It feels like Christmas at the Cohort, as Corey Behrens has presented us with a number of stellar finds from Amsterdam. The oldest and rarest is this 1953 Skoda 1200 wagon. And although it may look a bit like a 1949 Ford wagon, there’s some big differences under its aged and wrinkled skin, such as a central tube chassis and independent rear suspension.
Undoubtedly due to its proximity to Tatra, Skoda adopted its central tube chassis and swing axle rear suspension starting in 1934.
Here’s another look at a 1948 version of the Skoda chassis.
That underpinned the 420 Rapid. It also had a very modern ohv 995 cc four cylinder engine that would be the basis for Skoda engines for decades to come.
After the war, Skoda was of course nationalized, renamed AZNP, and managed according to the controlled economy of its communist government. The first new car was the 1946 1101, a direct development of the pre-war cars, and still using wood-framed body construction.
In 1952, after several years of development, their first all-steel body 1200 appeared. The engine was now up to 1213 cc and 36 hp.
And in addition to the sedan, there was this three door station wagon, also available as a van. It was essentially exclusively a commercial vehicle, and for that matter the sedans invariably ended up in the hands of government agencies and such too, as cars were not commonly available in the early years of communist rule.
There was also a five door version of the wagon, commonly used as an ambulance.
This is a 201 wagon, from the successor series. It shows that there were a number of variations on these wagons and vans, and they were probably built in pretty small quantities.
It’s impossible to know if this was an original import to The Netherlands in 1953, or imported at some later date. But there’s a good chance it was an original import, as Skoda did export to The Netherlands and other Western European countries.
In fact the only brochure I could find for the Skoda 1200 was in Dutch!
Somehow it looks quite at home here too.