Founded by Václav Laurin and Václav Klement in 1895, Laurin & Klement was one of the oldest automobile manufacturers in what is now the Czech Republic, and the precursor to what is now the country’s biggest and most famous: Škoda Auto, which Laurin & Klement was re-branded as after being purchased by Škoda in 1925.
One of Laurin & Klement’s most iconic cars was the 1908 BSC, which is celebrating its 110th birthday in 2018. Only 12 of these sports cars were ever produced, and only one currently survives.
And after an two-year restoration to bring the automobile back to its original condition, it is now on display at the Škoda Museum in Mladá Boleslav.
“The sporty Laurin & Klement BSC from 1908 is the only surviving example of twelve produced in total,” says Andrea Frydlová, head of the Škoda Museum, in a press release.
“We are delighted to have this unique vehicle as one of our most valuable exhibits following an extensive, two-year restoration.”
While the 1908 vehicle has continually been maintained in roadworthy condition, it has changed ownership numerous times over the years, and has seen a number of different modifications to its exterior.
In the 1957 film Dědeček automobil (Grandpa’s Car), for instance, it was converted into a racecar. Other modifications were made to the body of the car for appearances in subsequent films, while the essential mechanical pieces were preserved.
In 2016, the classic automobile came into the possession of the Škoda Museum, who analyzed its condition and compared it to original documentation. Their goal: to restore the car to its original 1908 appearance, while maintaining all the original components.
Using historical photographs, drawings, and other documentation, restorers from Škoda have spent two years to accomplish that feat in time for the vehicle’s 110th birthday.
Now, it’s considered to be one of the Museum’s most valuable pieces.
The original 1908 Laurin & Klement BSC was produced both as a complete vehicle and a roadworthy chassis which buyers could adorn with a custom body.
The complete vehicle with a standard body sold for 5,500 Austro-Hungarian crowns.
You can visit the restored Laurin & Klement BSC at the Škoda Museum in Mladá Boleslav.