Thursday, October 27, 2011

1980 Skoda 120 - In Florida (Of Course)

For years I looked at these Skodas as neat curiosities. Now I kind of want to own one...

Based on Skoda's earlier S100/110 range of cars, the 120 was introduced in 1976. It has a rear mounted 1.2 liter water cooled I4. The rear suspension was a swing axle set up. The Western automotive press, which is prone to hating any car from Eastern Europe, criticized its handling and lack of power, but the 120 was an incredibly successful European Rally racer.

Build quality was not as good as cars from Western Europe. But, while things may rattle and parts not line up 100%, history has shown the Skoda 120 - when properly maintained - to be a relatively reliable, cheap to keep, car.

This Skoda is in very nice shape. The seller leaves a slightly confusing description of the car's history, first saying he's owned it for "years", but then saying it was imported from the Czech Republic "this year". (I can only assume that the owner is from the Czech Republic and brought the car to the US this year.) It has just 32,000 miles on it.

The seller calls the body "basically rust free". He says "it has few rusted spots on the bottom of the car, but nothing serious". I don't know if that means the floors or the rockers. It has a few scratches on the hood. The big upside is that the paint is original, which means there's nothing evil hiding under a new paint job. The interior is in good condition.

The seller says the engine runs well. These early 120s were prone to overheating (usually due to a lack of cooling system maintenance), but the seller says this one runs at the "correct temperature". It does have an oil leak, which may just be an oil pan gasket.

The Skoda 120 is not the most exciting car you could own. As I wrote in an earlier 120 post, today's small, inexpensive cars are better built than this car. They're faster and more fuel efficient. They have standard equipment that wasn't even available as an option on this car... But what they don't have is personality. This car has tons of personality. In my world that makes it a very, very cool car. Yep, I'd love to own one.

It should come as no surprise that this car is located in Florida, where apparently you can get a title and registration for just about anything. Click here to see the eBay listing.

A big thanks to Todd for sending me the link to this car!

3 comments:

rrshadow2 said...

I have two friends who are currently battling to own this car, One here in Seattle and one in Texas. My friend here in Seattle once owned my 85 130 Rapid, I gave it to him for free after I owned it for almost 10 years, That Car currently lives in Colorado. I Love these rear engine Skodas, I wish Malcom Bricklin would have thought to sell those in the US instead of the Yugos!

Matt Cotton said...

Definitely the best of the "Reds"!

Jon said...

I then realized I was a true car geek when my first reaction to the Skoda photo was "Nice Wartburg..."