“We are delighted to receive these awards for ŠKODA at this year’s Top City Classic Rally China. Our classic models are very popular at vintage car events in China and enjoy the support of Chinese car enthusiasts,” emphasises Dr Ralf Hanschen, President of ŠKODA China. “This year, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of our iconic ŠKODA OCTAVIA by taking part in various events, including this rally. Having already delivered 1.3 million units to Chinese customers, the OCTAVIA is our most successful model in China, too.”
The ‘Top City Classic Rally China’ is the first regional classic car event held according to international standards. The two independent sections of the contest take place during the first and second weekends of September. ŠKODA is one of the brands taking part from the start. In 2014, at the first run of the event, the traditional brand thrilled classic car fans with a Laurin & Klement 300 and a ŠKODA FELICIA, both winning their respective categories.
This year, the classic cars first drove through Shenzhen; the southern Chinese metropolis with 12 million inhabitants is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. After a one-week break, the following stage led the drivers through the ‘Yellow Mountains’ in the Huangshan range. Against the backdrop of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the historic ŠKODA vehicles not only made an outstanding visual appearance; with the ‘Historical Revival Award’ and ‘Classic Contributor Award’, they also won prestigious prizes and were honoured as ‘Special Section Champions’.
ŠKODA highlighted the topic of the OCTAVIA’s 60th anniversary with a light blue notchback and a red estate model. The latter body variant was added the series in 1960 and quickly became a bestseller and export hit for the automaker: ŠKODA exported the popular OCTAVIA COMBI to several dozen countries around the world. Its modern counterpart is now manufactured in China. The timelessly elegant FELICIA convertible, which is also celebrating its 60th anniversary, has also traditionally stood alongside the participants in the ‘Top City Classic Rally China’. The ŠKODA 422, built between 1930 and 1934, recalls the era 90 years ago when efficient production-line manufacturing started in Mladá Boleslav. It was the basic model of the former product range: Its 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine at the time provided an output of 22 hp; the open-top FELICIA produced up to 55 hp.
Vintage cars are enjoying increasing popularity in China. For the car manufacturer from Mladá Boleslav, the historic events serve as an ideal platform to present the brand as well as milestones from its 124-year history. ŠKODA was represented in China as early as the 1930s, operating five local dealerships by 1936. In 2007, the brand re-entered the Chinese market. Since 2010, the People’s Republic has been the car manufacturer’s largest single market: one in every four ŠKODA vehicles goes to a customer in China. The brand has delivered more than 2.6 million automobiles in the region since 2007,