This Škoda is perhaps one of the most iconic models of the Škoda brand. In the 1930s, the Škoda Popular Sport Monte Carlo became a real masterpiece for European automotive industry.
The year is 1936 and the Czech racers Zdeněk Pohl and engineer Jaroslav Hausman participate in the Monte Carlo Rally with a two-seater Škoda Popular roadster. This sporty development of the company was made especially for the competition and, unlike the production model, it is equipped with an improved and significantly reinforced chassis and a more powerful 1385 cc engine than the Škoda Rapid. Thanks to the changes, the Czechs reach second place in the category up to 1500 cc. After this success, Škoda manufacturers created a small “civilian” series of cars, numbering 70 units, under the name “Sport – Monte Carlo”.
In the 1930s, the “Popular” model was indeed one of the most modern and popular cars in Europe. His success is due to the many successful participations in various car shows.
He also participated in grueling marathon treks, across the territory of different continents such as North and South America, South Africa, Asia, etc. The first such journey was made in the mid-1930s by several Czechs who crossed the whole of Europe and a large part of Asia, reaching the Indian city of Calcutta. It lasts 4 months and passes through Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, where it is the most grueling endurance test. After overcoming the mountain passes of Kandahar, the adventurers reach the desert of Registan, where they fight a terrible sandstorm for five whole days.
The market version of the Škoda Popular Monte Carlo was only available to order, and in the period 1936-1938, 70 cars were built, of which 20 were open body type “roadsters” with a 995 cc engine, and 50 two-seater coupés, whose engines were working volume of 1386 cubic cm. The entire series is equipped with three-speed gearboxes, and the maximum speed of the closed version reaches 125 km/h with an average fuel consumption of 10 liters per 100 km.
The masterpiece for its time has an extremely elegant body. The strongly beveled rear part has been developed according to all the laws of aerodynamics and is bisected by a specific stabilizing “fin“, as in the Tatra.
The grille itself is also interesting. It is formed by narrow vertical chrome strips. In the same way, the headlights are also covered, which gives the “different” in the car of those years.
The North American Tour
Soon after the success of Pohl and Hausmann, Škoda Popular became famous throughout North America. In 1936, F. A. Elstner took a trip from New York, through Texas to Mexico, then through Arizona, California, most of the northern states, and finally back to New York. The 25,000-kilometer adventure lasts more than a hundred days. One year later, the Czechs again took part in the Monte Carlo Rally, where they placed fourth in their class.