Škoda’s blood-fueled '80s vamp-mobile reimagined just in time for Prague Comic-Con

Škoda’s Ferat Vampire concept sports car, which originally debuted in a Czech horror film, finds new life after 40 years with a sharp new design.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 27.08.2021 19:37 (updated on 04.09.2021)

In all of the cars in Czech carmaker Škoda’s catalog, perhaps the strangest is the Škoda 110 Super Sport, which had a starring in 1982 Czech horror film “Ferat Vampire” (Upír z Feratu). In the film, the car ran on blood, not gasoline.

The car has been reimagined by a new designer as part of Škoda’s Icons Get a Makeover project. One reason this model was showcased is that Škoda is a partner of this year’s Prague Comic-Con 2021, the comics and sci-fi festival. It will celebrate nearly 40 years since “Ferat Vampire” premiered. Prague Comic-Con 2021 is set for Oct. 15–17 at O2 universum.

Škoda 110 Super Sport in its Ferat livery. (Photo: Škoda a.s.)
Škoda 110 Super Sport in its Ferat livery. (Photo: Škoda a.s.)

The original Škoda 110 Super Sport was a concept car, with a rear engine and rear-wheel drive. After two years of design work, a prototype was made in 1971, but it never went into mass production. Some 10 years later, the car prototype was modified by graphic Theodor Pištěk for its use in the horror film. He gave the car a black paint job, new front and rear lights, and a distinctive rear spoiler.

Pištěk would later win an Oscar for his costumes in Miloš Forman’s 1984 biopic “Amadeus.” He also designed the uniforms for the Prague Castle Guard.

The prototype was busy. It also can be seen, painted white, in the 1977 sci-fi comedy “Tomorrow I'll Wake Up and Scald Myself with Tea” (Zítra vstanu a opařím se čajem) and 1986 comedy “The Great Movie Robbery” (Velká filmová loupež).

Dagmar Veškrnová (Havlová) in “Ferat Vampire.” (Photo: Škoda a.s., National Film Archives)
Dagmar Veškrnová (Havlová) in “Ferat Vampire.” (Photo: Škoda a.s., National Film Archives)

But its role as a blood-drinking vampire car is its most famous. The film was directed by Juraj Herz, and starred Dagmar Veškrnová in one of her raciest roles. She would later become Dagmar Havlová, wife of Václav Havel, and serve as the Czech first lady from 1997 to 2003. Jiří Menzel, better known as a director, also stars in the film.

The plot was taken from the story “Upír LTD” (Vampire LTD) by Josef Nesvadba. The car drinks blood from the unsuspecting racecar driver’s foot. Mima (Veškrnová-Havlová) volunteers to become a driver, while Dr. Marek (Menzel) starts to suspect something is wrong. Ferat is the name of a fictitious car company, somewhat of a combination of Ferrari and Fiat.

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French designer Baptiste de Brugiere with the original Ferat Vampire car. (Photo: Škoda a.s.)
French designer Baptiste de Brugiere with the original Ferat Vampire car. (Photo: Škoda a.s.)

The film’s title “Upír z Feratu” was a pun of the first major vampire movie “Nosferatu,” known as “Upír Nosferatu” in Czech.

The car, in its black-and-red vampire livery, is now part of the collection of the Škoda Museum in Mladá Boleslav.

French designer Baptiste de Brugiere is behind the reimagining of the car.

Side view of the new concept for the Ferat Vampire car. (Photo: Škoda a.s.)
Side view of the new concept for the Ferat Vampire car. (Photo: Škoda a.s.)

“About three years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Škoda Museum’s depository for the first time. It was there that I first saw the Ferat, which I found fascinating. So when I heard about the Icons Get a Makeover project, I immediately volunteered to create a modern interpretation of it,” Baptiste said in a Škoda press release.

He tried to capture his first impression. “It’s that half a second before your brain starts to analyse the design. That’s when some of the features impress themselves on you, and it was these features I tried to preserve,” Baptiste said. The four LED strips on the front are meant to evoke vampire teeth.

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But it has been 40 years since the film, and 50 since the original concept. Combining the old and new concepts of what is considered a dynamic look was one of his main challenges. “I took some of these elements to the extreme to give the car some more modern touches,” he added.

Baptiste de Brugiere with his new concept for the Ferat Vampire car. (Photo: Škoda a.s.)
Baptiste de Brugiere with his new concept for the Ferat Vampire car. (Photo: Škoda a.s.)

The design work began on paper, and was finished by computer, taking about two weeks of work. The new version is likely to remain just a thought project, as Škoda is not currently planning to make a new prototype.

Unless of course, somebody plans a remake of the vampire car movie. But so far nobody has bitten into that idea.  We wouldn't stake our reputation that it will never happen, though.

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