"It was just a few selected development engineers, model makers, who were in that basement [working on the development of a new car for post-war production]. Even I was there because my dad took me there after the war. I was just a little boy, he led me there by the hand. I even know which way, because there was a bike shed, and behind the bike shed there were stacked crates, and behind the crates there was the secret entrance. A small door and they'd go in there and bring in, like, sheet metal and stuff like that. And it was stacked there and it was fully covered and the Germans, when they went there, they just took a look, there are some bikes, we're not going there. And if they were looking for, may be an entrance, it would be inside the factory." - "How old were you?" - "Maybe four or five years old."
"I, when I banged my briefcase in the factory gatehouse, I was setting up the cars for him. I'd learnt it from him, to get the revs right, I was already able to do the ignition timing on the saloon cars that were being made here. Or I'd bring him a seat with the tools he used for the trip." - "So a test driver was still tuning the engine?" - "He finished tuning it up. It's true that mechanics, they worked on the valves, they preset it. That was already on its place and only then was it figured out if it needed more timing or less. There was no diagnostics back then. Every car had one, two, three degrees of ignition timing. That was still being fine-tuned, it had to work." - "I suppose we're talking about times when they were making 10 cars a day?" - "Well, because they were doing one shift, they were making 12, 14 cars, or even less. And at that period you could say that in every saloon car, every Felicia, my dad sat in it and even me, in a lot of them. Moreover, back then it didn´t use to be so strict and even local cops knew my dad. I shouldn't say it, but many times I was driving the other car behind him."
"Anyway, the production in Chile, it was very primitive. It's hard to explain. They made a mould for a base plate, the mould was made of wood, for example. The plate was standing on six hydraulic jacks. The sheet metal was put on top of that, clamped with clamps, which were anchored in the concrete in the ground. And well, six Indians were pumping and it was slowly going up until the sheet metal stretched up. But it wasn't a profitable activity at all. But it's true that based on the assembling of these cars, the food industry got in, this and that company, and eventually they set up a commercial department and an embassy there. So, actually, the cars started it all there." - "A commercial representation, you mean?" - "Commercial representation."
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Bohuslav Čtvrtečka’s heart beats for Škoda
Bohuslav Čtvrtečka was born on 13 December 1943 in Kvasiny in the Rychnov region. He devoted his entire career to the local car factory. He started from scratch and after 46 years ended up in a top management position. His uncle, father, wife and daughter worked at Škoda and his grandson still has been working there. In the early 1970s, he helped to start the production of Škoda Octavia in Chile. He has seen the ups and downs of the car factory and Škoda is his life. He still does guided tours of plant in Kvasiny and he is an active member of the veterans association. He lives, where else than in Kvasiny, just a few hundred meters from the car factory.