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.
By strange a coincidence, UK classic car site, Old Classic Car, has just published this review of a UK brochure for the Škoda 1200. It’s a good site, I think.
I’ve been a visitor to CC for many years, so a much overdue ‘thank you’ for a wonderful site. Merry Christmas and best wishes for a considerably enhanced 2021 to all writers and readers.
Thanks! Best to you too! It’s always good to hear from readers for the first time.
Video on that site of a Saab factory two-stroke van is very good.
This car was imported to the Netherlands in 1995.
Methinks what the owner has done here is pretty risky. First electrowelding it with replacement body parts, then using rust converter on the rusty parts and in the end waxing the whole body/structure.
For a Beetle maybe good enough, but on a rare vintage car like this one, I wouldn’t even dare to think about such treatment.
Doesn’t look like a serious attempt at a long term restauration to me either. Thing is, you really wouldn’t want to own a mint condition classic in Amsterdam anyway. Just look at the menacing approximity of all the bikes!
Cars of over 50 years old will soon be completely expelled from MOT.
So, this could be a cheapskate owner. A guy near me drives two vintage Volvo’s welded and ductaped identically …
“Risky”? It’s just a valid preservation effort, and clearly not a restoration.
It looks to me like someone’s tried a bit of custom bodywork, reshaping the front of the hood to bring it out to a lip and give the front edge a central peak.
I saw this at the cohort earlier and my first though was Simca Aronde, but not quite. The Aronde was built from ’51 to ’58, and I would say may have influenced the Skoda’s look, though I guess they were all looking at the ’49 Ford?
I’m only familiar with Skodas from the mid-fifties on, and I don’t remember seeing 4-door saloon versions in London until the rear-engined ones came on-stream. This one is new to me.
There was one of these Skoda 1200 wagons in my hometown here in New Zealand. It was on my newspaper delivery route as a school boy in the late-1980s. Also green, but a much brighter shade. RHD too, as they were offered here new.
Look what showed up on my Exakta group
Ive never seen a wagon/van version but these Skoda were sold in NZ when a boss I had as a teen was rebuilding a Trekka I saw one of these at the local dump and told him about it he came down and harvested a lot of mechanical bits for the Trekka which was based on 60s Octavia chassis and power train it seems they only restyled the body on later models everything he got fitted his purpose.
Paul, thank you for digging into and presenting the details on this one. Looks like it was actually a fairly modern car for its time. Thank you for this site that has for many years, and continues to be, my moment of zen. Happy holidays!
Very Strangeresting – The color(s) depth pulls me into areas I would pass over.