The amazing Škoda 935 Dynamic prototype was unveiled to the public in April 1935 at the Prague Auto Show and followed the Hungarian pioneer of automotive streamlining guru, Paul Jaray’s ‘teardrop’ principle.
You’d be forgiven if you thought the ‘one and only’ 935 resembled the famous Tatra… That’s because, well, it pretty much does apart from the lightweight air-cooled V8 is replaced by a modest flat-four OHV 1995cc Boxer engine and the ‘dorsal fin’ being slightly less predominant.
When fedoras and double-breasted overcoats were all the rage in the ’30s, Škoda had its innovative design guys develop several progressive rear-engined cars that embraced the Jaray strategy of low-drag coefficient, central tube frame, all-wheel independent suspension, and the trusty more efficient flat-four engine we mentioned earlier.
The smaller dorsal fin was meant to compensate for any side-winds that could lead to the car being unstable at higher speeds, although it’s since become a trademark of the 1930s teardrop classics, including the Tatra 77, 87, 97 and 600 Tatraplan.
The sole surviving Škoda 935 Dynamic from the Prague Auto Show 1935 was fully driveable and being used as a development car around the factory where four years later, in summer 1939, it was sold to a private customer in the Czech Republic. Incredibly, the 935 was discovered by an inquisitive farmer in the Banská Bystrica area who offered this unique piece of Czech automotive history to the newly established Škoda Museum, where it became the first car to be showcased.
Restoration work was finally undertaken in 2012 and the 6 years painstaking job involved the vehicle being completely dismantled and given a meticulous ‘nut and bolt’ rebuild. While the seemingly insurmountable challenge was difficult, the skilled technicians were assisted by the fact that the vehicle had been preserved almost in its original state with only the dashboard and paintwork being different from the original 1935.
The 935’s integrity was not compromised in any way due to the well documented historic photos available, which gave restorers accurate and detailed references at every stage of the rebuild.
As with most things, a certain degree of good fortune is required… in this case, it was a small trace of the original paintwork discovered on one of the inner panels which meant the original shade it wore during its premiere at the Prague Motor Show could be reinstated.
The water-cooled four-cylinder 1995cc boxer engine has opposing cylinders and is mounted in front of the rear axle as a rear-centre engine, offering a lower centre of gravity with an output of 40 kW (55 hp). Whilst the classic 935 isn’t fast, it can easily reach speeds of up to 130 km/h. Another innovative feature is the electromagnetic four-speed gearbox from the French manufacturer Cotal, which enables semi-automatic gear changes with its preselector.
Michal Velebný from Škoda Museum’s restoration workshop:
“Restoring the body, which is a combination of aluminium and steel sheet, was the most difficult. Most of all, I like the elegance it displays while nearly floating across the landscape. And as to details, I’d pick the decorative rear wheel covers as my favourite…”
Remarkably the aerodynamics are so good, the two-litre, flat-four OHV engine with an output of just 55 hp (40.5 kW) is still able to travel at speeds of around 85mph on the less busy highways – impressive for a heavy machine weighing in at 1170 kg.
Kerb weight: 1170 kg
Top Speed: 85mph
Courtesy of Škoda
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