Skoda is renowned for being one of the oldest car manufacturers in the world, having been established in 1895. The Czech brand, which now belongs to the Volkswagen Group, also has one of the oldest logos. Today, the maker’s winged arrow emblem turned 85. On May 10, 1926, the first Skoda car to wear the logo was produced in the Mlada Boleslav plant and delivered to the president of Czechoslovakia, Tomas Masaryk.
The car in question was a Skoda Hispano Suiza, as the industrial manufacturer had bought the license to produce luxurious vehicles from the Spanish company Hispano-Suiza in 1924, a year ahead of the merger with the automobile factory of Laurin & Klement.
During the three years it remained in production, only 100 units of the Skoda Hispano-Suiza were ever built. Production of the first model began in the spring of 1925 and was completed a little after a year, in May 1926. The reason for the long production time was that every car was custom-built to individual requirements, with each one being unique. The Skoda Hispano Suiza 25/100 PS weighed up to 2,700 kilograms (5,950 lbs), depending on equipment, and was able to reach a top speed of 86 mph (138 km/h).
Prices were considerably higher than other vehicles available on the market. The car's base price was 190,000 crowns but it could easily reach a quarter of a million crowns, depending on the features. For example, the office of the president paid 280,000 crowns for the first Skoda Hispano Suiza, at a time when the small Skoda 422 cost 38,000 crowns.
The car's accompanying marketing booklet 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.”
By Dan Mihalascu