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Old 14th August 2016, 11:40   #1
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Default The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic

The Skoda Museum is located in a heritage building within the Skoda factory complex in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic

As part of the Kodiaq preview, Skoda arranged for us to visit the museum. As there were a lot of pictures and history to be shared, this merited a seperate thread. Before we proceed, a big shout out to the museum guide Pietr who was most knowledable and helpful. He also stayed back after the museum closed to show us the depository.

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1243.jpg

First, a bit of history

Skoda was never Skoda originally. It was originally “Laurin and Klement”. Most of us are more familiar with this being a badge denoting the top variants of the Octavia and the Superb. The company was originally called Laurin and Klement and was founded in 1894. Vaclav Klement was a bookseller in Mlada Bolslav who could not obtain parts to repair his German bicycle. After being rebuffed by the German manufacturer since they refused to deal with his enquiry as it was written in the Czech language. Klement saw the potential to establish a bicycle repair shop, He founded this, along with Vaclav Laurin, who was a bicycle manufacturer in a neighboring town.

Inspired by early Motocyclette, they experimented with front wheel driven bicycles. These did not work out as they were unstable and difficult to balance. They then designed a motorcycle with the frame built around the engine. Using a workforce of around 35 people, thy produced their first viable motor, the Voiturette A. This was a success and became and established brand in the Austrian-Hungary Empire.

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1297.jpg



The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1298.jpg

The multi-passenger version – This was water-cooled. It had a curious steering mechanism.

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1299.jpg

In 1905, they moved into automotive manufacturing with the Type “A”

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1300.jpg

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1301.jpg

World War 1 broke out and production was suspended in order to focus on trucks.

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Old 14th August 2016, 11:42   #2
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Default 1924 – In walked Skoda

Laurin and Klement, despite enjoying moderate success, suffered a fire in their premises. Due to depleted profits due to World War 1, they needed investment capital to rebuild and expand. Skoda was an armaments manufacturing company. It also assembled cars for Hispano Suzia. Skoda also wanted to diversify out of the armament segment. Skoda took over and the cars were rebadged as Skoda but the Laurin and Klement name remained for a while.

As an aside the Skoda symbol consists of
The Arrow Head – signifying moving forward into new areas
Eye – Focus
Wings - Global spread

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1302.jpg

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1303.jpg


Skoda took over and with its Hispano Suiza experience, expanded into more upmarket segments also

Skoda 645 1929

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1290.jpg

Note the dual spare wheels – BMW and Mercedes-take note!

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1291.jpg

Due to the post 1920’s economic depression, not many cars were made. Around 1935, Skoda designed a range of cars with an integral chassis

Skoda Popular 995 Typ 937 (845-1049cc) - A worthy predecessor to the VW Beetle

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1278.jpg

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1287.jpg

Skoda Superb 4000- 1940
Only 10 were built and then World War 2 broke out. The 6 cyl engine was used in large numbers in various military vehicles.

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1304.jpg

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1306.jpg

Last edited by ajmat : 15th August 2016 at 21:22.
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Old 14th August 2016, 11:43   #3
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Default Post War till early 1960's

Post World War 2, due to German occupation, Skoda, being a weapons maker, resulted in lot of the manufacturing plants getting destroyed during air raids. Skoda rebuilt and restarted production with some new curvaceous styling.

Skoda 1101 Roadster 1948. These were made to order. The chassis was made in Mlada Boresav and then shipped to another plant in Vrchlabi for the bodywork

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1318.jpg

Skoda 1101 Tudor – This was a standard production car. This particular example was in use by a doctor till 1977

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1244.jpg


Skoda Supersport 1950
Skoda tried its hand at racing locally. Used the Tudor mechanicals

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1247.jpg

Skoda 450 – one of the first cars to use a detachable hard top

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1249.jpg

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1248.jpg

Skoda Octavia Combi Typ 993.
One of the last front engine cars prior to Skoda moving to rear engined cars

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1250.jpg



The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1289.jpg

Octavia, Rapid, Superb and Felicia are names of previous Skoda's. Only the Fabia is a new name
The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1288.jpg

Last edited by ajmat : 15th August 2016 at 21:23.
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Old 14th August 2016, 11:44   #4
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Default The Rear Engined Regime and the effect of Communism

Skoda 1000 MB

Skoda had been making traditional front engined,rear drive cars. These were getting expensive to make. The post war market needed small light cars. Skoda also needed a car to boost production volumes. Front engined, front wheel drive cars were still an unknown entity as only the Mini and the Austin 1100 were the only such cars. Skoda tried a few prototypes but did nto have the confidence regarding cost and reliability. They opted for the rear engines, rear drive architecture. Since Renault, Simca and Volkwagen were tasting success with this model. This seemed to be the viable option.

The Skoda 1000MB was first of a long series of rear engine cars. It was well-made and engineered. The VW Type 2 was its nearest competitor but was spartan compared to this. It was tremendous value although Czech engineering was relatively unknown at the time. It was unique in having an all aluminium engine of 1 litre and later 1.1 whiched pumped out around 50bhp. The manufacturing prociess used a unique form press foundry technique. The Skoda foundry was fairly advanced for its time and is now used for most foundry related parts for the VW group

Note the front bonnet rises up for the boot space. The chrome rimmed front panel housing the skoda label is for the spare wheel well
The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1308.jpg



The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1309.jpg

Note the integrated fuel filler

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1307.jpg

In 1965, Soviet tanks rolled into Prague and Skoda was nationalised. Unlike the Germans who allowed the local industry to progress. The Soviets repressed most industries.

The MB series was superceded by the 110 series which was actually based on more earlier bland prototype of the 1000MB. The only thing new were front disc brakes.

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-skoda_s100_greensted.jpg

Source



Skoda 200 RS Typ 734


Used for rallying and also circuit racing. Won its class due to excellent rear traction as well as robust engineering. Czech engineering shone through despite communism restricting progress.

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1283.jpg

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1293.jpg




Skoda 125L


Last of a long line of Skoda rear engine cars. Soviet occupation barely allowed Skoda to progress. They could no longer be progressive. The 125L reflected how mediocre Skoda had become due to intellectual repression. Although well made, these were so outdated when compared to VW Golfs etc or even a secondhand Ford Escort. Further on, you will read in this article on how Skoda tried hard to progress but was repressed

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1280.jpg

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1282.jpg


You had to wait overnight to book Skoda’s whenever quotas were announced. This is a special kit for you to camp outside the booking office

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1292.jpg

Last edited by ajmat : 15th August 2016 at 21:28.
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Old 14th August 2016, 11:44   #5
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Default Back to Front

Skoda Favorit
A light at the end of the tunnel of Soviet occupation. Bertone designed, this was introduced in 1987. It did have some rough edges but Skoda honed it progressively

Below is a Rally version, You can glimpse a regular model in the pics of the Skoda 1000 MB and the Felicia
The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1285.jpg

Skoda Felicia
This is was refurbished Favorit and was the first car to emerge after VW acquired a majority share. Some variants featured VW Polo engines.

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1310.jpg
Skoda Rapid – Vision D
Sets the current styling trend for current Skodas.

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1312.jpg

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1311.jpg

A stack of other older Skodas which are rotated into the museum

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1296.jpg

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Old 14th August 2016, 11:44   #6
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Default re: The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic

Skoda now have a full time department for restoring older Skoda’s

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1313.jpg

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1314.jpg

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1315.jpg

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1316.jpg

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1317.jpg

Last edited by ajmat : 14th August 2016 at 14:07. Reason: Skoda’s Restoration Centre
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Old 14th August 2016, 11:47   #7
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Default The Depository

The Depository – Skoda prototypes that were never seen again or emerged. Not many people get to see this. Seeing the petrolhead in me, Pietr took us there

Yeti Concept – much more stubbier than the final result

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1321.jpg
The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1338.jpg

Superb Coupe
A really elegant design – shame VW suppressed it due to brand considerations and the Passat CC

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1322.jpg

Skoda Roomster concept

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1323.jpg

Notchback Version of the Skoda Favorit

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1325.jpg

Another Favorit Design Proposal
The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1326.jpg
The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1327.jpg


The Ferat – a Czech cult movie. The car – based on a Skoda is haunted and runs on human blood
The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1328.jpg



A front engine Skoda 125. They wanted to improve it with a front engine. This used a Renault engine. The Soviet planners nixed it

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1329.jpg

A Michelotti designed prototype – Again, it was mothballed by the Soviets. Note similarirty to the Fiat 131/132

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1331.jpg

Fabia Rallysport

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1334.jpg


Some older prototypes

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1335.jpg

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1337.jpg


An all alloy version of the Skoda 110L

The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic-dsc_1336.jpg

Summarising, compared to some other car museums, the range of cars seem limited. Considering the ravages of war and twin occupation, Skoda survived. Although there are plent of those proverbial Skoda jokes, the cars were always well built although antiquated during the 1970's till 2000. If it was not for the Soviet Occupation, perhaps the story of Skoda might have been different.

Last edited by ajmat : 15th August 2016 at 21:30. Reason: The Depository
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Old 15th August 2016, 21:31   #8
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Default re: The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic

Note from Mod - Moving to the main forum.
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Old 15th August 2016, 23:30   #9
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Default re: The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic

Excellent topic - never knew the history especially of the Soviets suppressing ideas. A real shame considering the thrill of driving a good Skoda which perhaps could've been even better!!
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Old 16th August 2016, 01:51   #10
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Default re: The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic

I just put a thread on about the Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nurnburg ring in Germany.

There were some very interesting classic Skoda’s there as well:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...y-p8132115.jpg

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...y-p8132116.jpg
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Old 16th August 2016, 05:41   #11
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Default Re: The Depository

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
The Depository – Skoda prototypes that were never seen again or emerged. Not many people get to see this. Seeing the petrolhead in me, Pietr took us there

Yeti Concept – much more stubbier than the final result
Superb Coupe
A really elegant design – shame VW suppressed it due to brand considerations and the Passat CC
Skoda Roomster concept
The Ferat – a Czech cult movie. The car – based on a Skoda is haunted and runs on human blood
Fabia Rallysport
lthough there are plent of those proverbial Skoda jokes, the cars were always well built although antiquated during the 1970's till 2000. If it was not for the Soviet Occupation, perhaps the story of Skoda might have been different.

I would have loved to buy that Yeti concept. I saw it on their website years ago and kept it as a wall paper till I bought my own Yeti.
That Superb Coupe is really elegant no doubt but I suppose VW Brand considerations demanded that they kept the better stuff for their higher value brands.
The Roomster was clearly one those from which the Yeti was derived.
The Ferat - shades of an automobile Count Dracula etc eh? Seems appropriate considering the provenance in Eastern Europe!
I have a couple of Skoda Rally Sport Fabia Scale Models - very good looking cars with flared wheel arches and fat tyres and all the rest of the trimmings!
I couldn't agree more about the Twin Occupation and the suppression part.
After all, like Tatra, Skoda was a first class Armoured vehicle manufacturer in the war - their Tanks and Artillery were legendary in reliability, solidity and of course, functionality.
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Old 16th August 2016, 09:16   #12
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Default Re: The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic

One thing is for sure going by the photos in the thread, Skoda made MUCH better looking, better designed cars until they were completely integrated into the moulded-manufacturing ways of VW which looks almost like every fellow group brand with no curves, flat surfaces, sharp lines and 99% similar interiors with exception to the change of logo.

The first-gen Laura & Jetta in India were the most beautiful ever with their own individualities, and so was the Fabia with its rounded headlamps, tons of headroom and practicality and segment leading features which was most certainly a better product than the Polo. I'm sure the new Jetta will resemble the current Octavia and the next gen Fabia will resemble the Polo. Their designs have become boring to say the least. The current Yeti looks terrible as compared to the previous version.

VW needs to introduce some curves into their cars, at least the Skoda models instead of designing with only a scale. Next their wheels and steering will be quadrangles. Personal opinion though as I see that many are a fan of "timeless" design, though I don't see why they cant have a better balance of lines and curves.

Last edited by dark.knight : 16th August 2016 at 09:18.
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Old 16th August 2016, 17:13   #13
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Default Re: The Rear Engined Regime and the effect of Communism

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
It was unique in having an all aluminium engine of 1 litre and later 1.1 whiched pumped out around 50bhp
Wow! Those specs are not too far off from the jelly bean zen of decades later. Nice insight into the history of a brand, which is often in the news for the wrong reasons.
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Old 16th August 2016, 18:43   #14
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Default Re: The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic

Thanks for the great report. I have visited the place a number of times, and can spend hours there at a time. Skoda is one of a handful of marques in continuous existence over 100 years and has a particularly rich legacy upto WW2.

More pics from the older museum and cars spotted in the streets here

...and pics from the Oldtimer Bohemia Rally which coincided with a visit here
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Old 16th August 2016, 20:44   #15
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Default Re: The Skoda Museum - Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
Thanks for the great report. I have visited the place a number of times, and can spend hours there at a time. Skoda is one of a handful of marques in continuous existence over 100 years and has a particularly rich legacy upto WW2.

More pics from the older museum and cars spotted in the streets here
Thanks, the visit happened too fast for me to ping you before the visit. Compared to your pics, they seem to exhibit fewer cars. However the cars I saw seem to be in much better condition. I guess they are restoring a lot of the cars again
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