1926 Skoda Hispano Suiza

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(from Skoda Press Release)   ŠKODA’S FAMOUS WINGED ARROW CELEBRATES ITS 85th BIRTHDAY

• The luxurious ŠKODA Hispano Suiza was the first car to display the winged arrow logo
• The very first vehicle was delivered to Czechoslovak president Tomáš Masaryk on May 10th, 1926
• The winged arrow is now one of the most recognised logos in the motor industry

Mladá Boleslav, May 10th, 2011 – Exactly 85 years ago today, the first Škoda to wear the famous winged arrow logo rolled off the assembly line in Mladá Boleslav and was delivered to the president of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. During the three years of production (until 1929), only 100 units of the luxury sedan were built.

The industrial manufacturer from Pilsen had already bought the license to produce the luxurious vehicles from the Spanish company Hispano-Suiza in 1924 – one year prior to the merger with the automobile factory of Laurin & Klement.

Production of the vehicle commenced in the spring of 1925 and wasn’t completed until May of 1926. The design had been penned by the leading coachbuilders at the time, Messrs. Brožík & Jech, and later by Messrs. Laurin & Klement.

Every single Škoda Hispano Suiza 25/100 PS was custom-built to individual customer requirements, meaning no two cars were the same. Weighing 2,700 kilograms, the car was able to reach a top speed of 86 mph.

Prices started at Ł6,785 and were considerably higher than the prices of other vehicles available on the market. Depending on the equipment level, prices rose to Ł8,928. In comparison, the smaller Škoda 422 at the time cost Ł1,360, and the beautiful Škoda 860 Ł4,200.

The accompanying Škoda marketing literature at the time read: “The Škoda 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.”

Established in 1895 as Laurin & Klement, Škoda started life as a bicycle manufacturer. In 1905, the company launched its first car, the Voiturette A.