Skoda Estelle restoration underway

Submitted by robert on Tue, 03/24/2020 - 22:49
Skoda Estelle Green

This is my 1978 Skoda Estelle, its a rare car, which i have owned for over 3 years.

Here is a brief known history of the car. This car is known to the owners club as being the 4th oldest RHD Estelle, it was sold in Kent, and then it ended up being in a showroom in a Skoda dealership in Edinburgh. The car was than purchased by a young lady (apparently) who drove it twice, but then unfortunately, it broke down due to a fuel leak. This story adds up, as there is a visual (but good) repair to the bottom of the fuel tank. The car was then sold to a guy who lived 50 miles east of Edinburgh, in the middle of nowhere, the car was left under tarp for approximately 12 years, slowly deteriorating due to being left outside. I live in Cornwall, and the logistics of getting this car was rather difficult - as i live approximately 575 miles away from the car. The next job was to find someone who was willing to go up to Scotland to collect this iconic car, and luckily, a friend, Chris Gilbert, who runs Telstar Garage was moderately quiet at the time as he was setting up a new business, and appreciated the work. The car was collected approximately 2 weeks after agreeing to buy it, and the rest is history.

Sourcing parts for this car has been interesting, i have met up with Paul Wyatt, who is the person with the connections for sourcing parts for these classic cars in the UK, in Bristol, to collect a load of parts which i needed. I also had a trip to Plymouth just for one wing, and another trip to Worthing near Brighton, to collect some more parts. My radiator has come from Denmark, the alternator has been rebuilt by Rotating electrics in Redruth, and supplied with a new regulator rectifier. I also had numerous parcels from Czech Republic and one from Poland which contained a complete brake pipe set, inner wings, full sills, and the "p" plates which are also under the front wings.

So why a Skoda Estelle?

The story of this car began in August 2011, at the time i only a full motorcycle licence, which i had for just over 2 years. I rode motorbikes all in weathers previous to this, from a 50cc from when i was 16, and worked my way up to classic Japanese motorbikes of the late 70s and early 80s. I've had 7 superdreams in the past, one was a 400cc. Anyway, back to August 2011, unfortunately i crashed the motorbike which i had at the time, which was a 1981 Honda CB650z, on the backroad between St Just and St Ives, i was doing approximately 50mph, and i miraculous walked away, unfortunately the bike was totalled. 

I was on my Honda C90, and went to Crowlas, near Penzance, to a household recycling centre, and i noticed an "old blue car" for sale for £200 - and i made the decision that i wanted that car, and when i started doing some research, i realised the car in question was a Skoda Estelle, and the insurance was half the price of most other cars which i could afford to buy at the time, just £450 a year.

Unfortunately, the reason the car was cheap, is that the MOT had just ran out, and the car was running badly, and had a misfire and was smoking badly. I decided it was then time to go scrap yard and find an engine - there was a 135 engine from a low mileage favorit, which i then swapped all the parts over from one engine to another and fitted into the car - any skoda boffin will understand that this is not a simple swap, and it required swapping everything from cylinder heads, sumps and even the flywheel. 

I passed my car test in early December 2011, after 2 hours of lessons every week.

It failed MOT on emissions and a track rod end, which was then done, i drove the car around, i broke down many times, and really enjoyed myself, a freedom of being in a car is much nicer than the freedom of a motorbike, when it was cold, and wet in the depths of winter.

Ever since then, i have loved the Estelle, they are an interesting car, full of character. I missed my Skoda Estelle, and decided that when an early Estelle comes up for sale, i got to buy it, and when this car came up for sale, i couldn't possibly say no, despite the logistical challenges that await.

That's all for now - will start to update information on the restoration as soon as possible - Thank you for reading.