Sunday, December 15, 2013

1k: False Advertising: 1986 Škoda Rapid

The Škoda Rapid was a coupe built in communist Czechoslovakia between 1984 and 1990.  The Rapid was based on the Škoda 130 sedan which was essentially a modern looking version of the Škoda 1000MB.  The world changed in 1989 when the Berlin Wall was torn down and Škoda went from an independent and quirky to a badge engineered Volkswagen economy cars.  If you want to relive the glorious past of Eastern European engineering, we can't think of a better way than with this 1986 Škoda Rapid offered for $1,200 CDN ($1132.8 USD...yay freedom?) in Cymric, SK Canada via

Škoda badged the 130 coupe as the "Rapid" in UK market (it was never exported to North America officially) and could have been hit with a class action lawsuit for false advertising, but automotive critics of the day called it the poor man's 911 for reasons we will get into later.

Pop the sweet side hinged hood and ...whoa...what the heck...?   Where is the engine - from outward appearances anyone would assume this is a front-engine front-wheel drive econobox...where is the undersized 4-banger?

Okay, finally found the engine, it is in back - and allegedly the Rapid was known for tail squatting grip and mild understeer on turn-in followed by violent snap-oversteer similar to a classic Porsche 911.  At least putting a Škoda into a ditch will at most cost you a grand for a new one today.  The 1.3 liter inline-4 is mated to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual gearbox and good for 58 horsepower.  The Rapid was known for being great driving downhill and the advertising slogan was: Škoda, there is no substitute for gravity

DT's hot tip to sellers: If you need to consult the Chilton/Haynes/Bentley manual every day to get your eastern block junker started each morning, avoid taking pictures of the guide when selling it - this does not instill confidence in reliability of your car.

See another car where you'll need a ski-plane, snowplow or helicopter to go for a test drive?

Originally seen on 24hoursoflemons forums.


  1. In Europe these were the poor man's rally car and were not only affordable to run and fairly robust, but were also quite successful as club rally cars. In Saskatchewan, not so much.

    This car is just down the snowshoe/ dog team trail from my house but I have enough odd European projects in the igloo to deal with this winter.

  2. Let it be known that Skoda made some fantastic cars while the Czechs were behind the Iron Curtain. They somehow got away with designing reliable, entertaining and somewhat stylish cars under the noses of their Soviet overloards (Tatra did too).

  3. I've seen some of those cars in Europe before. They were really old, but surprisingly still running. Are you looking to buy one?

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Experts in human psychology say that the one way to know that someone is lying is to look at their physical expressions when you are talking to


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