That looks brand new!

The next generation Skoda Octavia is already under development, but this would have been impossible without the success of the first (modern day) Octavia. Launched in 1996 on the platform of the Volkswagen Golf 4, the vehicle was an instant hit with nearly 400,000 sales during the first five years on the market.

Octavias from first generation are still driven all around Europe because of their durability and construction simplicity. Our favorite one is this blue Octavia 1.9 TDI with more than 432,000 miles (roughly 695,000 kilometers) on the odometer, which has finally received the love it deserves.

See the story of the humble Octavia:

After travelling from London to the Nurburgring for a lap and back on a single tank, and visiting the dyno for a quick check, the humble Czech sedan is now undergoing a full restoration. The process starts with a completely new interior from the range-topping RS version, a deep cabin cleaning, and a lot of bodywork in preparation for the new paint. All seats, door cards, and some trim panels are replaced with shiny new RS replacements.

1998 Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI
1998 Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI

In the next stage, the high-mileage hero receives new suspension components – a very welcomed upgrade, new brakes, and, of course, new tires on refurbished alloys. The grille and a couple of other exterior decorative details are professionally wrapped in black to match the new color of the wheels, while the black bumper plastics receive a new paint.

1998 Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI
1998 Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI
1998 Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI

The result? Simply put, fantastic. The car looks awesome and in some aspects is even better than new. The exterior is all shiny and the interior is clean, everything inside and outside works properly. But what’s probably the most important improvement is that the Skoda finally smells “like an actual car.”

Make sure to watch the two videos with the full restoration project and to check out the gallery below with images of the car in its condition before work started and a couple of photos after it’s finished.

Source: Car Throttle on YouTube

Gallery: 1998 Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI