The Škoda Trekka was never meant to be a Land Rover, it was manufactured according to the specific requirements of its New Zealand customer requirements.
Yes, it resembles an ice-cream van packing a couple of random snow tyres on it’s near and off-side rear quarter panels but the trendy Trekka is much more than just a rear-wheel-drive utility vehicle. Heck, it can even breath underwater.
It was the first passenger vehicle solely developed and produced for the KIWI’s and even today enjoys an enviable cult status in the Pacific island state.
Between 1966 and 1972 almost 3,000 units of this practical predecessor of today’s Škoda SUV models were produced by the Czech marque, which celebrates its 125th birthday this year.
A torsionally rigid chassis with a central tubular frame with its construction based on the modified chassis of the Octavia Super was the platform on which front and rear independent suspension provided the comfort and safety even on the most demanding of terrain.
The Škoda Trekka was never meant to be a Land Rover, it was manufactured according to the specific requirements of its New Zealand customer requirements. Read more: https://classiccarcuration.co.uk/the-skoda-trekka-cheap-cheerful-and-now-desirable/
Posted by Classic Car Curation on Thursday, 22 October 2020
The Octavia was built from 1959 onwards and won over many customers in with its high utility value. For logistical, tax and customs reasons, it was delivered to many markets as a so-called CKD (completely knocked down) kit and reassembled locally. This was also the case in New Zealand, where Motor Industries International was responsible for the assembly.
It was Škoda man Josef Velebný who made the arduous journey from Mladá Boleslav to New Zealand, teaming up with local designer George Taylor, and together they designed the body for a robust all-rounder.
This marked the birth of the Trekka, which from then on was built in Otahuhu primarily for local customers and was the first automobile ever to be developed and manufactured in the Pacific island state. The cheap and extremely useable Trekka was offered at the exceptionally attractive price of 899 New Zealand dollars, or 500 quid and was made to order with no waiting times on delivery.
A shorter wheelbase in comparison to the Octavia Super gave the Trekka a head-start in the manoeuvrability stakes and could even be purchased with an additional differential lock for the driven rear wheels. The basic model was 3.55 metres long, 1.60 metres wide and, depending on the three-door body version, up to 2.04 metres tall.
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Space was never an issue either with between two and eight seats on board, albeit in ‘bench form’ in the rear section of the vehicle. Customers could also request hard, soft top and even removable top made of glass fibre reinforced plastic.
Production began in 1966 with approximately six vehicles a day crafted from hand-formed steel panels, then 12 months later the 750th customer received their Trekka, and in January 1968 the 1,000th unit was built in Otahuhu.