Eastern Bloc Motorsport
As a result of owning a early Skoda MTX 1-01, my interest in what happend over there, only one hour to the east, while Lauda, Marko or Rindt raced on the Asparn Airfield track outside of Vienna was sparked. Taking parts a events, buying literature, old car magazines, manuals and book, combined with learning a bit of Czech and I was all in.
Formula 3 (1000ccm) was in the mid 60s as much a theme in Eastern Europe as it was in the west. Especially in the CSSR (Skoda, Skoda 1000MB engine) and GDR (Melkus, Wartburg 311 engine) raced against homebuilt cars as well as against the top of the world, with two private racers in the CSSR competing against the works teams using a Lotus 41.
Due to politics, the soviet invasion in the CSSR in 1968 and the lack of a suitable 1500ccm, later 1600ccm engine, they realised that it was impossible to race against Formula Ford competitors using these homologations.
Skoda wanted to build affordable racecars inspired by Formula V, using parts from the Skoda 110. They developed the regulations and provided it to everyone to build their own cars. A young group of engineers, from Metalex, built a prototype and after showing it to the public. At this time, the Skoda works-sports-department hadn’t more to show than a scale 1/5 model for windtunnel tests. Therefore, Skoda dropped their ambitions and Metalex became the number one supplier.
The car Metalex came up with, the MTX 1-01, was far more sophisticated than Formula V, using a watercooled, all aluminium engine, radiator built in horizontally in the nose and didn’t stuck with the donor cars (front) suspension.
In 1971 they had 12 identical cars for the first season. After a great success, with races undecided until the last corner, huge crowds at the racetracks, they built second charge of car during the winter 1971/72.
It is unclear, how many cars where produced for the 1972 season. MTX, later with stronger engines and a more aerodynamic body panels, kept the frame identical until 1983. In total they made approx. 40 chassis (different sources range from 32 up to 46). Early cars where often changed to fit later regulations and stylings.
The MTX 1-01 was the first car in a long line of racing cars made in the CSSR by Metalex. Ranging besides the monoposto production from Lada 1200 (VAZ 2101) saloon cars to a 2-seater spider.
MTX built racecars, based on the MTX1-01 frame in the PZST (Cup of the socialist countries) with a shorter cover, to access the engine faster and using so called “Elektron” aluminium wheels. After 1975 they changed the regulations in Formula Skoda with liberations of the exhaust and in 1977 of the wheels and dimensions.
The drive unit is taken from the Skoda 110 L, which has been rotated by 180 ° in comparison to the serial version. It is also adapted for rapid disassembly of the engine together with the gearbox. The installed Škoda 110 L engine volumina must be strictly serial (volume of 1107 cm3, bore 72 mm, stroke 68 mm). The gearbox was a serial gearbox-housing of the Skoda 110L, using the same 4 gear, fully synchronized with free choice of the axle ratio.
However, there was no regulation on tuning the engine internally, fokussing on the head. Most of the cars had the compression increased, they were fitted with larger Jikov 32 BST-21 carburettors. Later a dual-carburettors were used with a modified intake manifold, the exhaust changed, and a full flow oil filter installed.
The frame was welded from tubes 32 mm in diameter with a wall thickness of 1.5 mm; the rollbar being the only curved tube.
Early cars drove on 14 inch steel wheels, with 155mm SR Barum tires. For other racing series, light alloy wheels have already been used. From 1977 onwards the so-called electron alloy wheels went along with other changes and were to be seen in Formula Skoda as well.
The fuel tank is placed under the knee of the driver and in the first series 22 liters, the volume was later increased to 27 liters.
The 12-volt battery had a capacity of 35 Ah and is installed behind the pedals.
The four-piece glass fiber body has two sides, a main body and the nose. The Nose has two air outlets for the almost horizontally placed radiator. The glass fiberglass panels are approx. 1.5 to 2 mm thick and fastened to the frame with quick release fasteners.
The gauges include a rev-counter, oil pressure and water and oil temperature.
Four-point belts, later fire extinguishers and electrical circuit breakers had to be installed.
The car had a wheelbase of 2,280 mm, track front / rear 1325/1274 mm, length 3750 mm, height with the rollbar 800mm. The limit minimum weight was 400 kg.
The weight distribution on the front / rear 47/53%.
The top speed by MTX is to be "over 160 km / h", some books note 180 km / h.
In a test on the Brno circuit, average speed of 127 km / h is recorded.
MTX 1-01 (014) was produced by the company METALEX Praha at the production site in Plzen in the winter 1971-72. It is the 2nd car of the 2nd production series of this racing car model (after the 2 prototypes and the 10 vehicles made for the first season.) Due to the success of the first season.
After a trial, the car was bought in 1972 from Metalex by 206 ZO Svazarm Praha (Association for Cooperation with the Army). According to known data, the car was given to the organization member Ladislav Kalas.
Kalas took part in the entire championship of the former CSSR in the class of Formula Skoda from 1972 to 1977.
Ladislav Kalas achieved some success during this time, including a 4th place a, 18.6. 1972 on the course of Havírov and a victory on 12.11.1972 on the mountain track of Zbečno only in his the first season.
In addition numerous other results and victories, excerpt shows only top 5 results:
Since Ladislav Kalas finished his activity in the Formula Skoda class after 1977, the organization 206 awarded the car several times to various drivers and then sold of the car. It is not possible to determine the precise date of the sale, since Svazarm as a semi-military organization didn’t keep any records after the collapse in 1990.
Undoubtedly was Vaclav Kolman from Litvinov the last owner of MTX 1-01 (014), who still used it in competition in the CSSR.
Without possession of documents, according to the previous owner, the car was sold to the GDR and from there came to Munich after the collapse of the eastern block of 1990. From the Munich owner (name known), there is once again a completely traceable history known.
With regard to the condition of the car, a note from the year 1997 exists, according to which it was "repaired a few times during the time when raced and that some minor and unimportant changes have been made"
After precise control of the frame and suspensions, a complete nut and bolt restoration was done at MTX in Plzen, where the vehicle was manufactured, partly by mechanics who were already working there in the 1970s. The vehicle is now again in its original state, as in was made in 1971 / 72 by MTX.
This was confirmed by MTX, signed by the engineer of MTX 1-01, Vaclav Pauer.
After the car had appeared several times at trade fairs and events in the 1990s, it has been in a private collection for a long time until there was the opportunity for me to acquire this car.
After some research, I wrote down my knowledge here, still would like to know more about this cars and to get in touch with other owners. - Please feel free to get in contact