Take a look inside a unique cars depository

Coming after the sleek Formula 3 cars, the rudimentary yellow ŠKODA BUGGY presents a striking contrast. Based on the Š 100/110 L series, the BUGGY won its first domestic championship in 1971, taking both the 1,000 cm3 and 1,150 cm3 categories. The modified chassis platform bore a minimalist body with a roll bar. However, the limited capacity of its motorsports division meant that ŠKODA said goodbye to autocross during the 1972 season.

ŠKODA BUGGY (second left)

The ŠKODA SPIDER I was a prototype built in 1972 for circuit and hill-climb racing. In its very first season, Jaroslav Bobek won the B5 category championship with it. The 720 series’ 1771cm3 four-cylinder engine delivered 154 hp (113.3 kW) which, thanks to the aerodynamic bodywork, enabled it to reach a speed of 220 km/h. But just one ŠKODA SPIDER I was ever made. By contrast, the ŠKODA 120 S sedan became quite widespread, and was used to great effect both by the works team and by private racers from home and abroad.

The rear-engined development series ends with the ŠKODA 130 LR designed for Group B competition, which competed from 1985 to1988. It achieved a number of successes, such as in the Acropolis Rally, the RAC Rally, the 1000 Lakes Rally and more. The competition version of the 1,295 cm3 four-cylinder engine with twin Weber carburettors delivered up to 136 hp (100 kW), and the bodywork was lightened with aluminum bonnets and doors and plastic windows, among other things.

Depository of the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav

From 1989 the works team used the ŠKODA FAVORIT, a modern construction with a transversely mounted front engine. The baton was then passed to the ŠKODA FELICIA Kit Car 1 500 (1995-1997), which had a standard 1.3 L engine block for automotive competition but a special crankshaft for a piston stroke of 78 mm instead of 72 mm. The power output was gradually increased from 150 hp (110 kW) to 166 hp (122 kW) in 1996. With this car, ŠKODA finished third in the 1996 World Championship in the F2 category.

After an intermezzo with OCTAVIA Kit Car racers, ŠKODA stepped up to the top category, the WRC series. The ŠKODA OCTAVIA WRC (2001) on show at the ŠKODA Museum is the original competition car of the Schwarz – Hiemer team from the 2001 Safari Rally Kenya. Third place was ŠKODA Motorsport’s best finish in a World Championship event to date. The car is notable for its higher ground clearance to cope with the terrain, its front protective frame and its air intake mounted on the roof to counter increased dustiness. The 1,999 cm3 turbocharged four-cylinder DOHC engine delivers 300 hp (220.8 kW).

DSC3453-kopieThe racing section features a ŠKODA FABIA WRC that recalls the successes of the 2003 and 2004 rally seasons.

We end our tour of the depository with a reminder of its successor, the ŠKODA FABIA WRC (2003). This hatchback was powered by a turbocharged 1999 cm/3003 hp (220.8 kW) four-cylinder engine and weighed 1,230 kg, and its speedometer needle stopped at 250 km/h. The ŠKODA Museum exhibit was driven by drivers Auriol, Schwarz and Gardemeister in the 2003 and 2004 World Championship seasons. It was then converted to Evo II specification and used by ŠKODA Motorsport for testing.

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