Monte Carlo Rally 1977: service zone during a break.
ŠKODA decided to take part in the longest-established
rally in the world. The new ŠKODA 120 had only been
on the market since 1976, and the brand’s ambition
for it was to achieve export success, one of the few
sources of hard currency at that time.
In 1977, ŠKODA sent its factory
team to the Monte Carlo Rally.
Václav Blahna / Lubislav Hlávka,
Svatopluk Kvaizar / Jiří Kotek
and Miloslav Zapadlo/ Jiří Motal
covered 500 training kilometres
every day in the 130s.
ŠKODA team at the finish line in Monte Carlo.
The vehicle with start No. 49 was used by
Václav Blahna / Lubislav Hlávka who won
the under-1,300 cm3 class and came 12th overall.
John Haugland made his debut for the ŠKODA
team at the Acropolis Rally 1971. He had a reputation for having unrivalled driving skills with
rear-wheel-drive cars, making ŠKODA famous
all over Europe by regularly winning his class and
beating dozens of much more powerful cars in
the overall rankings. He was a three-time winner
of the ŠKODA Rally, three-time winner of the
Barum Rally and won the Ulster Rally 1989 in
a FAVORIT before retiring in 1990.
The event saw 198 crews appear on the start
line, and 45 of them finished the race, including two Š 130 RSs. Blahna / Hlávka won
their class and came 12th overall, Zapadlo /
Motal finished second in their class and 15th
overall. A great achievement by a car with
an OHV engine of only 1,300 cm3 and just
a 4-speed gearbox! Unrivalled in its class
in Europe, the ŠKODA 130 RS was a success story, including at the Acropolis Rally
that was part of the Manufacturer World
Championship series: Miloslav Zapadlo /
Jiří Motal finished 9th in 1978, Václav
Blahna with Jiří Motal (1979) and Václav
Schovánek (1981) came 8th overall
on both occasions.
One of the highlights of the 130 era was
the Manufacturers’ Cup of the European
Circuit Racing Championship in 1981
won by Zdeněk Vojtěch / Břetislav Enge
and Jan Šenkýř / Václav Bervid joined
by private teams of Josef Michl / Petr
Martinovský / Oldřich Vaníček and Josef
Sivík / Adolf Handsome.
The ŠKODA 738 was a concept car (1978),
originally with the 1.8 l Š 720 OHC engine,
later with an all-aluminium engine taken
from the ŠKODA 760 2 × OHC 1.6 l
prototype. The car was used
in motorsport for just two years.
18 | 120 years on the racetrack