1990 Skoda Rapid 135 RiC 1.3
Seriously under-rated, dare you to try one!
When I purchased the car, it had been neglected for approximately 6 years. The clutch went and the engine needed changing (the engine from a front-engined Favorit had replaced the original, causing clutch problems) and it frequently threatened to over heat - solved by replacing the radiator pressure cap (£4).
The rear wheel arches had rusted, as had the sills and front valence, and numerous other areas, while the driver's seat was worn and the rear seats had suffered sun damage (in the UK!).
Following repair, my car has been stunningly reliable, having only broken the clutch cable (quick and easy repair), and had a flat battery. Other than that, it has only required regular servicing to keep it running perfectly!
Following restoration, the body has started to rust again at the base of the doors and front valence.
I have driven this car extensively, and use it daily, covering country, motorway and inner-city driving.
Although not the quickest, it certainly is fast enough to keep up with all traffic without any stress, though I would not try to race a modern car!
The handling has always been excellent, though I suspect if you push it a bit far, you may slide off backwards like an Porsche 911 from the 80's or earlier; I've always found it controllable and usually encouraging of a more sporting approach. Worst habit is in high winds when the front can be blown about.
The interior is basic, but functional. My biggest gripe being the lack of cigarette lighter, making usual satellite navigators difficult to use. Although I've found it comfortable, there is no adjustment for the steering wheel, which may be an issue for some.
Skoda dealers have been useless. When I've approached them, not only can they not source ANY parts for the car, they have frequently been unaware that it even IS a Skoda. With Skoda's image now so strong, it is frustrating that they should continue to ignore their heritage!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th May, 2012