Restoring cars is never an easy process, requiring meticulous attention to detail and dedication. Not to mention, countless references to old blueprints, drawings, and other, surviving examples. You can imagine how much tougher it is, then, when you’re restoring just one out of two cars made. That’s the sort of pain that Skoda has gone through in carefully putting back together a mightily rare 1100 OHC.
This is a 120th birthday present from Skoda… To Skoda (motorsport). Originally, the 1100 OHC was intended for enduring racing, which started in its prototype stages as early as 1956. Internally, the 1100 OHC is named, the 968. Come 1959 and 1960, Skoda’s engineers finally made some ground in creating the first (and only) two cars. Both of which featured closed bodyworks.
The Forgotten Racer
For its time, the 1100 OHC was beyond revolutionary. It featured a truss frame chassis, which wasn’t just incredibly featherweight, but it was also fairly rigid. In all, the 1100 OHC tipped the scales at just 550kg. As is evident by its long bonnet, the engine was mounted far back, behind the front axles. It’s a peppy 1.1-litre inline-4 motor, capable of outputting 92hp. At its peak, it can rev up to 8,500RPM.
Paired to that is a 5-speed manual gearbox, with a streamlined silhouette that enabled the 1100 to reach speeds of up to 200km/h. In practice, the 1100 OHC only lasted for two seasons of racing, before regulation changes came about. Later in its, both examples had crashed at least once at some point, while the other caught fire and is irreparably damaged. It’s safe to say, restoring this wasn’t an easy task.