Currently reading: Skoda rebuilds 1100 OHC Coupé historic racing car
Racing coupé from the 1960s is rebuilt by hand using original frame, chassis, engine and blueprints

Skoda has rebuilt a historic 1100 OHC Coupé to mark the 120th anniversary of its motorsport division. 

The car, which competed in endurance circuit racing from 1960 to 1962, was reconstructed using the original frame, chassis and engine, and built using historical documentation. 

Teams from Skoda’s museum restoration workshop and the manufacturer’s Prototype Centre collaborated on the project, rebuilding the car as a fully functional vehicle by hand. 

The original two-seater was driven by a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine producing 90bhp and mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. It could reach speeds of up to 124mph and was equipped with dual-circuit brakes. 

Just two examples were built. They were privately sold in 1966 following changes to racing regulations and the end of the 1100cm3 category. 

Skoda acquired the chassis, frame with the front axle, brakes, pedals and other small parts from a Czech private collection in 2014. 

It sourced parts from only one of the privately sold cars as the second was irreparably damaged in a fire.

An open-topped spider variant of the 1110 OHC sits in the Skoda Museum, while another is used by Skoda UK to promote the brand. 

Skoda sourced components from production vehicles from the period for the project. The door handles were sourced from a 1200, while some switches and the ignition lock are from an Octavia and a 440 Spartak.

Meanwhile, the three-spoke steering wheel was taken from a Popular, which was the firm’s best-selling pre-war model.

Its bodywork was recrafted using 0.8mm and 1mm-thick aluminium sheets, meaning the car weighs just 555kg overall. 

Skoda says 3D scanning and modelling were instrumental in helping to bring the car back to life, alongside historical photos, which helped designers recreate the car on a 1:1 scale. 

“You could say that the unique Skoda 1100 OHC Coupé has returned to its birthplace,” said Skoda prototype construction specialist Martin Kadlec.

“The staff at the Skoda Museum and our team from the EGV department have managed to combine traditional methods with today’s advanced technology, digitising historical drawings from the Skoda archive and leveraging the available period photo documentation. We then created a virtual model and produced several 3D models based on that.

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"The modifications to the body shape took dozens of hours. The actual reconstruction of the car body was already under way in the prototype construction workshops. Our predecessors built the original racing cars in one of these workshops, at the Česany site in Mladá Boleslav, in 1959."

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martin_66 7 February 2022
The rear end has a whiff of Ford Anglia about it - that apart this is a really beautiful little car, as nice as most sports cars from the 60s.

The later 110R was a bit of a looker too and apparently very good to drive. Just shows that communism put the brakes on what could have been a very competitive company.

streaky 7 February 2022
martin_66 wrote:

Just shows that communism put the brakes on what could have been a very competitive company.

Agreed: it was said that the Czechs were always good engineers and despite all the silly jokes about Skodas before the VW take-over, they produced cars that, despite communism, were nothing like as bad as the chattering ignorati (and so-called comedians) like to make out.  I had a Mk1 Octavia as a company car and was convinced that, having been given a component set by VW, Skoda upstaged VW in producing a car that was bigger, better value and more elegant than the Golf!  Skoda still seem to be doing that today.

martin_66 7 February 2022

I think all the jokes started purely because they were East European, and cheap.  Back in the 70s I had a friend whose dad had a Skoda (I forget which model) and whenever we went out in it it was an absolute hoot - the driver had a huge smile on his face and that guy really knew how to drive! 

For myself, I have had an Octavia VRS for six years and it is by far the best car I have ever owned - very well made, well equipped, huge boot, spacious interior (enough room for my 6'2" tall son to sit comfortably in the rear), reliable and really good to drive too.  At no point have I ever wished I had a Golf GTi (or anything else similarly priced) instead.