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The Skoda 120 GLS was the most luxurious version.  She didn't skimp on shiny body accessories

The Skoda 120 GLS was the most luxurious version. She didn’t skimp on shiny body accessories

The Škoda 120 GLS used to be the flagship of the Mladá Boleslav Automobile Company. The green model, which left the production plant in Vrchlabi in April 1978, was acquired by the Škoda Museum from the first owner in June 2012, and subsequently underwent a comprehensive renovation.

In the classification of the Skoda 120 GLS, the luxury equipment of the “one hundred and twenty” is encoded: Grand de Luxe Super. Let’s recall the hierarchy of the period: above the standard version of the Skoda 120 was 120 liters (de Luxe), then 120 LE (de Luxe Économique) with a more economical transmission for highway traffic, 120 LS (de Luxe Super) with four front headlights Instead of the usual headlights, and finally 120 GLS, that is, Grand de Luxe Super.

The history of the 120 GLS model began to be written at the end of 1976, when a 40-person verification series of the “Gelissa” sedan was created in Frchlaby, to distinguish and make the appearance more attractive, equipped with a visor with four headlights, in this case also richly lined with elements of stainless steel. Compared to the standard models, it consists of a glossy frame, a different radiator grille and molded panels under the four main headlights. The rear fascia, hoods, side window frames, and other smaller bodywork decorative elements are also made of stainless steel. Since 1981, as part of the modernization, stainless steel elements have decreased, so GLS cars from the first years of production remain an attractive individuality.

Comfort and safety features included, for example, more valuable door panels, steering column trim or, let’s say, adjustable headrests, which of course wasn’t an issue at the time. Rear window heating also came in handy in winter. The 1,174 cc four-cylinder engine located behind the rear axle provided the crew with an output of 42.7 kW / 58 hp, which, among other things, helped increase the compression ratio. After the maximum speed is engaged, four, round the cruising speed to 150 km / h. Those who can afford the Grand de Luxe Super usually accept the engine’s claim to high-quality fuel, in the conditions of Czechoslovakia in the late 1970s, for example, the gasoline was Super with an octane number of 96.

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Serial production began in August 1978, with more than 70 percent of all GLS vehicles produced destined for export. However, the production of the more luxurious “Hundreds” of Vrchlabi was complicated by the delay in moving the production of the commercial Skoda 1203 model to Trnava in Slovakia. The last “twelve Trojan groups” left the gates of the Freshlab factory only on December 31, 1981, until then both groups came out of the line at once. This was achieved, among other things, thanks to the conveyor’s original solution: passenger cars and light commercial vehicles can be created in any order, according to the current need.

The luxury Škoda 120 GLS belongs to the popular “embéček” follower chain of the time, namely the model Shame 1000 megaIt comes with rear-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive. The continuing series with this concept began in 1969 by the Škoda 100 with a more powerful “hundred”. In 1976, these cars passed the baton to the Skoda 105, 120, and later also 130 and other derivatives. Of the more than one million representatives of the aforementioned series of models, which dominated Škoda production until 1989, only a small part were luxury models.