A Škoda 706 RTO Restoration Which Took 12.000 hours

This is the saga of 36-year-old Martin Pospíšil that was covered last year by Auto.cz. While Martin’s friends adored tractors and harvesters, he found his calling in buses. At first, he drove as a passenger for a long time, then for almost ten years worked as a driver and now he has restored the impoverished hull of what was once an 706 RTO.

“As a child, I didn’t understood how such giants could keep going on the road. It fascinated me!” He turned his childhood amazement into good use by renovating a 706 RTO bus from 1961 into fabulous condition. Especially when looking at photos, which capture his condition two years ago, when he was at a stage that belonged probably on a junkyard. However, thanks to the enthusiastic attitude of Martin, he took a breath and is now handing out joy.

Pospíšil’s search for the bus was not entirely successful for five years. In 2019, however, coincidentally, he came across two pieces within a week. On a Thursday he got one with a severed rear in Vyškov, from which some parts where salvageable. On one Tuesday while making a coffee the major of Příbram called him that he has another one for him. “I hung up and wanted to cry.”

“It simply came to our notice then. He used off all his savings and the second Škoda 706 RTO, left in the grass, moved to Dolní Kralovice for 200,000 CZK. The renovation took place at Martin’s workshop in spartan conditions. “We disassembled it, laid it on pallets, pulled out the engine and axles. In total, it took us twelve thousand hours of work”

The rhythm of the renovation “gripped his hair tightly” and, in a year, and a half (de facto in the Covenant Age of COVID-19) he turned the bus beyond recognition. He was looking for inspiration mainly in the model from 1957, which was exclusively prepared for the International Engineering Fair in Brno. “That’s why the colour is brown,” says Martin Pospíšil, and then takes the floor: “We drew mainly from period films, which we acquired at the Museum of Czech Bodywork in Vysoké Mýto.” Despite the intention to copy the original form as much as possible, some alterations had to took place.

In the bends of Želivská pahorkatina, he introduces the interviewers to the bloodline of a legend which celebrated his 60th birthday this year: “He originally served at the Prague transport company until 1975. Subsequently, he moved as a company bus to Modex in Dobrá nad Sázavou. Shortly after the revolution, it was bought by a sound engineer, who spent several years touring the republic with the band. And now it is another brilliant story of and result of renovated vehicle from our past.

Source: Auto.cz, Picture source: Svět motorů

Below you can also see some YouTube footage:

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