Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Win some ŠKODA Motorsport Goodies...

Are you a ŠKODA Motorsport fan? Well, ŠKODA have some super cool rally merchandise for you! 

Pop over to the ŠKODA Facebook page, answer the following question. What are the highest and lowest altitudes the ŠKODA FABIA R5 drove at during the 2017 WRC season?

Thursday, 23 November 2017

There's Some Gripping 4x4 deals at Derek Slack Motors


The first all-wheel-drive vehicle in its modern history was OCTAVIA COMBI in 1999. Since that time, the offer of four-wheel-drive cars has expanded. Moreover, OCTAVIA COMBI 4×4 and SUPERB COMBI 4×4 help ŠKODA maintain its leadership in the 4×4 estate segment in six European markets (Switzerland, Norway, Austria, Poland, Spain and Finland).
Visit Derek Slack Motors to see some 'gripping' 4x4 deals

But the brand’s 4×4 history is much older…

The first multi-axle-drive experiments were conducted in the late 1930s. ŠKODA produced several prototypes of three-axle buses with both rear axles driven, but these projects never reached the production stage.

Next came the Type 903, an army vehicle. The Czech Army Headquarters had invited tenders for a vehicle to be used by high-ranking officers in field operations, and ŠKODA had participated in that public tender with the 903, a vehicle prototyped in 1936 (with three prototypes produced in total). Inspired by the ŠKODA 650, a passenger car, the prototype design featured a 45 kW three-litre, six-cylinder engine and three axles (six-wheels), with the two rear axles driven. No contract was ever agreed, however.

Type 903 (1939) - chassis

Type 903 (1939)

Vehicle assembly operations in the Mladá Boleslav plant were limited during the Nazi occupation, but the ŠKODA 903 was one of the few vehicles included into the production portfolio. The plant manufactured an additional 42 vehicles of this type during 1939–1942. The ŠKODA 903 had a top speed of 100 km/h, managed a maximum uphill gradient of 45 %, and had average petrol consumption of 25 l/100 km. The product was available in two versions: one with an open, six-seat passenger compartment with four doors and a convertible roof, the other with a completely open top and longitudinal benches designed to accommodate a total of eight passengers. Probably only three vehicles of this type have been preserved.

In addition, the brand produced a few other 4×4 models during World War II. The three-litre SUPERB OHV was used as the basis for the SUPERB 3000 – Kraftfahrzeug 15 (an army vehicle). That vehicle had rear wheel drive, but the brand also tested a 4×4 version (named the 956).

Type 956

Type T 805 - chassis

Type 972
The company returned to the concept of manufacturing army vehicles several times after World War II. For example, the Mladá Boleslav plant produced nearly 6,500 Tatra 805 vehicles during 1952–1955, but production of this freight vehicle was then moved to the V. I. Lenin Plant in Pilsen.

Built on a shortened chassis and featuring many of the Tatra 805 (1954) components, the 971 was an armoured vehicle (also known as Jarmila, the brand produced three vehicles of this type) and the 972 was amphibious (with five vehicles produced during 1951–1952). The latter was fitted with a screw propeller enabling it to move at speeds of up to 10 km/h in water, and its maximum speed on the road was 85 km/h. The equipment included a lightweight machine gun and two rifles between the seats plus an assault rifle on the driver’s left-hand side.

Type 973 (1952) - back

In 1952, the brand produced the Type 973 with de-activatable front wheel drive. Boasting excellent driving properties, the vehicle was able to cope with uphill gradients as steep as 58 %, overcome vertical obstacles as high as 0.25 m, and stride through water as deep as 60 cm. Warsaw Pact forces tested similar vehicles near Dresden, and the Czech-made 973 proved to be the best of these. Nevertheless, the brand produced only a test series of ca 30 vehicles of this type and then the project was terminated, because the Russian-made GAZ-69 was chosen as the preferred product.

Type 973 (1952) - front

“In many respects, the ŠKODA-made army vehicles were better than the vehicles routinely used by the Soviet Union and/or the Warsaw Pact. Profitability, the requirement to prioritize civil production of an “ordinary people’s car”, and capacities not meeting the demands of the allied armies – all these were aspects that, in the end, led to the decision to focus on off-road vehicles for farmers rather than armies,” says ŠKODA Archive Manager Lukáš Nachtmann.
Agromobil 998

In the early 1960s, the brand cooperated with ČZ Strakonice on developing the Type 998 (known as Agromobil) and, a few years later, the Type 990. Only a few prototypes were produced – their exact number is not known, but it was probably 13 – of which at least two have been preserved. One is owned by the ŠKODA Museum, the other by the Military Museum in Lešany (together with a Type 973, known as Babeta), both these vehicles appeared in the 1964 film If a Thousand Clarinets (Kdyby tisíc klarinetů).
As part of its ŠKODA 1203 modernization project, the brand had considered producing a 4×4 version for farmers (Type 779, 1970).

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Stokesley Show 2017

Farmers and families alike turned out for the largest one-day agricultural show the North has to offer.

The Stokesley Show, celebrating its 145th year, had all the traditional farming favourites while adrenalin junkie Jason Smyth impressed in the main ring with his quad stunts.

Founded in 1859, the show has evolved into one of the highlights of the social calendar for farmers in North Yorkshire and further afield.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello at the Derek Slack Motors stand on Saturday. A dull start turned into a glorious sun-filled day and It was nice to see so many of our customers enjoying the sunshine.

From quad stunts to vintage tractors, crafts and poultry to livestock and horses, the show had something for everyone.

Wales PICK-UP Historic Isuzu Deal

Isuzu and the Welsh Rugby Union have signed a shirt partnership deal which means Warren Gatland’s Wales will wear Isuzu’s logo on their jersey for the next four years.

Isuzu will take pride of place on the chests of Wales’ international stars for the first time this Autumn, as Gatland’s side faces Australia, Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa in the Under Armour Series at Principality Stadium.

In addition; the multi-million-pound partnership sees Isuzu extend their support to the senior Wales women’s side, which will also carry the logos on their playing kit until 2021, and the supply of Isuzu D-Max vehicles to the WRU’s community department which reaches out across Wales.

“We are delighted to welcome a company of the size, stature and international renown of Isuzu,” said WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips.

“Their investment in both the Women’s and Men’s national side and the community game will be instrumental to the growth and sustainable future of the game in Wales.

“In terms of the Isuzu partnership alone, this is the biggest national jersey partnership in the history of our national game.
The partnership also gives Isuzu a raft of marketing and media rights which will increase brand awareness and connection to rugby supporters.

“This partnership is the first of its kind for us and it has long been our objective to make the Isuzu brand better known,” said Isuzu Managing Director, Paul Tunnicliffe.

“This sponsorship will achieve that, by taking the brand to a huge audience, including millions of television viewers. 
“Rugby is an intrinsic part of Welsh life, and we are delighted to become associated with an institution which shares our values of dependability, toughness and commitment.”

Derek Slack motors, ISUZU main dealers for Teesside, Durham and North Yorkshire have some fantastic leasing options on Isuzu pick-ups.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Our Latest Newsletter

Our latest newsletter is available to read on-line HERE, containing: Bradley Wiggins, Skoda's new electric car, the Skoda Live Tour and the latest news about Skoda's range of award-winning cars.

If you haven't received one, Click Here to read it on line or call into our showroom to collect one.

Also featured in the newsletter, is a sneak peek at the limited edition FABIA REDLINE, and it's a red hot prospect!

We've also started to upload an archive of newsletters going back to 2001!

By browsing the archive, you will be able to see how Derek Slack Motors and the Skoda brand have evolved over the years.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017


Graeme May has recently achieved re-accreditation of his Master Technician status after successfully demonstrating his competence in a number of key criteria at Skoda’s central training facility in Milton Keynes
Graeme originally qualified as a Skoda Master Technician thirteen years ago in 2004, being one of the very first in the country to qualify and pass Skoda’s arduous training programme..
Graeme joined us from school on a YTS training scheme after a two-week work experience whilst at school and is currently our Workshop Controller playing a key role in delivering customer satisfaction on a daily basis on vehicles being serviced, repaired or MOT’d aiming to achieve a first time fix.
Graeme has honed his skills to become a Master Technician, an accreditation recognised by the Institute of Motoring Industry (IMI) the pinnacle of his technician status over a period of 23 years at Derek Slack Motors.
Chris Harrison, Service Manager commented “Graeme constantly strives to completely satisfy customers even when dealing with the most complex electrical faults & challenges that are thrown at him & his technicians, he always demonstrates a positive & professional manner when representing the business & we are delighted with his re-accreditation that is truly deserved”.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017


The brand secured an incredible gold rush of awards in the Driver Power 2017 New Car Survey with the Superb and Yeti proving to be the star performers, taking first and second place in the overall Car of the Year ranking. The duo also took top honours in their respective segment categories, outscoring the competition in the survey's individual vehicle attribute sections. In total, ŠKODA was awarded 10 Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.
Now in its 16th year, the Driver Power New Car Survey generates results based on feedback from owners and delivers a true representation of what a car is like to own on a long term basis. ŠKODA has historically performed well in the survey and 2017 is the brand’s strongest showing ever.
ŠKODA’s charge to the top was led by the current generation Superb, launched in 2015, which won Gold in the Overall Car of the Year ranking. The Superb also finished as the highest ranked car in the Family Car category and added to its collection of gold awards by outscoring all its competitors in the Interior and Comfort category. Completing a remarkable haul of awards, the Superb also took gold in the Practicality and Boot Space category and earned a bronze award in the Exterior Design category. Learn more about theŠKODA Superb.
Hot on the Superb’s tail, the Yeti comfortably secured gold in the Mid-Size SUV sector and silver in the Overall Car of the Year rankings. A former winner of the Driver Power survey in 2014, the Yeti was also awarded bronze for Interior and Comfort, and took silver in the Reliability and Build Quality category. Learn more about the ŠKODA Yeti.
Not to be out-done by its larger ŠKODA siblings, the Fabia saw off tough competition to be named Best Small Car – winning the brand’s sixth gold award in the process. Learn more about the ŠKODA Fabia.
Commenting on ŠKODA’s remarkable performance, Steve Fowler, Editor-in-Chief at Auto Express said: “It's no surprise to see ŠKODA models back at the top of our Driver Power league table – the brand has produced a series of outstanding models that have pleased owners for many years. The new Superb does exactly that and takes a deserved first place, while the Yeti's strong showing, even as it's about to be replaced, shows that it's not just ŠKODA's most recent models that are satisfying to own.
Full details of ŠKODA’s performance in the 2017 Driver Power New Car Awards can be found in Auto Express magazine and online from today (June 7, 2017).

Thursday, 8 June 2017


Although a winged arrow has adorned ŠKODA cars for many decades, the earliest-ever logo depicted a bicycle wheel surrounded by linden leaves. Shall we take a walk through the history of the ŠKODA logo?

Slavia bicycles, the initials L&K, laurel leaves, and the winged arrow. These
are the most important milestones in ŠKODA logo history, which extends
back more than 120 years. There is a story behind each trademark and
it relates to major changes which transformed the company. The whole
journey started out in 1895 in response to the disdainful response
to a complaint about a German bicycle.

1895: Slavia
In 1895, Václav Laurin and Václav Klement joined forces to establish an enterprise which eventually was to become ŠKODA. As true of many other automotive pioneers, it all began with bicycle production. It seems Václav Klement had filed a complaint about
a bicycle of the Germania brand, doing so in the Czech language. The manufacturer
rejected his complaint, stating that it was “not in an understandable language”. 

Hence,he and Václav Laurin established their first company and named it Slavia. The firm  manufactured and repaired bicycles and motorbikes. The first logo in the story therefore represents a bicycle wheel bedecked with linden leaves, a mythological symbol of the Slavic nations. Later, the logo was augmented to include the names of the founders and the seat of the company: the city of Mladá Boleslav.

1905: Automotive premiere
The adventure in automobiles began at the turn of the 20th century with the Voiturette.
To mark this important transition, the company was rechristened Laurin & Klement.
It received a brand new logo in the Art Nouveau style, which was then very much
in vogue. The logo presents the initials of its proprietors within a laurel wreath. However,
this logo coexisted with another one for almost 25 years. During the first decades of the
automotive epic it was actually common, in addition to the logo as we know it today,
to inscribe the name of the brand, in this case Laurin & Klement, in full on the front
of the vehicle.

1925: The merger
After the Great War, Laurin & Klement diversified their activities considerably to take
in bicycles, motorbikes, cars, lorries, buses, agricultural engines, and even airplane
engines. But in 1924, amid financial problems and after a fire had ravaged the premises,
the brand had to search for a new industrial partner. For its part, ŠKODA Works, then one
of Europe’s largest industrial groups, with activities ranging from armaments to railways
as well as aviation and shipyards, among other things , was just venturing into the
automotive industry and likewise was seeking a partner already established in this
field. A merger was concluded with Laurin & Klement. From that time, the vehicles were
to be sold under the ŠKODA brand, bearing a new logo which combined the identities
of the two partners: the name ŠKODA surrounded by the crown of laurel.
This logo was to be used for 10 years, although traces of another emblem can be found
already from 1923…

1926: The Indian
This year ŠKODA registered a logo you will recognize today: the blue-winged arrow,
293 60 Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic Page 5 of 8
which is a stylized representation of an Indian headdress with feathers and an arrow. Its
origins are extraordinarily mysterious; it is believed that one of the contributing authors
was commercial director of the ŠKODA company in Pilsen. Nevertheless, the most
credible account as to its meaning is that the symbol sought to express progress and
movement into the future. What is certain is that this blue-winged arrow replaced the
“ŠKODA and laurel” on the brand’s vehicles from the mid-1930s. And although this logo
has since evolved, it is still used today on ŠKODA Original replacement parts.
1993: Hello, Volkswagen!

The blue logo was borne by all vehicles through the Soviet era and did not change for
over 60 years. Then in 1991, when the Volkswagen Group took over responsibility for
ŠKODA’s destiny, this occasioned the opportunity for a little rejuvenation. So, in 1993,
the blue gave way to green and the circle was enlarged to allow for the inscription
“ŠKODA AUTO”. This green logo debuted on ŠKODA FELICIA, the first vehicle of the
Volkswagen era.

1999: A rising power
In the embrace of the German giant, ŠKODA experienced spectacular growth. Its vehicles
were increasingly “designed”, the quality was ever higher, and they continued
to be priced more competitively. They enjoyed enormous success. The logo evolved yet
again to distance the brand a little more from its past as “a from the East”. The greenwinged
arrow was retained, but a new meaning was assigned to its colour such that
it took on a sense of eco-friendliness. Meanwhile, the logo’s overall appearance was
enhanced as the circle’s green was replaced with a more elegant black.

2011: Solid reputation well established
Over the course of time, ŠKODA automobiles have established a very solid reputation for
quality, reliability, practicality, and at the same time elegance. Upon entering into the
second decade of the 21st century, it was decided once again to freshen up the logo.
The winged arrow was by that time well enough known that it could evoke the brand all
by itself.

The name ŠKODA therefore disappeared from the logo. To add refinement and elegance,
the black circle was enclosed within a chrome band. Even though green is still the
“official” colour of ŠKODA, the colour in the end disappeared from those logos affixed
upon vehicles. That version is now completely chrome (circle and winged arrow)
on a black background and expresses the brand’s 2011 values: youth and precision. The
current values –Simplifying, Surprising, Human – have shaped the logo into an even
more contemporary form.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Josef Zimovčák

In just ten days, high-wheel world champion Josef Zimovčák cycles across the Czech Republic – in aid of children with cancer. What motivates such a man?
Crazy? Probably – but that’s the great thing about this charity adventure. Josef Zimovčák doesn’t seem to care that over 100 years ago,Penny-farthings were replaced by the comfortable bicycles we know today: He will be crossing the entire length of the Czech Republic on his giant high wheeler. In just ten days, he will be pedalling the 1,057 kilometres from east to west. A tour de force – but why?

“We’re doing this for a great cause,” says the 12-times high-wheel world champion and mentor of the ‘Na kole dětem’ (‘Get cycling for kids’) foundation, which ŠKODA also supports. With each pedal stroke during the charity ride, he will be raising funds to enable children with cancer to go on rehabilitation and respite holidays. “Those who are lucky enough to be healthy must do what they can to help people less fortunate in life,” the 59-year-old explains his motivation.

Zimovčák is known for his ambition far beyond the high-wheel scene – he is also a respected professional cyclist. It is little wonder, as no other person has completed as many wild or gruelling tours on the huge two-wheeler: Zimovčák, born in 1958, has ridden several stages of the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and La Vuelta. He has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records riding the farthest on a Penny-farthing in 24 hours (522 kilometres in 1996). And yet: “For me, the greatest success in my life is the ‘Na kole dětem’ project. It has 3 levels: to help children get to know beauties of our country, to do some physical activity and to get involved in sport. I am a visionary; I believe that this concept will spread over the borders of Czech Republic and that the high bike has long future ahead.”

Zimovčák’s 2016 summer highlight was definitely his trip from Bruntál to Klasterec nad Ohri. Because the idea of a charity bike ride was so good, only prominent cyclists (on normal bikes) rode alongside him in the peloton, including three silver ŠKODAs: a challenge for all the riders in the convoy who could not match Zimovčák’s pace. The balance sheet: 40,000 euros were raised at the seventh charity ride of ‘Na kole dětem’. Calculated by taking the circumference of the high-wheel (4.78 meters) over a distance of 1,057 kilometres, that comes out at 18 cents per wheel revolution.

And what do you have to watch out for when mounting a high wheeler for the first time? It’s really quite different to normal cycling! From the very start: while one leg stands on the step attached to the frame, the other leg creates the momentum. Then, it’s a question of getting up to the saddle. The fun begins at the top: “Each pedal stroke drives the front wheel directly. You have to specifically counteract this impact force over the handlebars,” explains Josef Zimovčák. “Otherwise, you fly over the handlebars.” He has experienced this first hand: “I’ve had a broken nose twice, broken my hand six times, broken my jaw, I’ve lost eight teeth, broken my ribs three times and many other injuries that I have long-since forgotten,” says the consultant for life and accident insurance, smiling most with this response.

The 8th annual bicycle tour ‘Na kole dětem’ (‘Get cycling for kids’) starts on May 31st in Ústí nad Labem and finishes on June 10th in Rouchovany. Along its 1,205 kilometres, cyclists will pass through Prague, Mladá Boleslav, Vrchlabí, Česká Třebová, Zlín and Brno, over hills and valleys, along rivers and through forests. Simply put: it will sample all the beauty that is the Czech Republic. A number of stops with entertainment and educational programming are planned along the way, but the main part of the programme takes place behind the handlebars. So get ready to join us in pedalling for a good cause!