Rare Rides: This Skoda 120 From 1985 is Red, Like the Communism That Built It
October 2nd, 2017 1:10 PM Share
Late last week, on our Rare Rides entry for the Renault Alliance GTA, commenter scott25 alerted me to a Skoda he spotted on Kijiji (which is what eBay is called in Canada or something). As most people in North America have likely never seen a Skoda, this odd little sedan should do nicely as today’s Rare Ride.Come along, comrades.
If this bright red Skoda looks a little archaic, that’s because it is. Strolling onto the world market back in 1976, the Skoda 120 (known as the Estelle in other markets) rode on the same platform as its predecessor, the 110, which debuted in 1969. Going against the natural grain for sedans, the 120 is rear-engined and rear-drive. Most are familiar with this sporting layout in the Porsche 911, though there are a few differences between this and the Porsche.Popular enough around the world to keep it going, the 120 soldiered on until the end of the Cold War — the last one rolled off the line in 1990. A welcome relief for Toyota, which had just introduced the Lexus LS400 that year. Imagine the sales fight which surely would have ensued.
The United States did receive one Skoda, the pretty little Felicia back in 1960, but U.S. customers quickly saw to its withdrawal. Unreliability and fuel frugality were of little interest at the time (oh, how things change). Canada however, had a more long-lasting relationship with the Skoda brand. Between 1982 and 1989, a company called SkoCar imported Skoda and various other Eastern Bloc brands into Canada. SkoCar catered to the interesting customer who rejected the fragile Accord for a rough and ready Czech sedan.
But don’t think all Skoda customers suffered in their Red Flag Rides, for our 120 today is the aspirational GLS trim. As you can see, this Skoda has an interior, and a glove box which aligns perfectly. For 1985, the GLS was the highest trim available in sedan guise.
A 1.1-liter inline-four provides the power here, and it sure looks refined. The five-speed manual was a new addition for the ’84 model year, and drivers could barely keep traction with 54 thundering Communist ponies in the trunk. There’s no photo of the side-hinged front trunk in the listing, but it’s huge.Canada gets salty sometimes, so the seller provided shots of the undercarriage — all appears clean and tidy. Located in suburban downtown Canada, the owner is asking $8,000, and I bet that’s pretty negotiable.[Images via seller]
#1970s #1980s #Czechoslovakia #NewsBlog #RareRides #Skoda #Skoda120 #UsedCars #Volkswagen #VW
Published October 2nd, 2017 1:10 PM
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