Slow-vakian – 1986 Skoda 120GLS and 1989 Skoda 135GLi

Ha! You thought a pun was coming about the Czech part of this car’s country of origin, like, say Czech it out. But we here are full of surprises, including these cars themselves. Back in the 1980s, around the time Yugo was establishing a short-lived presence on the US market, Skoda was doing the same in Canada. And like Yugo, they became a national joke among Canadians, along with Hyundai Ponies and Ladas. However, some still survive with oddball car enthusiasts who recognize them for the interesting cars they are. You can find this 1986 Skoda 120GLS for sale in White Rock, BC for $1200.

1986 Skoda 120GLS right front

A reasonably handsome sedan in its own right, this particular Skoda was powered by a 1.2 liter OHC four with 54hp going to the wheels through a 5-speed transmission. This particular car is said to have had $700 worth of work, including a rebuilt carburetor. Handling was criticized to be tail-happy when the cars were new. But really, how much damage can you do with 54hp?

1986 Skoda 120GLS interior

Wow, that steering wheel looks like a direct copy of a late 1970s Saab 99 steering wheel. The rest of the interior is pretty sparse, as one would expect, but not outdated for an ’80s Eastern Bloc car. There is not much more to see of the interior, although it looks like the dash may actually be crack-free. Well, there might be crack in the glovebox, but that’s another story.

1986 Skoda 120GLS left rear

Holy frunk, Batman! Think of all that space mere capitalist mortals are wasting that could effectively carry everyone’s luggage without losing half the trunk’s depth to the rear axle. Owning this car is worthwhile solely for the joy of opening the sideways “hood” only to show people the hole where there should be an engine. Wheels need to be changed to something a little less basic to complement the trunk lip spoiler. What else could you do with one of these? Confuse people at the local Vee-Dub or Porsche meets?

1986 Skoda 120GLS engine

Would be interesting to know if the rear valance comes off for better engine access, as it does on Fiat 850s. And if this is not enough for you, the seller is also selling a much rarer car – this 1989 Skoda 135GLi for sale for $500 in White Rock, BC. This car comes with Panasport wheels and the interior included, but has some surface rust that needs attention. It is also said to have mechanical needs, including some attention to the transmission, which won’t stay in 5th or reverse. So you’re asking yourself, with a fancy 8-port aluminum head and throttle body fuel injection, how much power does this 1-of-350 built car put out? Should be much more, right? Well hold on partner, because this baby puts out a full 62hp.

1989 Skoda 135GLi left rear

No doubt the EFI brings improved driveability, and the seller was planning on making it into a rally car. The rear suspension also enjoyed an upgrade to semi-trailing arms which made for much safer handling. Either way, this looks like a fun oddball throwback car. With some renovation and performance upgrades (if those exist), you could have yourself a fun little ride with which to surprise Porsches on a back road.


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