The Czechoslovak automotive industry has a rich history, which includes cars of various concepts. Historically, many coupés have also been created in the domestic environment. While some went into series production, others did not see the realization. We selected three of them, beautiful coupés of Czechoslovak provenance, which unfortunately remained in the form of prototypes.

Kopřivnice Gran Turismo by Vignale

During the era of socialism, Tatra became famous for its luxury vehicles, which literally offered to expand the portfolio with a coupe as well. And one such car was really created, how else than in the relaxed sixties.

At that time, they were working on the successor of the famous 603, which was designed by the Italian studio Vignale. In addition to the basic luxury limousine, it was also given the task of developing a derivative coupe, the prototype of which was completed in 1969, at the time when work was underway on the 613 sedan.

Photo: Autowp.ru

A period photo of the Tatra 613 as a coupe.

A coupé in the era of socialism was an unusual undertaking, behind the creation of which was the idea of ​​impressing such a car on the Western European markets. If it were to break through there, it would be a welcome financial boost for the Kopřivnica car company, and thus the Czechoslovak economy. After all, according to the original plans, the then-prepared Tatra 613 was also to be sold in the West.

The coupe prototype received the same concept as the sedan. The drive was therefore provided by a rear-mounted 3.5-liter forked eight-cylinder tuned to 129 kW and 270 Nm, which was paired with a four-speed manual transmission.

Photo: Autowp.ru

A view of the interior of the two-door 613.

Unfortunately, the car was fatal during its testing, during which it crashed. During one of the runs, the otherwise experienced test driver Jozef Chovanec skidded and completely demolished the car. This green piece was later supplemented by a red example with a slightly modified appearance, with angular headlights and a cabin taken from the serial 613, to reduce costs. It still exists today.

The development was finally completed according to internal documents, even at the time of the coming standardization, production to order, for foreign clients, was expected. Unfortunately, the plans eventually fell through. The Tatra 613 became a car exclusively for state institutions, which, however, needed a representative sedan, not a two-door image maker. In the end, serial production and custom production did not start.

Three-door Favorite

The Italians were also behind the design of the Škoda 783 Coupé prototype, which was nothing more than a vision of the Favorit with a three-door body. It was originally expected, because the Italian studio Bertone, as part of the work on the design of the five-door hatchback, later called Favorit, was also supposed to work on the design of a derivative sedan and a three-door coupe. It was just finished in April 1987, before the debut of the production version of the Favorit.

The Škoda 783 Coupé was first created in 1985 as a scale model in 1:4, which was based on earlier illustrations. They were still in charge of these works at Bertone, later the project moved to Czechoslovakia. The mock-up was thus followed by the technical drawings of the Mladá Boleslav development department, which were used for the construction of the prototype completed in April 1987 in Kvasiny.

Photo: Škoda Auto

From the side, not only a single pair of doors, but also different glass angles or an unusually designed B-pillar will attract attention.

The three-door coupe kept the wheelbase of the five-door hatchback, but otherwise a lot has changed – not just the missing pair of doors. The front parts were still practically identical to the later Favorite, but the windshield had a different bevel angle, the side doors were extended, and they were also frameless and with handles hidden behind special moldings. ŠKODA designed B-pillars hidden behind the door glass were also a specialty.

The interior then emphasized that the coupe would be an unusual variant in the offer. The well-known dashboard was decorated with a textile cover or shaped door panels in color coordinated with the upholstery of the seats.

Photo: Autowp.ru

From the front, the Škoda 783 Coupé shows its affinity with the Favorite, but its silhouette is completely different.

On the contrary, the engine in the bowels did not change. It was a well-known four-cylinder with a volume of 1289 cm³.

However, the interesting project was ultimately not implemented. The development of Favorit exhausted the Mladá Boleslav car manufacturer so financially that there were no funds for further body versions. In the end, only a derived station wagon named Forman, which was supposed to be suitable for members of the Public Security at the time, was realized. Logically, the Favorit coupe could not offer such a clientele, it could only attract them in the export markets, which is why serial production did not happen. And when the Mladá Boleslav car company was taken over by the Volkswagen concern, its management had other plans for Škoda. The three-door Favorit can only be admired in the Škoda museum.

The legendary Tudor

The Mladoboleslav automobile company also built a coupe in the modern era, namely the famous Škoda Tudor concept presented in 2002. It was built on the basis of the then newly introduced flagship, in the form of the first generation Superb.

The still-admired study began to take shape in 2000, when the designers of the Mladá Boleslav stylistic studio were given the task of showing what they could do. This resulted in, among others, the Fabia pick-up, Octavia cabriolet and Superb combi – the first generation was sold exclusively as a sedan.

Photo: Škoda Auto

The Škoda Tudor study looks fantastic even after more than 20 years since its premiere.

The head of technical development at the time, Wilfried Bockelmann, liked the vision of the Superb coupe the most, which was created by Zdeněk Cibulka under the direction of the brand’s chief designer at the time, Thomas Ingenlath. He thus gave instructions for the construction of a studio, which from the beginning counted on the old name Škoda Tudor referring to the model of the same name from the history of the car company.

Nevertheless, the resulting study presented at the Geneva Motor Show differed considerably from the original design. The originally designed car received original front and rear parts, but as part of the progressing work, the designers were given the task of bringing the concept closer to serial production. Logically, elements from the flagship – Superb were used. The mask and headlights were carried over without major changes, but at the rear there were modified taillights with graphics that laid the foundation for the later characteristic motif of the letter C used on several subsequent Škoda models.

Photo: Škoda Auto

The back of the Tudor was decorated with an inscription in the font of the brand used at the time, compared to the Superb, there is also a different graphic of the taillights.

The interior was also similar to the first Superb, with one significant change. The navigation screen was complemented by a second display for air conditioning control.

The drive was to be provided by the best that Škoda could offer at the time, in the form of a 2.8 30 V six-cylinder petrol engine with an output of 142 kW. It was mated to a five-speed manual with front-wheel drive.

Although many Czech fans were hoping for the start of series production, the car company emphasized from the beginning that Škoda Tudor was just a design exercise. Production did not take place, although the study was widely presented around the world – it even got lost on the way to India. It was found only after several months, when it had to be renovated. Today it is part of the Škoda Museum collection.