It is exactly 85 years since the first Skoda to bare the Winged arrow logo came off the assembly line in Mlada Boleslav, and it was delivered to the president of Czechoslovakia, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk. During the first three years, only 100 units of the luxury saloon were built.
The manufacturer from Pilsen had bought the license to produce luxurious vehicles from the Spanish company Hispano-Suiza in 1924, a year prior to the merger with the automobile factory of Laurin & Klement.
In spring of 1925 production of the vehicle started, and wasn't completed until May 1926. The design had been finished by Messrs. Brozik & Jech, and later by Messrs. Laurin & Klement, leading coachbuilders at the time.
Each Skoda Hispano Suiza 25/100 PS was a custom build, under the customers requirements, meaning each car was unique. The car could reach a top speed of 86mph and weighed 2700kg.
Prices were considerably higher than other cars available on the market, starting at £6,785 and rose to £8,928 depending on the equipment level. The smaller Skoda 422 cost £1,360 and the Skoda 860 was priced at £4,200.
The accompanying Skoda marketing literature at the time read: "The Skoda Hispano Suiza is a luxury car designed by a brilliant engineer who put his stamp on the smallest details and manufactured with the utmost care and with finest materials."
Skoda started as a bicycle manufacturer in 1895 known as Laurin & Klement. The first car was launched in 1905, the Voiturette A.Published 10 May 2011