In 1899, their first motorcycle debuted, and 1905 was the premiere of the first car, Voiturette A.
In 1925, a new era began when Skoda Works took over Laurin & Klement to diversify its range of cars.
While Laurin & Klement produced relatively affordable cars, Skoda Works wanted to enter the forward-looking business as a carmaker, starting out on the market with luxury models that could compete with Rolls-Royce!
This was possible thanks to the collaboration with the Spanish manufacturer Hispano-Suiza, which gave license for the production of one of the most luxurious cars of the time, H6B model, in Czechoslovakia.
The car was named Skoda Hispano-Suiza H6, which was also the first car that officially wore the Skoda logo. While the chassis was produced at the Plzeò plant, the bodyworks were created by Brozik, Jech and many others.
Under the hood was an engine with a displacement of 6.6 liter, 6 cylinders in-line, that developed 100 hp – 35 hp less than the original because the compression ratio was reduced due to poor quality fuel.
The luxury sedan, weighing up to 2,700 kg, depending on the bodywork, could reach a maximum speed of 138 km / h. The production of the first copy began in 1925 and was only completed in May 1926.
One of these limousines was in the possession of the first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, who used the car for 10 years (1926 – 1936). According to sources, the Skoda Hispano-Suiza H6 were even more qualitative than the original Hispano-Suiza produced in Spain and France, which competed with Rolls-Royce at that time!
For there, approximately 50 – 100 copy of the Skoda Hispano-Suiza H6 models were produced for several years (1926 – 1930). Then Skoda Works decided to expand its business in the automotive industry. So they bought the company from Mlada Boleslav, Laurin & Klement. From that moment on, the history of these car manufacturers goes on the same line.
The Czech giant made the right decision, buying a car manufacturer, whose cars cost six times less, being accessible to the general public.
In contrast, as is known from the history of Hispano-Suiza, this company, unfortunately, did not survive. The Skoda Hispano-Suiza H6 model remains the most luxurious and expensive car ever produced in the Czech Republic.
This car at that time cost 280,000 crowns, while a compact model Skoda 422 costs only 38,000 crowns.
It would be indeed be nice if present day Skoda could repeat that performance now or a few years into the future. It does seem quite improbable that such a feat would be possible in today’s markets, but still, we can dream that some hitherto unknown technology will revolutionize the field and we can all drive in Rolls-Royce cars that cost as much as a Skoda.