The world's only surviving example of a Skoda 966 Supersport
has been restored to its former glory. Specialists from Skoda have been working
with great care on the renovation of this vehicle for the past year, and now
visitors to the Skoda museum can admire the automotive gem as it was originally
presented in the 1950s.
The three Skoda 966 Supersport vehicles were built in 1950.
Last seen on the racing track in 1962, only one has survived to this day. For
many years, the car was owned by the Slovakian racing driver Ivan Micík, and in
2007 the vehicle was acquired by the Skoda museum where its extensive
renovation began. The restoration was carried out authentically, according to
contemporary documents. The Skoda 966 Supersport, now shining once again as it
did in the season of 1953, can be seen as part of the current museum
“The Skoda 966 Supersport provides an important testimony to
our history in motorsport. This conveys
the atmosphere of the legendary lap racing from the second half of the 20th
century perfectly,” says Michal Velebný, head of the restoration workshop at
Skoda. “Given the uniqueness of this vehicle, this is one of the most
interesting exhibits at the Skoda Museum,” he adds.
According to a Skoda press release, the special racing
edition, the Skoda 966 Supersport with an aluminium body, was introduced in
1950, and the model stood out due to its high variability. After minor
adjustments to the body in the form of covering the passenger seats and
removing the headlights and fenders, the vehicle could also be used in the
racing car category.
After two more races, however, the vehicle was so badly
damaged that it had to be replaced by another. Since the factory team’s
objective was to bring two vehicles into operation, an additional vehicle was
produced – the third in the series. It was this third vehicle that has been
preserved and has undergone full restoration.
The vehicle made its debut for the Grand Prix of
Czechoslovakia on 24 September 1950. The car took racing driver Miroslav Fousek
to second place in the category of up to 1100cc.
The engine with carburettors achieved an output of up to 90
hp and the supercharged version even up to 180 hp, reaching speeds almost
breaking the 200 km/h barrier. Due to the considerable number of pipes in the
engine compartment, the model with the compressor was also known as
At the same time, the racing cars also underwent
considerable improvement. A condenser was placed in front of the compressor to
improve the cooling of the supercharged version. During the 1953 season, the
designers improved the vehicle’s aerodynamics by lowering the radiator grille
and making the suction opening more oval. By the end of 1953, the car had been
installed with a new engine with a capacity of 1500cc. In the autumn of 1953,
Václav Bobek achieved a new speed record of 197.8km/h in the version with two
compressors, making the ŠKODA 966 Supersport the fastest automobile in
Czechoslovakia at that time.
The final adjustments to the bodywork took place during
1954. Due to the changes in the rules, the Supersport received large fenders
that were firmly attached to the body. Jaroslav Netušil raced in the now newly
restored vehicle in 1955. Development of the new Skoda 1100 Special OHC – the
Supersport’s successor – began one year later. In the following years, both
Skoda Supersport 966 vehicles were used to train future racing drivers.