A Skoda Hispano-Suiza became the official car of the first President of Czechoslovakia 90 years ago.
In the last 90 years Czech and Czechoslovakia presidents and heads of state and government have used Skoda models as official cars. This is what the Volkswagen-owned manufacturer is telling us, also reminding us that the current president of the country, Miloš Zeman, uses a third-generation Superb since June 5 last year.
The tradition started exactly 90 years ago, when President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk received a Skoda Hispano-Suiza as an official car. It’s a 5,400-pound (2.7-ton) limousine with a bespoke body and a glass partition wall between the driver and the passenger compartment in the rear, powered by a six-cylinder 6.7-liter engine. Sadly, its fate is unknown now.
Following the end of the Second World War, Skoda delivered another prestigious vehicle for the President of Czechoslovakia – the 8,800-pound (4.4-ton), 5.7-meter Skoda Vos that was used by Klement Gottwald and Antonín Zápotocký.
In 1993, right after the formation of the independent Czech Republic, Skoda restarted delivering vehicles for the country leaders. Václav Havel, a human rights activist and later president, was a big car enthusiast and personally tested numerous Skoda models of that time, including the Felicia and the first generations of the Fabia, Octavia, and Superb. His successor, Václav Klaus, used Superb I and Superb II.
“High quality and prestigious Skoda vehicles, each one the brand’s top-of-the-range model of its time, were frequently the first choice as state car of the Czechoslovakian or Czech heads of state,” Andrea Frydlová, director of the Skoda Museum, commented. “Today, Skoda continues this tradition with the current third-generation Skoda Superb, which our president Miloš Zeman uses to travel to his appointments.”
Meanwhile, Skoda is also celebrating the production of the 100,000th third-generation Superb that ran off the assembly line in Kvasiny. Since the modern Superb was launched in 2001, the manufacturer has produced and delivered more than 850,000 units.