The Dalnik

An unusual single track car built by Jan Anderle in Belgium in 1942.

The term "dalnik" is unknown to people outside of Eastern Europe, but they are a fascinating group feet forward motorcycles that have been constructed since the 20's. The design brief is simple: a mixture of motorcycle and car. The "golden age" of dalniks was during the 1950s and '60s, and the former Czechoslovakia was its center. These vehicles almost always seated two in tandem, with a motorcycle engine mounted behind the passenger, and a streamlined body around them. Some had access for the feet of the driver, when at rest, others used outrigger wheels to prevent falling over when stopped. A very few experimented with gyroscopic stabilizers.

The man one might consider to be the father of dalniks was Jan Anderle, a brilliant engineer with the Czech aircraft factory Aero. He built his first such motorcycle in the late 1930s, and over the years he created many more. His idea of building your own inexpensive two-wheeled car proved to be very popular with other Eastern European handymen after WW2, and many more experimental models were made.


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Murray Barnard, Perth, Western Australia

1996 mbarnard