For Sale: The Czech is in the Mail

Today, Skoda is a wholly-owned subsidiary of VAG, but back in 1969 it was still under the auspices of the Soviet-Bloc planned economy, which had forced nationalized ownership on the company, and had cut it off from the west, stifling technological progress and access to modern parts.
While the Ruskies and Americans traded narrow-eyed scowls across negotiation tables, they didn’t trade much of anything else, and hence Skoda was not a factor in the U.S. market. That makes this Octavia Sport Combi a rare find here, comrade.
Unlike their Soviet counterparts, the Skodas never seemed like they had been built by people bent on the car’s failure. And while the communists didn’t see the need to keep up with the west technologically in their consumer products as much as they did with their military hardware, this ’69 Octavia only looks about 10-years out of date.
Parts may be an issue with this Czech mix, but at $4,000, you won’t have to part with much cash to buy it. Plus, the two-door combi body style is one that is rare on U.S. roads these days. And while its 70-mph top speed on those roads will mean you won’t be outrunning the StB, you will be styling when taken in for questioning- and never seen again.
That 51-bhp four isn’t going to make your Prague spring, but does enjoy a rep for durability. That’s good, because there isn’t a Skoda aisle at your local Auto Parts store.
The body is in need of some de-denting, but the car’s communist roots appear to have fended off the road rot invasion. The Borgward-esque body is handsome, while avoiding many of the iron curtain cliches of American-style mimicry. If you’re a big fan of chrome, you might want to just keep walking here, as that shiny trim was apparently seen as decadent by Skoda’s thin-lipped overseers.
So czech it out- It’s been tracked on BaT for almost two years, with a price that’s falling much more rapidly than did the Berlin Wall. Still, it’s a pretty cool car to find up for grabs, especially as the price keeps going down. It can currently be found on Craigslist, but there’s a lot more pictures and description available at this site.

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