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Octavia Turns 50 This Year

Škoda Octavia Station Wagon
Škoda Octavia Station Wagon

Škoda's Octavia, one of the most popular and best-selling models of Czech major automaker, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The mass production of Octavia, which was the successor of Škoda 440 (aka Spartak), was launched in January 1959. It became the eighth model made by nationalized Czechoslovak industry.

That year existing earlier numerical identification of models was replaced with brand names. Thus, the Škoda 440 was named the Octavia, the Škoda 445 became the Octavia Super and the Škoda 450 received name Felicia. But the changes were not limited with new names – in many respects the vehicles of 1959 model year were completely new ones.

The major innovation was the replacement of old leaf spring of front suspensions was replaced by a coil spring with telescopic shock absorbers. Coil springs for the rear axle were also planned but they didn’t prove to be a good move and the company preferred to stuck to its old ways. The saloon version equipped with 40 bhp (and later 50 bhp) 1089 cc and 45-55 bhp 1221 engines was manufactured until 1964 and replaced by the Škoda MB1000/1100. The station wagon version supplied with 1.2 liter petrol engine was launched in 1961 and stayed into production until 1971.

The Octavia was revived as a small family car when Škoda became a part of VW. The first concept car was ready in 1992, but mass production was launched only in 1996. Currently five-door liftback and estate wagon (combi) versions are available, but in some markets, for instance in China, a saloon variant also exists. Later the model range was expanded and now includes also sports RS version and Scout SUV.

Photo: Škoda Octavia Station Wagon, by MartinHansV (wikipedia.org)

Date: 04/02/2009

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