Skoda designer revisits classic 1203 van as a camper for the 21st century

Jack Evans, PA Motoring Reporter

A Skoda designer has reimagined the Czech firm’s classic 1203 van as a modern camper.

Though just a concept for now, the van was chosen as inspiration by designer Daniel Hájek, whose grandparents have a flatbed version of the 1203.

Speaking as part of Skoda’s Icons Get a Makeover series, Hájek said: “We have a flatbed version like that in the garden of my grandparents’ house, but it’s not roadworthy any more.

Skoda van
Daniel Hájek with an original 1203

“It was kind of my first car, we used it on our farm, and when I was fifteen they let me start the engine now and then and drive it around the field.”

Hájek’s concept is a new take on the 1203 camper van which brings a pop-up roof and uses the current Volkswagen Transporter van as a basis. However, Hájek thinks that the model could easily be a fully electric vehicle instead, which would ‘allow for even better use of space.’

Skoda Van
The original 1203 was produced until the mid 1990s

The 1203 saw extensive use in Czechoslovakia, having been first unveiled in 1968 at a machine engineering trade fair in Brno. It was used in a variety of applications, ranging from ambulances to hearses, as well as as a regular van or minibus. Initially built in Vrchlabi, production of the 1203 was moved to Trnava in Slovakia in 1981, where it was made right up until the second half of the 1990s.

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