World’s last Skoda 966 Supersport restored
Skoda’s restoration boffins rescued and have restored the world’s last Skoda 966 Supersport. Once’ the fastest car in Czechoslovakia (197.8km/h) it’s now on display at Skoda’s museum.
MEET THE SKODA 966 Supersport. The one you’re looking at here is the last surviving example in the world out of only four ever built; this one’s the third of the four, and it’s just been given the a complete restoration by Skoda’s restoration boffins and will go on display at the brand’s 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.
The Skoda 966 Supersport made its racing debut at the 1950 Grand Prix of Czechoslovakia and took driver Miroslav Fousek to second place on debut (up to 1100cc). The beauty of the 966 Supersport was that with an engine swap it could compete in two different race classes – 1100cc and 1500cc. It was the second and third examples produced that were used to race in both classes.
According to Skoda, “The assembly with a displacement of 1089cc was originally derived from the ŠKODA Tudor, but this was given a new aluminium cylinder head with hemispherical combustion chamber. There was a version with atmospheric aspiration and two carburettors, and the most powerful version with one or even two compressors. One could tell the two vehicles apart by the height of the bonnet; the turbocharged version had a lower bonnet. Under the higher bonnet with a pronounced ‘bulge’ were two carburettors.
“Given the versatility of the drive unit and especially the speed of the conversion, both Skoda 966 Super Sport vehicles could take part in the 1100cc class (for the version with the carburettor) or in the 1500 category (for the version with the compressor). For a further increase in power, in line with new racing rules, Skoda later changed the engine capacity to 1221 cc. In the final phase of development, a new prototype engine was installed under the bonnet with a capacity of 1500cc and either four carburettors, and/or two compressors.
“The engine with carburettors achieved an output of up to 66kW (90 hp) and the supercharged version even up to 132kW (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 “gasworks”.”
Constantly being poked, prodded and improved, the 966 Supersport was eventually fitted with a 1500cc engine and, in 1953, driven by Václav Bobek achieved a new speed record of 197.8km/h in the version with two compressors, making the Skoda 966 Supersport the fastest automobile in Czechoslovakia at that time.