Test your knowledge: Who founded Skoda in 1895?

Warning: Contains Skoda jokes

A brief history of Skoda

SKODA HAS a long and not entirely illustrious history. Founded in 1895, it began as a bicycle maker before one of the founding partners had the bright idea to add a motor, leading to a booming motorcycle business and, in turn, to dabbling with the new-fangled motor car in around 1905.

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The first car was the Voiturette A, but let’s be honest, it’s the era that spanned the ‘60s to the ‘80s that many drivers best remember Skoda for. Cars like the Felicia, Rapid and Favorit were the butt of jokes in Britain, such as…

How do you double the price of a Skoda? Fill up the tank. Why do Skodas have heated rear windscreens? To keep your hands warm when pushing them. What do you call a Skoda with a sunroof? A skip. Boom boom.

How times have changed. Younger readers will have no recollection of the bad old days, and where would we be without today’s “simply clever” Skoda? The company has been firing on all cylinders (see our review of the new Superb Estate, for example) since being taken over by Volkswagen in 1990?

But who founded the original company in 1895? Scroll down to see if you know the answer…











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Skoda founders

Skoda was founded by Vaclav Laurin (right) and Vaclav Clement. Laurin was a mechanic, Clement was a book seller, and together, in December 1895, they started designing and manufacturing bicycles, under the name Slavia.

In 1899, when motorbike production kicked in, they changed the company name to Laurin and Klement, but by 1925 they needed a stronger industrial partner to help build on the wide range of vehicles made by the company. They merged with Pizen Skodovka in 1925 and became Skoda, and their name survives as the top trim level in some of the Skoda model ranges. We’re sure they would be touched.

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