1940 ŠKODA RAPID OHV: 30 Years of Restoration

Meet the 1940 RAPID OHV that was never retired to exhibitions & car shows. But, instead frequents supermarket carparks and routinely makes a three-hour drive from Prague to South Bohemia.

Mr. Stouhal’s RAPID OHV started life as one of only 101 models made in ŠKODA’s Mladá Boleslav factory. Purchased originally by a wealthy customer at the time, as the OHV sported more cabin space and powerful engine. The technical plaque on this particular model states it boasts a 46hp engine with a top speed of 120km/h.

Stouhal purchased his OHV in 1978 after seeing it for sale in a classified ad. While he had his sights set on the standard RAPID, the same his father had, he agreed to the OHV out of love. Not for classic cars, but for a woman he needed a car to see.

“It was completely by chance that I came across this car. But I was serious about the girl, so I just went ahead and bought it. The girl became my wife. Today she’s a grandmother, I’m a grandfather, and the car’s a veteran,”

Mr Strouhal says with a smile.

So began a 30 year saga of incredible focus & ambition to repair and restore the RAPID OHV. Stouhal rummaged through breakers yards to find parts. Being a trained fitter he had a particular eye for detail and even began making bespoke parts. “I completely overhauled it, from the engine to the axles and the body. I kept anything that could be salvaged, but I also made new sills, timbering and sheet-metal parts. I even made new pinion bushings and cast my own steering mechanism. It didn’t come out right the first time and I had to cast some of the parts on the cooker at home. Once it splashed into the soup cooking on the next hob,”

In 2010 Mr. Stouhal completed his restoration and zeroed the odometer to begin the cars new life. Every year in the summer Stouhal & his wife pack the RAPID full of luggage and make the 3-hour trip to their cottage in South Bohemia.

To read the full story and see a complete gallery of this magnificent car visit ŠKODA Storyboard here. if you’re interest, you can read more about classic ŠKODA vehicles here.

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