent trip to Paris, the Presto has arrived in Great Britain.

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1936presto_model208

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THIS IS NOW BEING ADVERTISED FOR SALE

to see what’s currently being sold

PLEASE CLICK HERE – http://buyvintage.co.uk/

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Published on January 28, 2009 at 1:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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