Two Favorits’ road trip to their place of birth

Two Favorits’ road trip to their place of birth

Two Škoda Favorits set off from a small town near Warsaw all the way to Mladá Boleslav. The drivers, a father and son, wanted to explore their cars’ origins. Meet our latest enthusiasts.

9. 10. 2023 Škoda World

The 16th of September this year marked thirty-six years since the launch of the Škoda Favorit, and even the youngest 1994 models can now be considered veterans. It often happens that cars like these are passed down in the family from generation to generation. This was exactly the case for two Polish Favorit owners, a father and son, who took their cars on a trip to Mladá Boleslav in mid-August. 

The family’s two Škoda Favorits at their destination in Mladá Boleslav

Wlodzimierz and Andrzej Kurnik have had a long-standing relationship with Favorits, but it was only relatively recently that they decided to take it to the next level. Having prepared their cars for the trip, they decided to take a tour of Poland, Czechia and Germany. And they took their family with them: Wlodzimierz in his red Favorit with his wife, Andrzej in his blue one with his wife and two sons.

Their summer trip through Central Europe covered a total of about 1,400 kilometres. In Mladá Boleslav they visited the Škoda Museum and picked up so-called “birth certificates”, officially known as Certificates of Origin, for their cars. These tell owners details about their cars that may be forgotten over the years and when cars change hands. So father and son learnt about their Favorit models – the actual date of manufacture, the place of sale, the original paint colour (which both owners kept) and some other details.

The red Favorit is Wlodzimierz Kurnik’s pride and joy.

A family road trip

“The museum is really impressive. The cars are fantastically maintained and I liked the whole concept of the exhibit, which has a lot of cars but not too many. In big car museums you can soon get tired of the sheer quantity, but here it’s not too overwhelming,” Wlodzimierz Kurnik said of his visit to the Škoda Museum. And his son Andrzej added, “The cars really are in beautiful condition. I relished all their details, such as the logos on various parts of the cars where you wouldn’t find them today.”

The two Škoda fans also assessed their experiences driving the Favorit models so far. “We haven’t had any problems so far; our cars run great. And they keep pace with today’s traffic without any problems. It’s surprising how agile the Favorit can be in the city, for example. On the motorway we opt for a slightly slower pace, about 120 km/h, although the Favorit can also manage 140 km/h, which is the top speed in Poland,” Andrzej says, adding that the faster pace is not very comfortable for the crew due to the lack of air conditioning and the need to keep the windows open. Otherwise, the car would have managed the speed without any problems. “But driving the Favorit is not about speed. It’s about the atmosphere, about being able to really enjoy the drive,” adds Wlodzimierz.

“Travel comfort is very good. In modern cars, the seats tend to be very stiff and they hurt my back on longer journeys, but in the Favorit the seats are pleasantly comfortable, and the same goes for the chassis. And the lack of air conditioning we mentioned isn’t a problem either. The Favorit has a relatively simple interior, where the dashboard and other elements aren’t all that big, so they don’t hold as much heat and the interior as a whole is easier to ventilate.”

Decades in the family

And why did the two men and their families set off on their journey in Škoda Favorit cars? Simple: Favorits have been in the family for decades. “My father-in-law bought this red car in the autumn of 1991. I remember the first time he showed it to my wife and me and how impressed we were with it,” says Wlodzimierz, the oldest member of the expedition. And even though he was only 8 years old at the time, Andrzej also remembers the event very well: “The car made a big impression on me. I remember how impressed I was by the dashboard and the easy-to-read instrument panel, and by the fact the engine was at the front, in comparison to previous Škoda models in family,” he recalls.

Both cars were painstakingly restored.

Over the years, the car was used by the whole family. When his father-in-law later gave up driving, Wlodzimierz’s older son inherited the Favorit. He, too, later retired the car, but the original owner’s daughter, Wlodzimierz’s wife, also used it for a while when her car was in servicing for a month. And she said she was very happy. “Generally, we used it as a bit of a workhorse in the family – it even got a tow bar and we used to hitch a trailer behind it,” says Wlodzimierz. But then the car was staying in the garage again, so he decided to buy it from his son. And once Dad had his Favorit with a family history, his younger son Andrzej decided to get the same car in 2021. 

Careful preparation

The pair started planning the road trip with their Favorits a long time ago, and preparations began around February 2022.  Above all, this involved careful preparation of both cars. First, Wlodzimierz set about a renovation, or rather a major overhaul. The entire brake system was replaced, the sills needed repair and new bumpers were attached. Wlodzimierz did these mechanical jobs himself. The paintwork was taken care of by a professional painter.

1660553283792_6b612014The red Favorit was given a new brakes system.

Andrzej, though, painted his blue car himself. “It would have been too expensive otherwise,” he laughs. And we admire the work he did as an amateur. He really took pains and the result is worth it. Even the mechanical repairs on his blue car were done by Andrzej himself. As it turns out, this technical talent is in his genes. “My father had a motorcycle repair shop,” says Wlodzimierz. 

IMG_20230710_180654_1a1cbcdcAndrzej painted his blue Favorit himself – and what a good job he did!

He later became a professor of mechanical engineering and rector of the Warsaw University of Technology. “I still have some of the tools from my father’s workshop at home,” he smiles. Andrzej may have taken an economics degree with a later focus on transport, but he clearly has technical talent too. After all, the Favorit is not his only vintage car, though it’s his only Škoda. “I wanted to get a Škoda Rapid or 120 GLS, but they’re hard to find in Poland and they tend to be expensive,” he explains why he is sticking with the Favorit for now.

ŠKODA Muzeum, Mladá BoleslavAndrzej Kurnik’s family travels in the blue Favorit.

When the two motoring enthusiasts knew that they wanted to pick up their certificates of origin in Mladá Boleslav with their cars, they did some digging together into the family’s motoring history and discovered other connections to the Mladá Boleslav car factory. Not only was there a Škoda 120 in the family before the Favorit, but there was also a connection to Laurin & Klement machines in the past. “My great-grandfather was one of the first people to ride a Laurin & Klement motorcycle in Sanok. We have a photo of him on a Slavia motorcycle at home,” Wlodzimierz boasts. Wlodzimierz, however, had to wait 67 years for his own connection to Mladá Boleslav when he became the happy owner of a Škoda Favorit. Andrzej didn’t have to wait so long, and now he’s thinking about his next Škoda. But this one’s more likely to be one of the brand’s modern models.

Certificate of Origin

The Škoda Archive has been issuing Certificates of Origin since 2009. Four hundred of them have been issued so far, and interest among car buffs is growing. For the purpose of issuing certificates, the archive staff track down detailed information about the car on the basis of its chassis number, engine, body, car plate or technical certificate. This includes the date of manufacture and sale, the place of sale of the car, the first customer as far back as the 1940s, the original paint colour and sometimes the original upholstery. Other details may also be available. 

“We have physical records in the archive for 99% of the cars produced, from about 1909 to the late 1980s. We’re also able to track down newer cars in the systems, but we do not provide information on cars of current or recent production. Based on the information supplied, we check whether the individual parts of the cars belong together. If we find that the car has been cobbled together from multiple cars or that the car has undergone a major rebuild, we don’t issue a certificate,” explains Lukáš Nachtmann from the Škoda Archive. 

Anyone interested in a certificate should expect that the certificate takes quite some time to be issued, usually one to three months depending on the workload of the archive staff and how the applicant responds to their requests for clarifications. The certificate doesn’t have to be collected in person – Škoda will send it by post after payment. The current price list is available on the archive’s website, and applicants can write to

ŠKODA Muzeum, Mladá Boleslav