Name: 1929 Skoda 422
Year(s) Produced: 1929-1932
Number Built: 3,435
Body Type: 2-door taxi
Power: 22hp @ 2800 RPM
Top Speed: 47mph
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Length/width/height: 156.3 in./ 63 in./ 65 in.
Wheelbase: 102.3 in.
Base Price: US$1,942
Current Value: (?)
Skoda was founded by mechanic Václav Laurin and bookseller Václav Klement in 1895, who made bicycles then motorcycles before producing their first car in 1905. With headquarters in Bohemia of the Czech Republic, it was acquired thru a merger with the Pizen Skodova Company or Skoda Works in 1925. In celebration of the car manufacturer’s 120th inception, we take a look at this Skoda 422 from 1929 which could possibly be the oldest Skoda in Britain.
With a 1,195cc, four-cylindered sidevalve engine and three-speed ‘crash’ gearbox assembled in a single unit, it has an output of 22bhp and a claimed top speed of 47mph. Obviously primitive by modern day standards, the Skoda is not easy to drive. However, its charm can readily outweigh its archaic features. The 422 was produced from 1929 to 1932 during a massive global economic depression, so only 3,435 were made. However as it turned out, it was very popular in its day as it played part in making car ownership more accessible for its locals.
The interior has comfortable seats and is beautifully furnished (it looks and feels like a coachbuilt model), with excellent head and leg room throughout, and a good view of the world passing by is available through the large windows in the rear doors.
Driving it today is a completely alien experience. For example, the throttle and brake pedals are reversed compared to a modern car, and there’s not much space for the driver. However, as befits its limousine status, there’s plenty of room to lounge in the rear. It’s packed with period details, too, such as the air horn, single windscreen wiper and dash-mounted, wind-up eight-day clock. It may not be very well known, but the luxurious 422 is a fascinating insight into Skoda’s founding days.