In 2018, Czech automaker Škoda has delivered more than a million vehicles, but chances are you’ve never heard of them. Despite being owned by Volkswagen, the company’s SUVs and compact cars are mainly sold in Europe, Russia, China and India.
So why are we bringing them to your attention? Four words: Laurin & Klement BSC.
It’s a two-seater sports car that was produced 110 years ago, back in 1908 when Škoda was called Laurin & Klement. While most cars from that era lie somewhere on the spectrum from scrap metal to museum dust collector, there is one BSC still in existence (of only 12 produced) and Škoda just finished a two-year full restoration. Yes, full working restoration.
“A team of experts reconstructed the model based on original drawings and other historical sources,” the company notes in a press release. “All the important mechanical components in the unique car are original parts; the engine bears the authentic serial number.”
The big question is, how much power do you get out of those original parts? As Škoda notes, the BSC was Laurin & Klement’s fastest model at the time putting out an absolutely insane 12 HP. And from the above photos of the restoration’s tests, it seems they were determined to get all 12 ponies at full gallop (though it should be noted, the original 12 HP was achieved with 1908-style fuel).
If you happen to find yourself in the Czech Republic, make a detour to Mlada Boleslav and stop into the Škoda Museum where the BSC is currently on display — “in the very same building it was produced in some 110 years ago,” as New Atlas notes.
Photos via Škoda