ŠKODA Classic Tour: driven by a love of vintage cars

ŠKODA Classic Tour: driven by a love of vintage cars

ŠKODA WORLD CLASSIC CARS

It’s Saturday morning and the car park in front of the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav is full of beautiful vintage cars. They have been driven here by ŠKODA employees, who simply have a love of cars in their blood. Let’s meet some of them and their cars.

7. 9. 2021

Almost two hundred cars, all built before 1993, turned up for the ŠKODA Classic Tour, which is a vintage cars rally for the Czech carmaker’s employees. Most of the cars here are ŠKODAs, of course, ranging from Tudors, through “MBs” and “Hundreds” to the ŠKODA 105 and 120 models, with the FAVORIT and FORMAN being the youngest. But there are also older representatives of German, Italian or French brands and even some real delicacies, such as a DeLorean Coupe.

Some of the ŠKODA Classic Tour participants in front of the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav

Before the start, the owners chat with their colleagues (who will be their rivals in a few moments), share experiences, inspect and evaluate each other’s cars. Visitors - and there are many - walk around the historic beauties and use their mobile phones to post hundreds of photos on social networks.

Premiere for a restored coupé

One of the cars being admired is Miroslav Verner’s ŠKODA 110 R. The mechanic, who works as a production assembly operator at ŠKODA, proudly tells us about the car. “It came into our family around fifteen years ago. We started to renovate it eight years ago and restored it to its full glory in April this year.” This is the first time that both the car and the driver have taken part in the ŠKODA Classic Tour.

Miroslav Verner (left) with his father and ŠKODA 110 R from 1977

The beautiful 1977 coupé is not the first or last vintage car in the Verner family, though. In addition to old ŠKODAs (e.g. a 430 model from 1929), a Tatra 57 and a wartime Jeep Willys, Miroslav Verner already has another car lined up for restoration: a 1967 OCTAVIA COMBI, which he will work on together with his father.

Son as navigator

Vlastimil Pažout also has several vintage ŠKODAs in his garage, including the aforementioned 110 R coupé. For this year’s ŠKODA Classic Tour he has chosen a ŠKODA RAPID 136 from 1990. “I like to point out that this is a car made from ‘socialist parts’ but assembled under capitalism,” he says, adding that his RAPID was produced at the Kvasiny plant in January 1990, after the fall of the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia. The parts, however, predate the overthrow of the communist regime in November 1989. 

The Pažout family and their ŠKODA RAPID 136 from 1990 – they turned up at the ŠKODA Classic Tour in period outfits matching the year when their car was made

Vlastimil Pažout works in ŠKODA Design as coordinator of the Model Building team. He manages a team that builds both clay and hard models of new cars, including their interiors. He sees the shapes of future ŠKODA cars at work, and in his spare time he enjoys working on cars from the past. In addition to the grey RAPID, he maintains a 1983 ŠKODA 120 L and two 110 Rs from 1979 and 1980. And it is thanks to these beautiful “coupés” that he also owns a RAPID.

“My veteran friends used to tease me that since I drive a 110 R I should also own its successor, the GARDE/RAPID type. Some time ago I chanced on an interesting classified ad and bought the car without hesitation,” says Vlastimil Pažout. The four-year renovation included an overhaul of the bodywork. His work on all the details focused on preserving the originality of the car as much as possible. Now, at the ŠKODA Classic Tour 2021, the RAPID is ready for its first “live” deployment. 

Vlastimil Pažout with his ŠKODA RAPID 136  

Vlastimil Pažout has been taking part in the employees’ vintage car rally regularly since 2015, usually with his family. “Our most memorable experience came from our first drive. Just one hour before the start, I had to teach my then eight-year-old son how to navigate. He didn’t put a foot wrong. Tenth place overall was also our best finish to date and a great experience. My son continued to be my navigator for all the other years and won’t let anyone else in the family take his place,” smiles Vlastimil Pažout. He enjoys the beautiful routes around Mladá Boleslav and meeting colleagues interested in veterans.

Popular coupés

Jan Umlauf also proves that the ŠKODA 110 R is a favourite among veterans. As well as taking part in the ŠKODA Classic Tour as a driver, he was also involved in preparing the event, as part of the route on the company’s premises goes past Hall M13, where the OCTAVIA and ENYAQ iV models are built on the line. As production manager for MB I cars, Jan Umlauf is responsible for the operation of the welding shop, internal logistics and assembly of ŠKODA’s bestselling model and its electric SUV. On the ŠKODA Classic Tour he will drive by his workplace in a red ŠKODA 110 R coupé from 1974.

Another ŠKODA 110 R, this time with Jan Umlauf

“I bought the car from a classified ad in 2017. Ever since I was a little boy, I always wanted to drive a “coupé”, a dream that has only now come true. “I’ve completely renovated the 110 R with the aim of restoring it to its factory form,” says Jan Umlauf. The success of the year-long renovation, which took thousands of hours of work, is confirmed by the official testing of the historic vehicle. 

“Unfortunately, I don’t have much time to take it out for long drives, but I still enjoy the coupé at least for shorter trips, and sometimes I use it as a regular car. Just driving the car and taking care of it is often a challenge,” Umlauf explains, pointing out that the car does not just gather dust in the garage. 

“It’s often a challenge just to drive the car and take care of it,“ says Jan Umlauf.

This is the third time he has taken part in the ŠKODA Classic Tour with his 110 R. Last year he finished 37th. “It’s clear that I have room for improvement. The vintage rally is a great experience and a good way to relax,” he says. And the fact that the ŠKODA Classic Tour is also a family affair for the Umlaufs is confirmed by their daughter Veronika, who is standing next to him and will drive a 1984 ŠKODA GARDE. His wife and son complete the crews.