Landmark Skodas on display
Škoda Auto exhibited at the 33rd edition of Techno Classica, in Essen, Germany in 12– 16 April, 2023. One of the milestones of the Czech brand’s 128-year history is the 1928 Škoda Hispano-Suiza.
The Škoda Hispano-Suiza exhibition car is fitted with bodywork custom-designed by Prague-based J O Jech and has recently been professionally renovated.
Produced in the 1926–1929 period, under a licence from the French-Spanish brand Hispano-Suiza, a mere 100 Prague-built model H6B vehicles rolled off the line.
Known as the Škoda Hispano-Suiza 25/100 KS these cars were fitted with coach-built bodywork on a long wheelbase of 3690mm. Power came from a 6.6-litre OHC petrol six-cylinder engine, with dual ignition, designed to produce 100bhp (74kW) at 1600 rpm. For short bursts of acceleration, up to 135bhp (99 kW) at 3000rpm was available.
Mechanical brake action was enhanced by a progressive-action brake booster that used the kinetic energy of the two-tonne-plus vehicle.
In mid-September 1926, Hispano-Suiza made a comparison between the original vehicle and the licensed Škoda and found the Czech product superior in many respects, including more accurate gear control and steering.
Only a handful of Škoda Hispano-Suizas have survived and this Škoda Museum exhibit is chassis No 469, with engine No 1181. The car was bought new by industrialist Robert Mandelík, President of the Association of Czechoslovak Sugar Refineries, on 22 September 1928.
After the Second World War, this robust, powerful and fast car was converted into a fire engine vehicle with a tow bar.
It was first restored by a private owner in the early 2000s, but since 2010 the vehicle has been part of the Škoda Museum collection. An extensive renovation project began in August 2019, based on thorough research of archival files and with the objective of restoring the car to its original grandeur.
Also featured in Essen was a 1948 Škoda Superb OHV sedan, powered by a 3.1-litre, 80bhp (59kW) in-line, six-cylinder engine.
The Superb was released in 1939, but this vehicle was one of a post-War series of 158 vehicles whose chassis were made in the brand´s main plant in Mladá Boleslav. It was fitted with a body produced at Škoda´s subsidiary production site in Kvasiny.
In 1968, this car became one of the first acquisitions of the then established Škoda Museum and underwent a precise renovation that was completed in 2019.