Today, I’m wheeling out more European quirkiness, this time in the shape of a groundbreaking Bertone design. Yes, this dirty white box of a car was a dawn of a new age for the Czech car manufacturer Skoda; it’s an Italian-designed front-engined front wheel drive hatchback.
For decades, Skoda built what the Soviet brothers told them to, and that meant chucking all front-engined designs in the bin and using the same-old same-old pushrod engine in the rear of the car instead. But by 1987, the Soviet ice had thawed so much, that Skoda could introduce a competitor for the Samara and an actual contender in the booming European hatchback market.
Sure, the Favorit was far from perfect, but it was the car that stuck the foot in Volkswagen’s door in the early ’90s and got the company under VAG’s wings.
Czech check out the pics.
Did I say far from perfect? Is that badge (flying baseball glove) screwed on with a sole screw? The folded-paper Bertone look could be of actual folded paper, were it not for creeping rust here and there; but given the circumstances it looks far better executed than a Yugo, I’d say.
The engine in the Favorit is the.. pushrod 1,3-litre engine that’s been carried over from earlier Skodas. Yeah, they had to put up with it in the Favorit, but it soldiered on in the later Felicia and even in the first-generation Fabia: only in 2003 was it retired in favor of a Volkswagen unit, even if it had been extensively modernized here and there by then. In the Favorit it pushed out 63 horsepower.
“Look, Ma, no rear window wiper!” The Favorit also has one of the shortest rear overhangs I know, beaten only by the 1st gen Seat Ibiza – another Italian design (Italdesign by Giugiaro) and another later Volkswagen acquisition.
The Favorit also has some of the smallest trunklid badges I’ve seen. “We don’t need no stinking badges! Well, maybe just little ones.”
So, were it not for this car, there would be no BMW-rivalling Superbs or autobahn-storming Octavia RS:s, or WRC Fabias. The humble, creaky, rusty, unassuming Favorit got redone as the Felicia and got Volkswagen stamps all over it, but behind the swoopier detailing and Golf Mk3 steering wheel was still a Favorit at heart. Could you accept the Favorit in yours?
Leave a Reply