ONE of the most famous cars from Skoda's heritage has been recreated to mark the 120 anniversary of the Czech company's motorsport division.
Employees from the Skoda Museum and the brand's Prototype Centre have collaborated on a project to reconstruct the 1100 OHC Coupe racing car which first raced in the early 1960s.
The teams began by reconditioning the original frame, chassis and engine and rebuilt the body according to historical documentation.
In the process, they used state-of-the-art technology as well as traditional techniques in body construction.
Planning for the original Skoda 1100 OHC - internal type designation 968 and which was intended primarily for endurance circuit races - began in spring 1956.
By the end of 1957, the first of two copies with open bodywork had been completed.
This vehicle is still among the highlights of the Skoda Museum exhibition in Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic. It regularly competes in national and international classic car events.
The second 1100 OHC is part of Skoda UK's heritage fleet.
A two-seater with aluminium bodywork and an unladen weight of only 555 kg it reached a top speed of around 125mph.
The racing career of the two 1100 OHC coupes lasted from 1960 to 1962 and in 1966, they were sold to private buyers when they were no longer allowed to compete due to changes in technical regulations, which resulted in the end of the under 1,100cc category.
Subsequently, both coupes were destroyed in road accidents. The owner of the first vehicle, the surviving components of which were used in the reconstruction, replaced the engine of the 1100 OHC with a production four-cylinder with OHV valve timing from a Skoda Felicia.
The second coupe caught fire in an accident and although the driver managed to escape from the vehicle, the aluminium bodywork was irreparably damaged.
The dismantled, one-of-a-kind rear axle with integrated gearbox had been part of the collection at the National Technical Museum in Prague before it was donated to the Skoda Museum 25 years ago.
The museum acquired the truss frame, which had been cut into three parts, along with the complete front axle and other surviving parts from a private collector in 2014.
The original technical documentation was also crucial to the rebuild project's success. The original mechanical components had very little wear, as the car had only taken part in a few races.
The renovation of the entire chassis, along with a newly reconstructed radiator, fuel tank and other elements, was completed at the end of 2015.
Originally, the car's chassis was to be displayed at the Skoda Museum next to the open-bodied car. However, it was decided instead to reconstruct the coupÃ© as a fully functional vehicle.
Throughout the reconstruction, the museum's restoration workshop team worked closely with colleagues from the Prototype Centre at Skoda AUTO.
Based on scans of the 2D drawings on a scale of 1:1, a three-dimensional grid was created, which was then post-processed visually.
The elaborate project to completely reconstruct the vehicle required numerous smaller components to be sourced that were identical to the parts used in production vehicles at the time.
The outer door handles of the coupe, for example, were the same as those on the Skoda 1200 Sedan, and some switches and the ignition lock were also used in the Skoda 440 Spartak and the Octavia.
The three-spoke steering wheel finished in black plastic was adopted from the Skoda Popular, a bestseller from the pre-war period.