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Mladá Boleslav – 85 years ago, Zdeněk Pohl and Jaroslav Hausman set off from Mladá Boleslav for the famous Monte Carlo #rally in their ŠKODA POPULAR SPORT. In the principality of Monaco, they drove the roadster to one of the greatest successes in ŠKODA AUTO’s motorsport history.

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The Monte Carlo #rally, which is as famous as it is demanding, was first held in 1911 to attract tourists even during the cold winter months to the Principality of Monaco. Zdeněk Pohl and Jaroslav Hausman took part in the fifteenth run, which took place from 25 January to 2 February 1936, with the ŠKODA POPULAR SPORT and impressively held their own against the competition.

Since the length and difficulty of the route from the official starting point were also decisive for success in the Monte Carlo #rally, Pohl and Hausman set off from Athens and travelled via the Riviera to Monaco. Other possible starting points included Bucharest, Palermo, Stavanger or Tallinn. Within 17 hours, the pair had covered 850 kilometres from Prague to the ferry in Trieste in their ŠKODA POPULAR SPORT. After arriving in the Greek metropolis of Athens, Zdeněk Pohl and Jaroslav Hausman had four days to recover and prepare their vehicle technically for the #rally – without the assistance of a mechanic or professionally equipped service vehicle.

The 3,852-kilometre journey via Thessaloniki, Belgrade, Budapest, Vienna, Strasbourg and Avignon to Monaco took four days in total. Pohl later recalled, “I saw strange things along the way. On one occasion, a horse was reversing towards us at full speed; another time, I had to dodge an elephant. The road was clear, of course – we were hallucinating after four nights without sleep. The hum of the engine made us tired, plus it was very foggy.”

Out of the 105 teams registered, only 72 vehicles finished the Monte Carlo #rally in 1936. The ŠKODA POPULAR SPORT reached the finish without any penalty points, and it also passed the technical inspection and did well in the skill test. This secured second place for Pohl and Hausman in the under 1,500 cm3 class.