Škoda 1100 GT

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Technically speaking, when this car was first shown in 1970, it was not Škoda but an organization called ÚVMV…or AZNP. Anyway, it doesn't really matter—it's not like getting a car was all that easy in the then-socialist Eastern Bloc country of Czechoslovakia.

I'm calling it a Škoda here because I like the weird "Š", and also because as a factory project, it has a lot in common with one of the all-time favourite #bcotd selections, the Škoda 1971 110 Super Sport "Ferat". Published more than a year ago, it remains one of the more popular cars on the website—not only because of its kick-ass styling, but also because of its starring role in a little-known horror flick called Upír z Feratu—about a sports car that sucks its driver's life out from the accelerator pedal.

It also has a connection to yesterday's Saab Catherina—sort of. The 1100 GT here is said to have been reverse-engineered from the Saab Sonnett II. That's cool, if true, but don't get the wrong impression: the 1100 GT is a rear engined, rear-drive sports car. Had it been produced in more than seven examples, it may have waded into battle against the small, odd coupés of the late '60s and early '70s. Glas 1300 GT? Matra 530 and Bagheera? Citroën M35? Hell yeah!

As many manufacturers realized, Škoda included, fibreglass was indeed an ideal material with which to form a low-volume sports car. Two-door coupés are, after all, an extravagance for many, and usually low sales numbers mean creating expensive tooling operations is not a good business decision. Fibreglass, miracle of miracles—well it's just cheap in comparison.

With the Eastern Bloc countries putting focus on beating the West in sports competition, I'm sure there were a few engineers at Škoda who were convinced that all you needed to go quick was the chassis from the 100, swoopy composite bodywork, and various performance upgrades to match. Better tires, disc brakes—the usual. 

Sources say that 75 horsepower was on tap—similar to the "Ferat"—and that drivers could expect a top speed of 175 km/h (108 mph), and zero-to-100 km/h (62 mph) in 13.7 seconds. Not bad. The few surviving examples still get exercised from time to time, too—just in case you wanted to find yourself an uncommon classic sports car.