Peek inside a unique car depot
Coming after the elegant 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 national championship in 1971, winning both the 1000cc and 1150cc classes. The modified chassis platform carried a minimalist body with a roll cage. However, the limited capacity of its motorsport division meant that ŠKODA said goodbye to autocross during the 1972 season.
The ŠKODA SPIDER I was a prototype built in 1972 for circuit racing and hill climbing. In her very first season, Jaroslav Bobek won the B5 class championship with her. The 1771 cc four-cylinder engine of the 720 series developed 154 hp (113.3 kW) which, thanks to the aerodynamic bodywork, allowed it to reach a speed of 220 km/h. But only one ŠKODA SPIDER I was made. On the other hand, the ŠKODA 120 S sedan has become widespread and has been used to good effect both by the factory team and by domestic and foreign private drivers.
The rear-engined development series ends with the ŠKODA 130 LR designed for Group B competition, which competed from 1985 to 1988. It achieved a number of successes, such as the Acropolis Rally, the Rally RAC, the 1000 lakes rally and more. The competition version of the 1,295 cc four-cylinder engine with twin Weber carburettors delivers up to 136 hp (100 kW), and the bodywork is lightened with, among other things, aluminum hoods and doors and plastic windows.
From 1989 the works team used the ŠKODA FAVORIT, a modern construction with a transversely mounted front engine. The baton then passed to the ŠKODA FELICIA Kit Car 1500 (1995-1997), which had a standard 1.3 L engine block for motor racing but a special crankshaft for a piston stroke of 78 mm instead of 72mm. Power 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 class.
After an interlude with the OCTAVIA Kit Car racers, ŠKODA moved up to the next category, the WRC series. The ŠKODA OCTAVIA WRC (2001) on display in the ŠKODA Museum is the original competition car of the Schwarz–Hiemer team from the Safari Rally Kenya 2001. Third place was ŠKODA Motorsport’s best result in a World Championship event so far. day. The car is distinguished by its higher ground clearance to face the terrain, its front protection frame and its roof-mounted air intake to counter the increased dustiness. The 1,999 cc turbocharged DOHC four-cylinder engine develops 300 hp (220.8 kW).
We end our visit to the depot with a reminder of its successor, the ŠKODA FABIA WRC (2003). This sedan was powered by a 1999 cc/3003 hp (220.8 kW) four-cylinder turbocharged engine and weighed 1230 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 later converted to Evo II specification and used by ŠKODA Motorsport for testing.