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500 km slovenských 1937 a 1938

Legendary race of historic vehicles


  • Pezinská Baba
  • 1937

About the event

The quiet time between the two world wars was enjoyed by everyone – except few keen motorists – who decided to take advantage of it by organizing a Speed Race. This was the birth of the legendary “500 km slovenských” Speed Races, held in 1937 and 1938.

To make the whole race even more challenging,
the Race included crossing the famous Pezinská Baba mountains pass, where the skill of the then competitors could be fully demonstrated. The organizer of the Race was the Slovenský motorklub
and the start was in front of the clubhouse, which at that time was located on Šafárik Square.

At that time the speed races were held on the route Bratislava – Malacky – Baba
– Pezinok – Bratislava. This circuit was completed five times, so the total length of the race was 500 km. For the first time the Race started on June 20th. 1937 and the weather was not favorable at all.
On the wet and rough track there were several accidents and crashes in the treacherous turns of Pezinská Baba.

But regardless of this, the competitors were again at the start in the following year, ready to fight for the championship.

Both cars and motorcycles could enter the race according to engine capacity.
according to engine capacity.

The fastest time was achieved by Jan Kubíček on a Bugatti, who covered the five-hundred-kilometers course in 5 hours and 12 minutes, including the difficult climb to Pezinská Baba – a respectable time even today.


Historic video of 500 KM slovenských race

Video description

0:00:00 Competitors, organizers, spectators, policemen gathered in the square in Bratislava. Motorcycles, houses, posters.
0:00:44 Car racers.
0:00:46 Organizers and competitors near Šafárik Square in Bratislava. In the background, you can see the building of the Comenius University, the building of the Art Forum.
0:01:04 Men in cloaks are talking to soldiers.
0:01:10 The men are talking.
0:01:18 Motorcycles and cars on the square. People around.
0:01:36 A man in a hat speaks into a microphone.
0:01:37 A crowd of people gathers, cars in the square.
0:01:45 A man in a hat speaks on the steps of the Art Talk.
0:01:51 A crowd of people listen to a man speaking.
0:01:56 The man walks away from the microphone.
0:02:01 Man with flag, crowd of people around.
0:02:09 The racers go to the parked bikes.
0:02:13 The racers are chatting. The crowd behind them.
0:02:19 Shot of moving steam locomotives.
0:02:24 The man with the flag starts the race.
0:02:30 Racers in cars hit the streets. Crowds of people around.
0:02:53 The racers get on their motorbikes and start.
0:03:13 The motorcyclist fails to start.
0:03:19 Waiting racers. Crowds of people around.
0:03:39 The racers get on their motorbikes. They start and go to the streets.
0:03:46 Other ready competitors. They get on motorbikes.
0:03:57 A car stops on the road and a man gets out.
0:04:01 People by the car, the car is leaving.
0:04:10 People are repairing a car on the road.
0:04:14 Cars are coming down the road towards the camera.
0:04:19 Men near cars. The cars are leaving.
0:04:28 Men check the racers sitting in the car.
0:04:31 Men at the microphone. Cars and people around.
0:04:39 Motorcycle racers go down the road, sharp turns, speed, onlookers. Horse-drawn carriages on the road.
0:04:57 A man in a hat speaks into a microphone.
0:05:01 Bikers arrive at the site. After checking, they leave on the road.
0:05:22 Control of the competitor. He starts and leaves along the road towards the forest.
0:05:33 Young people point to the camera. They laugh.
0:05:37 Three racers on motorbikes are going towards the camera.
0:05:41 Racer with a cigarette on a motorcycle.
0:05:45 Motorcycle racers in the square. Crowds of people behind them. Racers start and leave.
0:06:00 Organizers among racing cars parked in the square.
0:06:18 Racers sitting in a cabriolet. They are looking at the camera. The crowd behind them.
0:06:27 Three cars come to the organizers.
0:06:44 Competitors between organizers. The crowd behind them.
0:07:09 Crowd of people at Šafárik Square.
0:07:15 The competitors are leaving on the cars.
0:07:27 TITLE: “The first race of touring cars and motorcycles on an open circuit, held by the Slovak Motor Club in Bratislava on 20 June 1937 on the circuit Bratislava, Malacky, then through the Small Carpathians by the Baba hill, Pezinok, Bratislava.”
0:07:39 TITLE: “The film was made by members of the Slovak Motorcycle Club and members of the IMCA Cinema Club in Bratislava”.
0:07:47 Detail of the Czechoslovak emblem.
0:07:55 The building of the Art forum. INSCRIPTION on it: “Slovenský motorklub” and a flag.
0:08:14 TITLE: “Club officials”.
0:08:17 Collective portrait of men standing at the Art forum. The camera sweeps from left to right.
0:08:49 TITLE: “Travel prices. Award of the regional president J. Országa for cars and the mayor of Bratislava Dr. Vl. Krnu for motorcycles.
0:09:06 Prizes – trophies, followed by a flag and a poster.
0:09:18 Detail of the poster. TITLE: “Travel prices. INSCRIPTION on the poster: “500 KM slovenských. Car and motorcycle race. Pneu-Matador.”
0:09:29 Detail of the cups and the flag behind them.
0:09:52 Two men at the prizes.
0:10:07 TITLE: “Start of motorcycles.”
0:10:09 Motorcycle racers stand and wait in the street. They’re taking off.
0:10:27 Competitors pass by the building of Comenius University on Šafárik Square.
0:10:40 Grandstand and spectators on the edges of the street.
0:10:53 TITLE: “Official guests on the stand”.
0:10:56 Men and women in the stands.
0:11:01 A priest is talking to a woman.
0:11:04 Soldiers in uniform among the people.
0:11:18 The man raises his hat in greeting and speaks to the man.
0:11:25 Men and women are having a conversation.
0:11:46 The man raises his hat in greeting.
0:11:50 Men and soldiers salute each other.
0:12:03 Men and women greet each other and converse.
0:12:32 TITLE: “Scenes at Záhorská Bystrica”.
0:12:35 A road in the country passes race cars.
0:13:03 Racers on motorbikes and soot bikes are passing on the road.
0:14:08 Title: “Passing Stupava”.
0:14:10 Race cars go around corners on a cobbled road in the city. The audience looks on.
0:15:01 Riders on motorbikes ride through the city.
0:15:07 The policemen point the direction of travel, the motorcycle racers go along the road. The audience looks on.
0:15:31 Fall of a competitor. He lifts his bike and continues the race.
0:15:45 A policeman points the direction and the racers go through the town.
0:15:58 A racer at a stationary motorcycle. People around.
0:16:07 Caption: “On the road to Malacky.”
0:16:10 Racers on motorbikes and cars go at high speed on a flat road. Spectators on the side of the road look on.
0:17:14 Cars and motorcyclists going around corners on a paved road.
0:18:29 Title: “In Malacky”.
0:18:31 A racer on a motorcycle goes around a curve and almost falls off.
0:18:41 Racers on motorbikes and cars come around a sharp curve and into town.
0:19:45 House with Red Cross markings. People around.
0:19:50 Railway crossing. The train passes. The gates are opened and the competitors gradually cross the crossing. The gates are closing.
0:20:37 The barrier opens and a motorcyclist crosses the crossing. The train passes.
0:20:47 Racers on motorbikes and cars go through the city. They are crossing a level crossing. People are watching.
0:21:38 Allegorical horse-drawn carriages pass through the city. Crowds of people pass by them.
0:22:13 Cars and motorbikes going around sharp curves in mountainous terrain.
0:26:42 TITLE: “We went even in the rain”.
0:26:46 Racing cars and motorbikes pass under the bridge.
0:27:29 Policemen and soldiers pointing the direction of travel in the city. Racers on cars and motorbikes go in the commanded direction.
0:28:46 TITLE: “Scenes in Bratislava and the Depot.”
0:28:48 Šafárik Square. Racing cars stop for a moment under a banner with the inscription (TRANSPARENT, INSCRIPTION): “Baťa wins on every road”. The organisers attend to them and then the cars move on.
0:30:02 A motorcycle racer is also stopping. The photographer is taking his picture. A racer pours petrol into the tank.
0:30:14 The car is leaving.
0:30:23 Racers on the site seat.
0:30:36 A racer with a helmet on his head gets on his bike and rides off.
0:30:48 A dog on a leash on the road.
0:30:55 A racer on a motorbike on the road in front of the Comenius University building.
0:31:00 A racer with goggles and a helmet on his head.
0:31:16 A racer with a helmet on his head gets on his bike and rides off.
0:31:29 Bikers and cars pull up under the banner and after a while they leave. Crowds of people watch them on the side of the road.
0:32:14 Competitors in light overalls pass in front of the camera in a car. The chauffeur salutes into the camera.
0:32:21 Another car is leaving.
0:32:28 Car Repair.
0:32:39 Shot of a crowd of people watching.
0:32:47 Šafárik square Panorame A motorbike racer driving through the square (probably taken from the balcony of the Art forum).
0:33:07 A man with a hat on his head at the microphone.
0:33:16 A man with a hat on his head is looking at a newspaper.
0:33:22 Clock shot.
0:33:26 The car stops under the banner. Competitors in light coloured overalls are getting off. Refuelling. They are leaving.
0:33:57 More cars come under the banner. After refueling and maintenance, they leave.
0:34:29 A racer lifts his bike off the ground.
0:34:33 TITLE: “Car category Winner Jan Kubicek”.
0:34:37 Car leaving away from the banner.
0:34:47 Outgoing motorcycle racer.
0:34:52 Organizers and other people welcome the race car. The chauffeur receives a wreath around his neck. He drives his car through the people and parks.
0:35:23 The soldiers take the driver on their shoulders and carry him towards Šafárik Square.
0:35:34 The winner speaks into the microphone.
0:35:49 More cars cross the finish line. The audience looks on.
0:36:19 A female racer in a crowd of people.
0:36:27 TITLE: “Motorcycle category Winner Jindra Kostlivec”.
0:36:31 They put a wreath around the neck of the competitor. He stops the motorbike and leaves with the people around him.
0:36:51 Cop, crowds of onlookers.
0:37:11 A competitor takes off the elements of his overalls. Shot of a motorbike.
0:37:14 The men in the caps are lined up. Comenius University building in the background.
0:37:21 Crowds of spectators on the roadside, grandstand, Šafárik Square (probably taken from the balcony of the Art forum).
0:37:45 TITLE: “Raffle programs”.
0:37:46 A man with a bow tie spins raffle pot. He opens it and the little girl takes out a ticket. Behind them the flag of the Slovak motorcycle club.
0:38:11 ANIMATION Kodak.

Thanks to for permission to publish the video.