They started on two wheels, then added a motor, then graduated to cars. The history of ŠKODA is well documented, but it’s rare to see so many examples of its illustrious past all parked in the same place. Last year’s Concours d’Elégance at Loučeň Chateau, Czech Republic, treated visitors to a visual feast from the ŠKODA archive.
Around 80 historical vehicles built by automotive companies from around the world took part in the classic car parade. But ŠKODA had a special place in the festival. “ŠKODA is one of the longest-established vehicle manufacturers in the world,” says Andrea Frydlová, Director of the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav. “We have a 120-year tradition of building fascinating vehicles.” That tradition celebrated an important anniversary last year, which seemed occasion enough to assemble this collection, most of which was drawn from the ŠKODA museum collection, with several exhibits loaned by private collectors.
The array of ŠKODA classics presented at Loučeň Chateau ranges from the first bicycle ever sold – under the Slavia brand established by ŠKODA’s founding fathers Laurin and Klement – to the ŠKODA 130 RS dating back to 1978. All vehicles from their respective eras are of outstanding importance to the Czech manufacturer.
Highlights included the ŠKODA 645 (1930), ŠKODA Superb 640 (1935), ŠKODA Popular Monte Carlo (1937), the ŠKODA Popular Coupé ‘Little Entente’ (1937), ŠKODA Superb 3000 OHV (1939), ŠKODA Supersport 966 (1950), ŠKODA 440 Spartak (1956), and the ŠKODA 1100 OHC (1957). There was also a one-of-a-kind Laurin & Klement RK/M dating back to 1913, which formerly belonged to racing driver Count Alexander Kolowrat.
In addition to the historical showcase, ŠKODA presented the brand-new third-generation ŠKODA Superb which stood alongside the ŠKODA Superb 3000 OHV from 1939. A natural successor to its stylish ancestors.