7 Castles Trial 2022: Beautiful Cars in the Countryside
On the 238-kilometre course with nine precision-driving tests and several secret checkpoints, the ŠKODA Classic team showcased a cross-section of the Czech carmaker’s output from 1940 to 1988 – from the aerodynamically curved ŠKODA RAPID OHV to the ŠKODA RAPID 135 coupé. ŠKODA’s illustrious history was thus proudly represented by the following nine models alongside the cars of private owners:
ŠKODA RAPID 1500 OHV “Motorway” (1940)
True to its name, the 1940 version of this model topped out at speeds of over 110 km/h. This was made possible by its curvy, aerodynamic body, hence its nickname: the “motorway” RAPID. It debuted in October 1938. The ŠKODA Museum crew consisted of Andrea Frydlová and Michal Velebný.
ŠKODA 1101 “Tudor” Roadster (1948)
The most attractive of the Š 1101/1102 “Tudor” series were the two-seater roadsters. Their bodies were built in Mladá Boleslav until the summer of 1948, and after that at the ŠKODA Kvasiny factory. Completed on 2 October 1948, this car was first used by the Czechoslovak prime minister’s office. It was acquired by the ŠKODA Museum in 1969 from a private owner.
ŠKODA 1101 “Tudor” Semi-convertible (1948)
ŠKODA’s first post-war model, a follow-up to the successful POPULAR series, is known as the “Tudor” after its most common two-door (“Tudor”) body. The semi-convertible that took part in this event was built on 5 April 1948 and was originally used by the Swiss embassy attaché in Prague.
ŠKODA 440 “Spartak” (1957)
The ŠKODA 440 “Spartak” (1955-1959), the predecessor of the legendary OCTAVIA, featured a spacious yet compact three-compartment body with timelessly elegant lines. It was successfully exported to many different countries, including the USA and Canada. The 1,089 cc/40 hp (29.4 kW) four-cylinder engine had what was then an efficient fuel consumption of 7.7 litres per 100 km.
ŠKODA FELICIA (1961)
The classic open-top FELICIA (1959-1964) is the successor to the ŠKODA 450. The most striking features of the 1961 facelift are the teardrop-shaped rear lights. The 1,089 cc four-cylinder engine delivers 50 hp (36.8 kW) and a top speed 130 km/h (130 mph). Martin Jahn, ŠKODA board member for sales and marketing, took the wheel of the timeless cabriolet at the 7 Castles Trial 2022.
ŠKODA 1100 MBX De Luxe (1969)
An icon of the 1960s. With no upper B-pillars, the airy interior offers unobstructed views of the passing countryside when the side windows are rolled down. The ŠKODA 1100 MBX de Luxe is powered by a four-cylinder 1,107 cc/51 hp (38.2 kW) engine. The car was driven on the 7 Castles Trial by Dr Michael Oeljeklaus, ŠKODA board member for production and logistics.
ŠKODA 110 R (1971)
The elegant Š 110 R coupe (1970-1980) is without doubt one of the most iconic cars in ŠKODA’s history, admired by collectors and the general public alike. With its 1,100 cc/52 hp (38.3 kW) engine, it had a top speed of 145 km/h, and the striking interior featured its anatomically designed seats, a sports steering wheel and a dashboard with circular instruments.
ŠKODA 120 GLS (1978)
The ŠKODA 120 GLS (Grand de Luxe Super) was the most luxurious version of the Š 105/120 series. Its four headlights housed in the metal radiator grille, more luxurious interior and more powerful 1174 cc/58 hp (42.7 kW) engine made it a true object of desire. An older design version with a four-speed gearbox was used in the rally.
ŠKODA RAPID 135 (1988)
A total of 2,903 RAPID 135/136 coupés were built between 1987 and 1989. On the course, this car, which was made in January 1988 and purchased for the ŠKODA Museum’s collections from its first owner in Semily in April 2001, won many admirers.
What is a regularity rally?
The 7 Castles Trial for vintage cars is officially known as a “regularity” or time-speed-distance (TSD) rally. Put simply, this means that it is not the fastest time that determines the winner, but the precision (even to the hundredths of a second) and regularity of the driving, which is judged by a series of ingenious tests and checks. This year’s route took the vintage car crews past several Czech castles and stately homes, as well as through the historic centres of the towns of Slaný and Litoměřice.
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