50 years of the Skoda 110 R Coupe

The rear-engined coupe version of the Skoda 110 R not only sold well, but also provided the basis for legendary racing cars, including the Skoda 130 RS, which fans call the low-flying aircraft.

Celebrating 125 years since its founding, Skoda Auto does not forget the models that have played a significant role in its history. Among them is the single-seat sports coupe Skoda 110 R Coupe, which appeared in the flying arrow lineup in the early 70s of the last century. In 1964, the production of the Škoda 1000 MB sedan / 1000 minor annoyances / began. This monocoque, rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive model marks the beginning of a new technological era for the Czech carmaker.

The company is investing heavily in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities for the new series and will soon focus entirely on sedan production thanks to its success in export sales. For this reason, Skoda stopped production of the Felicia convertible, but the demand for sports models remained strong, especially in Western European markets. Therefore, the company went to meet the wishes of its customers by launching a car on the market that will improve the brand image, while remaining a niche product in terms of the planned number of units.

The development of the Skoda 110 R, nicknamed «Erko» in the Czech Republic, began in 1966, and in March 1968 the first prototype with the internal designation S 718 left the factory in Kvasiny. The body differs from the standard version not only in an elegantly sloping rear end, but also a more curved windshield and two wide doors with frameless windows. During a test drive on the highway in the GDR, the coupe reached a top speed of 145 km/h. The second prototype was built in March 1969. It was equipped with a double carburetor and a generator instead of a dynamo.

The audience first saw the 110 R on September 5, 1970 at an exhibition in Brno, where Skoda presented three copies. The basis for the success of the sports coupe in export markets was laid at the Paris, London and Turin car shows, which opened in October 1970. Demand for the 110 R skyrocketed, but Skoda had trouble exporting due to political conditions. while. By the end of 1970, only 121 cars had been built, and it wasn’t until the second quarter of 1971 that the first coupes were delivered to overseas customers.

Subsequently, the Czech automaker focused mainly on exporting the model — in 1971, about 3,000 units were produced, and only 442 cars entered the showrooms of the then Czechoslovak monopoly dealer Mototechna. 110 R cost 78,000 crowns, which at the time was equivalent to 40 months’ salary.

The Skoda 110 R was 4155 mm long, 1620 mm wide and 1340 mm high and was 40 mm shorter than the base body model. The wheelbase was 2400 mm. The engine was a 1107 cc inline four-cylinder. With a compression ratio of 9.5:1 and an oil cooler, the engine developed 52 bhp. at 4650 rpm and provided an exciting driving experience due to the vehicle’s light weight of 880 kg.

On its radial tires (165 SR 14) the 110 R had a top speed of 145 km/h, taking 19 seconds from zero to 100 km/h. Braking was carried out by a dual-circuit brake system with disc brakes in front and drum brakes in the rear, brakes manufactured by Skoda Polycense of the British brand Dunlop. With 57% of the car’s return to the rear-wheel drive, the sports coupe had excellent traction.

The average fuel consumption was 8.5 liters per 100 km, and the volume of the front fuel tank was 32 liters. There was enough space for luggage under the front cover — 250 liters, the second trunk behind the rear seats had a volume of 120 liters and could be reached on the go.

The instrument cluster with five round instruments was originally sheathed in wood, but was soon replaced with a black matte finish. Behind the edge of the steering wheel, the driver could see the large red zone of the tachometer starting at 5750 rpm and the adjacent speedometer of the same size. Closer to the center of the dashboard, three smaller round instruments were installed: an oil pressure sensor, a coolant temperature sensor and a gas meter.

The steering wheel had two perforated metal spokes that protruded from a rubber bulkhead above the center column.

During the ten-year production period, from 1970 to 1980, the Skoda 110 R underwent many but minor changes, which, combined with a frequently updated exterior, ensured the car’s long-term competitiveness.

From January 1973, the front of the car was adorned with four headlights, two of which are smaller and have darkened headlights. The front seats were fitted with head restraints and the 14-inch wheels were replaced with smaller 165 SR 13 tires and plastic covers shortly before the iconic coupe ended production.

With the launch of the 110 R compact sports car, Skoda has made significant progress in its sales in demanding export markets. In 1973, 93% of the approximately 6,000 coupes built were shipped outside what was then Czechoslovakia. The following year, production increased to about 7,500 pieces.

Since September 1972, Skoda has also exported a right-hand drive version, and only three years later 2,371 coupés, or 36% of total car exports, are being shipped to customers in the UK. About 110 R units reached New Zealand, Kuwait and Nicaragua. In 1980, when the model was discontinued, exports were restricted to the Yugoslav and Spanish markets.

International demand for the 110 R is also fueled by the success of Skoda derivatives of track and rally sports coupes, which began with a modified factory car in the 1973 season. Later, Skoda introduced the 180 RS and even two variants of the 200 RS. Barum in June 1974. These racing cars had up to two-litre OHC engines and a Porsche five-speed gearbox. In addition, a new rear axle with rear levers was installed, which had a positive effect on the handling of the body.

In the spring of 1975, the legendary Skoda 130 RS appeared. It has become one of the most successful racing and rally cars in the 1300cc class. late 70s — early 80s. The body structure of the 110 R has been slightly revised and a strong roll cage has been added. Skoda made the roof and outer door skin from aluminum, while the fenders and hoods were made from fiberglass reinforced. With this lightweight design, the weight of the 130 RS has been reduced to 720 kg and the 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine has been increased to 130 hp. The dry sump engine has an eight bore cylinder head and two twin Weber carburetors.

On the track, the car had a top speed of 220 km/h. The 130 RS, also known as the Porsche of the East, won the manufacturer’s ranking in the 1981 European Touring Car Championship for Skoda. The two-time victory in the Monte Carlo Rally class in 1977 is considered the rally’s biggest success.

The Garde and Rapid series continue the traditional ŠKODA coupé until 1990.

As of December 30, 1980, Skoda produced only 57,085 110 R Coupés. At the Kvasini plant, examples in excellent condition are now very popular with collectors and their market value is constantly rising.

The Skoda Garde, a coupé also built at the Quassini plant, replaced the Skoda 110 R in September 1981. The Garde is based on the 105/120 notchback series and, based on the brand’s motorsport experience, is equipped with independent rear wishbone suspension. In the spring of 1982, Garde also produced the BAZ car plant in Bratislava.

From 1984 to 1990, the Rapid model was produced, which developed speeds up to 150 km / h and continued the tradition of the Skoda coupe, which began in 1970 with 110 rubles.

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