This widebody Škoda 130 RS rally tribute is angry and awesome
This angry-sounding Škoda widebody driven by a prominent member of a Hungarian Škoda club isn’t an original 130 RS, but a Škoda Favorit-engined, rock-solid drivers’ car. It was built locally from a factory 110R, the coupé version of the standard four-door Škoda 110 of the ’70s, and it’s been doing its rounds reliably for about a decade now.
Despite the limited resources ensured by the communist regime of the time, Škoda wasn’t messing around when it came to launching its racing program in 1974. Two “Rally Sport” Škoda models were developed: the 1774-pound 180 RS, with a 1.77-liter engine producing 155 horsepower; and the 1874-pound 200 RS gifted with a 163-horsepower 2-liter. And since Škoda’s gearboxes weren’t designed to handle this much horsepower, both cars featured a five-speed from Porsche.
However, those engines quickly became obsolete—hence the 1975 introduction of the 130 RS. Featuring aluminum and fiberglass panels, and a 1.3 OHV engine tuned to 140 horsepower, the 1587-pound wonder dominated the Czechoslovakian rally scene before snagging a 1-2 finish in its class at the 1977 Monte Carlo Rally and another class victory at Rally Sweden.
The Monte Carlo victory was a big one for the Czechs. Their teams put up to 300 training miles into the cars, and on January 22, 1977, the duo of Václav Blahna and Lubislav Hlávka won the 1.3-liter class followed by the other 130 RS of Milan Zapadlo and Jiří Motal. Of the 198 starters, only 45 cars crossed the finish line that year… so the 130 RSs and their teams proved some serious grit.
The 130 RS also gave Škoda the overall win in the manufacturers’ rankings of the 1981 European Touring Car Championship, which was remarkable given that a year before the title went to Audi and 1982’s champion was Alfa Romeo.
This 130 RS tribute showed up at Parkoló Parádé, the local cars-and-coffee equivalent organized by Hungarian magazine Totalcar. We learned that the tribute hides a 1.3-liter powerplant with dual Webers good for around 120 horses. It’s also got a racing gearbox that drops just 500 revs each shift when racing at around 7,000rpm. Disc brakes all around plus sufficiently wide fenders and a full cage round out this rally tribute, which went off its race diet just a bit to add central locking and remote door opening.