This 170bhp Skoda Estelle might be the ultimate sleeper

Remember how we used to laugh at the Skoda Estelle? We aren't laughing anymore – this 1986 sleeper has Ford RS Turbo power and would eat most cars for fun

The Skoda Estelle – a byword for craftsmanship and quality should you have been born under a rock. Trumpeted as Britain’s cheapest car when launched in 1976, the Skoda’s design ignored all modern innovations to provide handling rivaled only by a downhill office chair – courtesy of passé technology and weight distribution.

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A reputation for flaky build quality may have seen the Czech marque branded as an easy target by 1980s comedians, but with a modern cult following amid historical significance, the Estelle is having the last laugh. Especially when powered by a 170bhp S2 Escort RS Turbo engine – such as this one that's cropped up on eBay.

Although the Estelle was offered with rear-wheel drive, it never made ‘TIIIISSSSSSHHHHH’ noises. Well, this one does. Created some 20 years ago by an engineer seeking that perfect blend of Ford power and Soviet styling, the Skoda then languished in dry storage for a decade and a half.

The previous vendor – a gentleman who restores classic Subarus – acquired the Estelle and started an ever mounting list of specialist work, yet life got in the way. Despite good intentions, the Skoda sat gathering dust. After hearing about the car, the current owner viewed the Skoda and made the purchase.

Bringing the Estelle-on-steroids back to life, Skoda’s answer to hot-rodding now boasts a rear-mounted, running 1.6 CVH Turbo taken from a low-mileage donor, a front mounted radiator, custom turbo/exhaust manifold and SPAX suspension. According to the advert, it ‘runs quietly but is lumpy’.

The original customizer apparently had a ‘works’ gearbox installed, yet retained the original transmission; which is included with the sale.

Within the cabin you’ll find Ford Fiesta RS Turbo front bucket seats that could ‘do with a clean on the bolsters, but material wise they are mint!’

The reason for sale? Originally an impulse buy as something to play with on weekends, the owner now realises that the Skoda requires some serious TLC to unleash its full potential. The seller is also suffering a nagging noise from his partner, presumably moaning about the ‘ugly car sat on the drive’.

The price for such a beast? The Skoda will cost you £3450. There’s no MOT, but to the right person, this is the sleeper project to end them all. You just need to decide whether you are that person...

Get a closer look at the bonkers 1986 Skoda Estelle here.

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