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First Skoda to wear the winged arrow logo

Ever wondered what the SKODA logo is all about, and when it first appeared?

Exactly eighty-five years ago, on this very day in Mlada Boleslav, Czechoslovakia, the luxurious SKODA Hispano Suiza rolled off the assembly line wearing the now familiar winged arrow logo.

That car, like all ninety-nine other SKODA Hispano Suiza vehicles, was custom-built to each customer’s specifications. The first car, as shown in these two photographs, was built for the President of Czechoslovakia at the time, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk.

SKODA was manufacturing the luxury car under licence from Spanish company, Hispano-Suiza. Each car was a bespoke build and no two were the same.

Even though it weighed a hefty 2700 kilograms, top speed was a very swift 138km/h (86mph).

The price of luxury and performance was high in those days, but none higher than the Hispano-Suiza, which sold for a cool 6785 pounds. That was the entry-level price too. If you chose to include several options, the price skyrocketed to nearly 9000 pounds.

As the saying goes, ‘You get what you pay for’, even back in those pioneering days. The marketing blurb on the brochure said it all, “The Skoda Hispano Suiza is a luxury car designed by a brilliant engineer who put his stamp on the smallest details and manufactured with the utmost care and with finest materials.”

Not a bad effort for a car company that started out building bicycles, and didn’t release its first four-wheel model until 1905.