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Skoda 130 RS — retrofest “Behind the wheel”

This Skoda became the most successful rally car of the socialist countries. And now, many years later, albeit cautiously, to test the current rally Skoda 130 RS coupe of pre — 1977!

RSSkoda 130 Skoda 130 RS

Although I never close did not communicate with this machine, the feel of her old friends. After meeting her for the first time many years ago when with youthful enthusiasm followed Hippodrome race, the opening rally “Russian winter”, and then for the so-called mountain race on the hills in the Moscow district of Krylatskoye. This competition was gonna rally the whole color of the socialist countries. But seriously, for ice and snow-covered roads were able to travel, as a rule, only our riders on the Muscovites and Odds Yes, the Czechs here on these Skodas.

Remember how in Krylatskoye rear-engined Skoda were off on steep, long icy descent so that seemed to under no circumstances do not fit into a left turn almost at a right angle. But… Blipping, braking — and some inconceivable receiving the pilot threw a heavy ass car to the right, and while I was trying to figure out how he did it, the car roaring engine was already out of sight.

And now, many years later, for me it is this Skoda. And not a copy (in the Czech Republic, as we have made a lot of replicas rally cars of the 1970‑ies), and the present rally Skoda 130 RS coupe of pre — 1977!

RSSkoda 130 Skoda 130 RS


Skoda 130 RS is made on the basis of serial model 110 R to circuit racing and rally. Engine working volume of 1.3 liters was developed based on modifications of the 115-140 HP transmission four-speed. Speed is the most powerful version reached up to 220 km/h. Just 1975-1980 produced 98 cars, of which fifty in 1978.

Czech light

In car racing you can turn anything. But in some countries in this region have reached special heights. For example, in socialist Czechoslovakia. What is Skoda 100/110 family, which debuted in 1970? Banal, unassuming rear-engined car with a motor with a volume of 1.0–1.1 litres, designed for unspoiled buyers of Soviet bloc countries. There was, however, in the range and two-door variant with the proud name of Skoda 110 R Coupe (ZR, No. 1, 2014). But also nothing special: the most powerful engine gave just 52 HP But in mladá Boleslav did not stop and in the early 1970‑ies began to establish a real sports car.

First there was an experimental prototype of the škoda 200 RS. It tested experimental engines of 1.7 and 2.0 liters. And soon made a model of the Skoda 130 RS, which was to become small-scale and homologirana for rally and circuit racing.

Sports engine with dry sump feed two horizontal carburetor Weber.Sports engine with dry sump feed two horizontal carburetor Weber.

Motor with aluminum block and cast iron head with a working volume of 1.3 liters developed capacity of up to 140 HP at 8500 rpm. the power supply System — a dual carb Weber. The engine had a dry sump, oil cooler and two pumps — delivery and suction oil. Gearbox — four-stage (a box with five gears to the mind and not brought). Standard brakes: front disc, rear drum. Suspension — independent spring.

Major changes were the body. The main aim is to facilitate. The trunk lid and door panels made from aluminum, the hood and fender extensions are plastic. From the salon, of course, removed all superfluous. As a result, the vehicle weight was reduced to 770 pounds In the most powerful version of the Skoda 130 RS was dispersed to 220 km/h. However, most of the cars were fitted with uprated at least in order to avoid risks in long races.


Based on the model RS 130 in 1979, made a prototype of the Skoda 130 RS A5 (factory designation “type 738”) for ring races in the class of vehicles with engines up to 2.0 liters. The 1.8 engine was developing power 154 HP In 1981 built rally coupe Skoda RS 739 — was the upgrade successful model 130 RS. Both projects have not been developed.

Skoda RS 739 of the modernization model RS 130, 1981.Skoda RS 739 of the modernization model RS 130, 1981.

Ring the prototype of the Skoda 130 RS A5.Ring the prototype of the Skoda 130 RS A5.

Friendship is friendship

The main automobile competition of the socialist countries, coined in the early 1960s as a kind of alternative to the bourgeois sport – Cup of Friendship. It was carried out in several disciplines of course, on the slopes of the socialist countries.

The first three Skoda 130 RS coupe collected in 1975. And then Milan Jew socialist won the championship in circuit racing in cars. Czech machines and the riders won the Cup on the ring until 1978. But the Skoda plant was more serious intentions.

Interior rally car differs little from the standard. Much to simplify, but added additional instruments and switches.Interior rally car differs little from the standard. Much to simplify, but added additional instruments and switches.

In place of the glove box lid — navigational devices.In place of the glove box lid — navigational devices.

Bulb is on a flexible metal “trunk” — the Navigator at night.Bulb is on a flexible metal “trunk” — the Navigator at night.

Rally version of the engine could twist almost to 7500 rpm And it spins willingly, so the main thing is not to overdo it.Rally version of the engine could twist almost to 7500 rpm And it spins willingly, so the main thing is not to overdo it.

In addition to the battles with our Moscow and Frets the Czechs in 1977 ventured to go to one of the most prestigious rally in Monte Carlo. Machine with which we are met today, just one of those that was made specifically for this rally, and for the leadership of the factory crew Vaclav Blahna/Ljubislav Hlavka. On this version of the engine produced about 115 HP, almost all the bottom was closed with aluminium protection.

Before that, the Czech pilots went on the rally starts in Monte Carlo four decades, since the pre-war Czechoslovakia. However, in the early 1960s, Skoda in this rally participated, but under the control of Scandinavian riders. So, in 1977, there started 230 crews, and to the finish reached only forty-five. Czech racers I took a decent 12‑th and 15‑th place in the overall classification and the first and second in its class (engine volume — up to 1.3 liters). It was an undoubted success, especially when you consider what the Czechs did a rally car, with whom and with what to compete.

RSSkoda 130 Skoda 130 RS

Front under the plastic cover the tank with a massive filler neck and spare tire.Front under the plastic cover the tank with a massive filler neck and spare tire.

About the model 130 RS in the world rally spoke sincerely, with an easy language some of the journalists even call it the “Porsche of the East”. Of course, an exaggeration, but easy. In addition to the rear-engined layout in those years is quite rare, famous Stuttgart coupe in common with the cars from mladá Boleslav, the ratio of power and weight. Have homologated in 1976 Porsche 911 with a 210‑horsepower one horsepower accounted for 5 kg, and the most powerful 140 HP Skoda — 5.5 kg. At a rally 115‑strong Czech machine was, however, a different ratio — 1 HP 6.9 kg. But it’s not bad!

Rally Skoda’s well proved in other competitions. In 1977, the Czechs finished in eighth and tenth places in the overall classification of “Polish RAID” — then it was a phase not only of the Friendship Cup but also the European championship! By the way, this rally came the famous riders on the most powerful machines, the victory that year was won by Bernard Darnes on the famous Lancia Stratos mid-engine coupe.

In 1979, the Czechs 130 RS became the eighth in the Greek rally Acropolis, and right behind them in the final table were our two Frets. But at this time career is “one hundred and thirties” is already over the top. In fact, the final chord of steel first and second place Czech crew in the rally “Russian winter” in 1981. The last 30 copies of rally coupe collected in the late 1970‑ies — the time of the famous Czech model ended.


Career car Laurin & Klement began in the first years of the twentieth century. And in Rally Monte Carlo car of this brand was launched for the first time in 1912 under the baton of Alexander Kolovrat — known in those years, the moviemaker and racer-lover.

In 1936 in Monte Carlo made good Czech team Zdenek Floor/Jaroslav Hausmann on the Skoda Popular with a 36‑horsepower engine capacity of 1.4 liters. In 1937, at the rally in Monaco put the Rapid model. In 1960‑e years in Monaco on the Skoda Octavia raced Finnish racers. After the participation of the crew from Czechoslovakia in this competition in 1977 Skoda came to the start of such a prestigious tournament is already in the 2000s.

Skoda Rapid Monte Carlo, 1937.Skoda Rapid Monte Carlo, 1937.

Skoda Fabia WRC 2003.Skoda Fabia WRC 2003.

The time

The Golden years of Motorsport socialist — and socialist industry was already over. All the best that was in his power, this car industry has made. No, the new models will still appear, and for the world socialism, they will be even more accessible, but to seriously compete in the prestigious competition with the Western machines. That’s why Skoda 130 RS, she is the “Porsche of the East”, is known as Swan song, which ended with a difficult, controversial, but very interesting era. Probably why cars of the 1970‑ies is especially attractive for those who remember their young.

RSSkoda 130 Skoda 130 RS

Side Windows made of Plexiglas — with a little sliding “window”.Side Windows made of Plexiglas — with a little sliding “window”.

The next truly competitive sports car plant in mladá Boleslav will make in the new Czech Republic, under the wing of the Volkswagen group.

Alas, to try the Skoda should as I was never given a car to cherish and groom. However, to understand something is still possible. Dynamics even by today’s standards is quite decent, especially for the 1.3‑litre motor. Brakes are far from modern ideas about sports performance — rear-drums. Thin the control lever four-speed gearbox mounted closer to the stern, raises a smile: how did it all by today’s standards naive! The course is great, and fixing, especially with the habit, very fuzzy. In addition, our Lada was clearly won by the Czech car. And most importantly — rear-engined layout, especially with such dynamics requires the pilot fine driver settings, and specific skills. But in skilled hands the car is with a heavy stern shows miracles “fidgety”, which contributes to the rapid cornering.

Of course, I would like to try to try the legendary “one hundred and thirty” if not seriously, then at least a bit more fun. But, in General, it is clear why on this car shaking. From that distant era now there are not too many original sports cars. And with such a glorious history as this Skoda especially.

Skoda 130 RS — retrofest “Behind the wheel”

Photo: Sergey Sherstennikov

Skoda 130 RS — retrofest “Behind the wheel”

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