There’s a Wes Anderson-esque narrative to the 154-year history of Engelmüller, the foremost glovemaker in what is now the Czech Republic. Ferdinand Engelmüller opened his first glove shop in the bohemian district of Prague in 1865 and soon earned acclaim for his stylish and high-quality wares. His son Emil took over at the turn of the 20th century and took the brand to new heights, producing, for the first time, items aimed squarely at motorists during the advent of the automobile.
The Great War intervened (Engelmüller supplied the Austro-Hungarian and German armies), but the interwar period brought great success once again as the brand’s name spread through high society. The likes of Tazio Nuvolari and Louis Chiron plumped for Engelmüller’s driving gloves, which is especially telling of their prestige and quality.
Communism after the Second World War ultimately saw the company close, fortunately after Emil died to see it. While limited production continued in the 1960s and ’70s, it wasn’t until 2015, 150 years after it was founded, that Engelmüller was officially revived as a glove and luxury motoring goods brand. And it employs the same principles of style and quality that Ferdinand Engelmüller kindled all those years ago.
Our favourite pair of gloves from the diverse range (which can now be found in the Classic Driver Shop) is the limited-edition A.M.49 Bohematic – a modern tribute to the Aero Minor, a racecar secretively built in Czechoslovakia in the 1940s and that famously finished Le Mans in 1949, not an easy feat in those days. And yes, you guessed it, the pilots were wearing Engelmüller gloves. Some of the proceeds will go to a Czech historic racing outfit, which discovered the sole remaining Aero Minor and has restored it with a view to return it to Le Mans in 2021.