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Skoda drives along Popular memory lane

Thu, 05 Jun 2014

A EUROPEAN car enthusiast is recreating a remarkable British journey first completed 90 years ago by a famous Czech writer, and is driving a 77-year-old Skoda Popular.

The milestone car, Skoda's first to sell in big numbers across Europe, is well into a three-week journey around the UK in the hands of car nut Zdeněk Vacek, starting and finishing at the Czech Embassy in London and visiting many of the cities featured in famous Czech writer Karel Čapek's 1924 tome Letters from England.

The Popular itself can celebrate its 80th birthday at the same time, having first appeared to widespread acclaim in 1934. Light and inexpensive, it allowed many customers to fulfil long-held dreams to own a car.

It was the first Skoda to use a new central tube frame instead of the previous lead construction; one of the reasons it was so much lighter than its predecessors. This 1937 example belongs to a private collector.

“We are delighted to be able to support this great project,” says Andrea Frýdlová, Manager of the Skoda Museum in Mladá Boleslav.

“The Skoda Popular is a milestone in our 119-year history. The expedition, following in the tracks of Karel Čapek, is an excellent advertisement for our brand in one of our key markets.”

Karel Čapek is one of the most important 20th century Czech writers. In addition to his works of prose and science fiction novels, he also wrote numerous travel reports, including Letters from England, in which the author describes his observations on a trip through numerous cities and regions in the country.

Zdeněk Vacek’s journey passes through selected regions of this trip. Stops are expected in Cambridge, Edinburgh, the Isle of Skye, Glasgow, Bristol and Liverpool, among others. The finish is scheduled for 11 June in London.

By Press Association reporter