The Proton "C" diesel of 2.48 cc displacement was the final product in a relatively short-lived range of model diesels which were manufactured in Szeged, a town situated in southern Hungary, between 1954 and 1957. The engines were designed by Ferenc Somogyi and manufactured by a firm calling itself the Vas és Fémipari Szövetkezet (Szeged Iron and Metallurgical Co-operative).
The Proton engines may fairly be described as utility-grade sports engines which were primarily intended for the use of sport fliers and entry-level competitors. They were quite well made, although there are indications that quality control may not have been their strongest suit. Nonetheless, they ran well and were capable of giving good service to their owners. Their arrival on the Hungarian modelling scene must have been much appreciated by the Hungarian modelling fraternity, whose access to model engines during the Iron Curtain era was very limited.
The arrival on the Hungarian market of the competing Alag range (which enjoyed Government support) probably had a lot to do with the early departure from the scene of the Proton engines. Nevertheless, they did enjoy a brief renaissance in 1959-1960 when the Hungarian trading organization ARTEX managed to sell some 1000 left-over examples of the Proton "C" to Western countries.
The full story of the Proton range may be found in a detailed article which appears elsewhere on this web-site.