It’s not often that a Škoda features on Speedhunters, so you can be sure that when one does, it’s special. One look at this 136GL from 1988 – a model that featured both a rear engine and rear-wheel drive – and you know that it ticks the box.
Škoda used to be a forward-thinking and independent manufacturer, but following the fall of communism in 1991 it was partially privatized. After the millennium, the Czech company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, the result of that being models that certainly can’t be called unique. Luckily, there are enthusiasts out there keeping Škoda cars from a bygone era alive, and in this case, creating something totally unexpected but very cool.
Jiřík Naus, who hails from a little Czech Republic town called Chotějovice, bought this 136GL a year ago. Nostalgia was the main thrust for the purchase, as Jiřík’s father had gifted him one on his 18th birthday. Now he’s a 29-year-old Ed Sheeran lookalike with eagerness for modifying and repairing cars.
I noticed this car from afar when it arrived at Raceism on the back of a trailer. At first, my friends and I couldn’t agree on whether it was a BMW or an Opel, so I decided to go in for a closer look. I definitely wasn’t expecting a Škoda, and for that reason alone I knew I had to shoot it right away.
Jiřík and his friends didn’t speak much English, but they seemed to understood what I was after. A nearby tram depot provided a suitable location, so the car was unloaded, Jiřík blew off some of the dust it had collected on its 350+km journey to Wrocław, Poland, and then fitted the turbofans and mirrors.
It’s not a perfectly-clean build by any stretch, but I think that – and its rally style – is part of this 136GL’s appeal. Škoda had a lot of success on rally stages back in the day, and that’s reflected in the livery that Jiřík – a rally fan himself – chose for the car. I think it works really well.
For me, there are a few standout features. The rare rally-spec Rallye Kolínská Nástrojarna steering wheel, the top-of-the-production-line seats and dash from a Škoda Rapid – basically a coupe version of this car – and those custom turbofans on gold 15×7.5-inch Melber mesh wheels. Melber is a classic Italian wheel brand popular in the Alfa Romeo and Fiat communities.
Suspension-wise, the 136GL runs an air ride setup built around Rubena bags, an Air Lift Performance tank, Viair 480C compressor, and manual controls with four solenoid valves.
Mechanically, the 136GL retains its original 46kW engine, so it’s definitely no performance machine. The motor is in good shape though, and is driven through a 5-speed manual gearbox so the car gets along just fine given its relative light weight.
As it sits, the 136GL is just as Jiřík imagined it would be. He isn’t finished just yet though, and on top of a few more light modifications he’s planning to fit custom-designed wheels to set this Škoda even further apart from the crowd.