When I see a modified retro Škoda, I just can’t pass up the opportunity to meet the owner and find out more about the car.
A couple of years ago I featured a wild ’88 136 GL, but this time I’ve gone more old school and, in a way, more traditional, albeit with some modern touches. Let me introduce you to this Škoda 120 GL, owned and built by Lasse Sivunen in Finland.
Lasse inherited the car from his grandfather when he turned 18 and got his driving license. He’s now in his 40s, so the Škoda has been with him for a very long time. As a mechanic, Lasse works on cars on a daily basis. In his spare time, he works on the 120 GLS.
Over his quarter-century of ownership, Lasse has modified and re-modified the Škoda several times over.
If you know Škodas, you’d have likely picked up on the theme – a homage to the Škoda 130 LR/B Evolution Group S rally car prototype. Of course, the 130 LR/B Evo never saw any competition because Group S fizzled before it even started, but its predecessor, the Group B-spec 130 LR, did. That car was famed for its 911-like handling characteristics, which despite the modest 135hp produced from its 1,290cc engine made it a competitive rally car in its day.
In original spec, the 1,174cc engine in Lasse’s 120 GLS output a rather uninspiring 54hp, but that’s long gone now having been replaced with a modified 1,289cc unit from a Škoda Favorit. Those modifications include a ported and polished head, a custom intake manifold and, most importantly, a Garrett T25 turbocharger on a custom exhaust manifold. There’s also an intercooler and fuel injectors from an Audi TT, and a custom stainless steel exhaust system.
With the new engine setup in play, on the dyno the little Škoda showed a modest 129hp/205Nm at the wheels, but Lasse mentioned this was with a fuel injector fault which he’s still chasing. The true numbers are probably a little higher then, but regardless, even with the figures it’s made the car is pretty lively given its 900kg (1,985lb) weight.
Around the driveline and chassis are number of other upgrades. The gearbox, driveshaft and rear suspension all came from a Škoda 130, while Czech rally store SpeedPro set Lasse up with new shocks and stiffer springs. The custom aluminum fuel tank was made by another Czech company – Tym Motorsport – and sits at the front of the car for better weight distribution.
Outside, the 120 GLS has a purposeful new look thanks a replica 130 LR/B Evolution body kit that adds wider fenders front and rear – the latter being molded to the body – a deep front air dam, aero mirrors and a large one-piece boot/spoiler with an integrated engine oil cooler.
Adding to this is Audi Ibis White paint and some retro vinyl graphics, plus 16×9-inch Keskin KT wheels sprayed Škoda Minz Green at all four corners.
The green is carried through to the interior, where everything metal, including the full roll cage, has been painted the same color. Lasse also added Sparco Sprint seats, an OMP steering wheel, new gauges and carbon fiber door panels.
I wasn’t surprised to hear that Lasse isn’t finished with his 130 LR/B Evo-inspired Škoda 120 GLS just yet. Once he gets on top of the injector issue, there are few more light modifications planned before he’ll be happy. For the time being at least anyway…