The Škoda Popular Monte Carlo was unveiled at the International Motor Show in Paris 84 years ago and remains one of the most desirable Czech classic cars ever produced – 70 of the 72 roadster and coupé versions built between the summer of 1936 and the spring of 1939 were sold.
It was in January 1936 when the motorsport pairing of Zdeněk Pohl / Jaroslav Hausman, finished in second place at the Monte Carlo Rally in the 1500cc class with a modified Roadster Škoda Popular. The company seized this opportunity to launch a limited series of sports models with a distinctive design and tenacious styling not seen before by the brand.
An almost ‘presidential’ unapologetic appearance offered flowing lines and styling, beginning at the ‘look at me’ grille and terminating some 4.2 metres later at the Tatra influenced dorsal fin which ensured visual continuity was never interrupted.
A punchy 1.4-litre and 23kW (31 hp) power unit borrowed from the larger Rapid model offered prospective customers something close to the rally car and included a three-speed transmission that was located above the rear axle and combining with the differential resulting in a transaxle system.
With a top speed of 110 km/h, the sporty classic boasted effective hydraulic brakes and other period luxuries which in 1936, would cost 28.500 crowns the limited edition model, while the standard Roadster Popular 1.0 l / 16kW (22 PS) started at a more reasonable 18,700 crowns.
The extraordinary vehicles of the Popular Monte Carlo type are tied to Škoda’s successful motorsport involvement 80 years ago, which had begun in 1901.
“The limited-edition series was directly derived from the one-off vehicle built for the Monte Carlo Rally in 1936, their buyers benefited from the experience of the marques racing department
The first of the Montecarlo pairing was built in July 1936 while the last – a coupé with dark grey metallic paint, delivered promptly on 13 January 1939. Of the 70 cars produced, 24 were roadsters produced with a lower specification.
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In addition, 17 ‘upgraded’ and more comfortable roadsters were produced with handle-operated side windows instead of fixed glazing. 23 coupés, a pair of convertibles, two chassis for the individual body construction, two suspension variants and a range of engines completed the series.
The Škoda Popular Monte Carlo was unveiled at the International Motor Show in Paris 84 years ago and remains one of the most desirable Czech classic cars ever produced. Read more: https://classiccarcuration.co.uk/skodas-beautiful-popular-monte-carlo-poetry-in-automotion/
Posted by Classic Car Curation on Saturday, 3 October 2020
The 1937 Popular Monte Carlo Coupé
There were two roadsters that were particularly luxurious, which the Czech government sent to the Yugoslavian Head of State in 1938 – the then 14-year old king Petar II. More affluent private customers could opt for the two-seater coupé Škoda Popular Monte Carlo which cost 35,000 crowns and measured 4.20m in length, 1.50m wide, 1.37m high, and weighed around 960kg.
In October 1937, the facelift model went on sale, its characteristics included uprated suspension and tuning, as well as a longer wheelbase. The compact body featured many aspects of the then streamlined design including the headlights which were partially integrated with the wings. Among the prominent clients were the popular actor of the Prague theatre ‘Na Vinohradech’ Otomar Korbelář.
Today, only a dozen Škoda Popular Monte Carlo models exist and they are among the most sought-after classic cars ever produced by the Czech automobile manufacturer. In 1968, the newly founded Museum acquired a black coupé dating back to 1937, which subsequently underwent careful restoration at the turn of the century. Since then, the two-seater has been used for various historic presentations of the brand from Mladá Boleslav.
The black Popular Monte Carlo coupé from 1937 shown in this article has been in the Škoda Museum’s collection since 1968. It was professionally restored at the turn of the millennium and has since been a representative of the marque’s 125-year history at many classic car events at home and abroad. Around a dozen vehicles of this model survive to this day. A second coupé is currently undergoing extensive renovation at the Škoda Museum workshops, and a Monte Carlo roadster will also be completely restored at the same location.