Thursday, July 30, 2015

Streamlined ​Škodas of the 1930s

I'm pretty sure that when the subject of streamlined 1930s cars from Czechoslovakia is raised, most people think only of Tatra and its rear-engine models.

​But Tatra was not alone.  The rival Škoda firm also tried streamlining, but in a more limited way.  The present post present some examples that were either prototypes or very limited-production cars.  I am not very knowledgeable regarding automobiles from central Europe, so will not deal with the backgrounds of the cars.  However, you might wish to consult the following: the 1935 Škoda 935 prototype, here; the Škoda Popular line, here; the 1936-38 Škoda Popular Sport 909 Monte Carlo, here; and the 1938-42 Škoda Rapid 922, here.

Given the comparatively tiny production levels Škoda attained prior to World War 2, I find it surprising that the company was able to afford to fund the interesting cars shown below.


Above are photos of the 935 prototype of 1935.  It had a water-cooled motor located at the rear and looked a bit more advanced than similar cars from Tatra and the 1933 "Sterkenburg" design by John Tjaarda.  This was due to its use of flow-through or pontoon fenders.

Another advanced Škoda design with pontoon fenders was the 1935 Popular Special Sport, two variations of which are shown here.

This is a 1937 Škoda Popular "Malá Dahoda" that is essentially the same as the car shown below.

1937 Škoda Popular Sport 909 "Monte Carlo."  It differs from the "Malá Dahoda" in only a few details, the most noticeable being the headlight treatment and the shape of the trailing edge of the front fenders.  A nice, racy 1930s design for such a small vehicle.

These images are of a 1938 Škoda Rapid 922.  This car needs bumpers, the headlight housings are awkward, and the grille is unimaginatively functional.  Otherwise, it's a nice clean design that's a year or so ahead of its time.

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