Leonard Fassl’s 1953 CZ Type 851 350cc
With Phil Aynsley
Ceska Zbroiouba was founded in 1918 as an armament manufacturer but didn’t turn to motorcycle manufacture until 1932. It wasn’t until Jaroslav Walter, one of the sons of the founder of Walter G.m.b.H. which produced bikes from 1903-42, joined the company in 1948 that CZ began road racing in earnest.
Jaroslav had designed both OHV 250 cc and OHC 350 cc racers in 1938 and 1939 respectively and these, together with a new OHC 350 cc design were taken over by CZ and raced with some success on the continent, particularly in Austria, up until 1954. While not as competitive as the 350 Manx Norton it can be seen as the forerunner of CZ’s long 4-stroke road racing history that continued up until 1972.
This particular bike is a Type 851 350cc that was campaigned by Austrian champion Leonard Fassl and on which he won the 1953 350cc national title.