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How the Skoda Popular surprised Monte Carlo 85 years ago

How the Skoda Popular surprised Monte Carlo 85 years ago

The legendary Rallye Monte Carlo still attracts with its name, as a number of different models have been popularized, from Mini Coopers to Lancia. However, the Czech automaker Škoda also wrote part of its history in southern Europe, in which derivatives of its sports model are still called Monte Carlo. As part of the celebrations of the 120th anniversary of Škoda Motorsport’s existence, it now recalls, among other things, the story of the first successful Škoda in the famous race.

The Škoda Popular Sport with the crew of Zdenek Paul and Yaroslav Hausmann took part in the fifteenth year of the Monte Carlo Rally, which, however, should have arrived first. The rules of the race clearly defined several points of contact from which the crew must head south. Mlada Boleslav chose the distant Greek Athens as a starting point, and from there they reached Monaco along the axis of Thessaloniki, Belgrade, Budapest, Vienna, Strasbourg and Avignon. By the way, all in only two people, without a mechanic or a service car.

“I saw strange things along the road, once a horse was supporting us at full speed, other times I was desperately avoiding a huge elephant. No, there was nothing on the road, they were just visions on the fourth night. The machine was humming softly, I fell asleep and it was There is a thick fog,” Zdenek Paul described to Skoda records at the time. He and a colleague were one of 72 of the 105 registered crew that arrived in Monaco.

Skoda Popular Sport

Photo: Škoda Auto

So, the Skoda Popular Sport took part in a class of up to 1,500 cc, where it later took an impressive second place, which was a huge success for that time, replaced by a huge amount of work.

The car combined a chassis and chassis from Popular and a more powerful engine from the Rapid model, namely a four-cylinder 1.38 liters with 34 horsepower and a top speed of 110 km / h. The car had two fuel tanks for racing implying a range of 1,500 km, and the car consumed 11.3 liters per 100 km. However, the car weighed only 960 kg. At the same time, the car also had amenities such as hot air heating, thermos mounts and a foldable passenger seat so you could be comfortable while driving.

The success at that time was due, among other things, to the tremendous diligence of the crew, who extensively tested the car in the snowy giant mountains. They were also helped by materials from the Czech company Baťa, which produced leather jumpsuits for passengers, as well as special tires with off-road tread. For example, a snowmobile rescue was trained. The crew couldn’t agree on whether it was better to use a wooden shovel or a tin shovel, so Buhl and Hausmann took them to Monaco.

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