The Skoda Felicia Fun is the exception that proves the rule. Unlike many things with ‘fun’ in the title, the pick-up is Fun by name, fun by nature.
In the majority of other cases, the use of the word ‘fun’ should be reported for a breach of the 1968 Trade Descriptions Act.
Take the fun size chocolate bar. Why is a product that’s inherently smaller than the main product allowed to be identified as ‘fun’? Then, there’s the ‘fun run’, which usually involves an hour or two spent staring at the backs of people in ill-fitting Lyrca, blisters the size of hamsters and enough sweat to fill Basingstoke Aquadrome.
Consider, if you will, the ‘fun day’, which normally involves horrendous music channelled through a PA system, tombolas, officious types in yellow jackets and people proudly displaying their homegrown carrots and marrows. Fun? Really?
You can buy books on ‘fun maths’, for goodness sake, while the music of Fun Boy Three, while brilliant, was hardly uplifting and joyful. No, if you feel the need to crowbar ‘fun’ into the title of anything, it normally means that it is anything but.
Which brings us back to the Skoda Felicia Fun. A pick-up good enough for fun-loving gardener and calendar girl for men of a certain age, Charlie Dimmock.
She loved her Felicia Fun.
The Felicia Fun was both of these things and more. If you think the outside is yellow, just wait until you see the inside. For Skoda, fun means taking a yellow brush to the steering wheel, door cards, dials, gearstick and handbrake.
It does lifestyle in a way that a modern crossover can only dream of, although Skoda’s hopes for it appealing to those in need of a practical workhorse were probably wide of the mark. The Felicia Fun wasn’t a vehicle for trips to Jewsons or for use on a building site.
But this was more than simply a Felicia pick-up dressed up to look like Laa-Laa from the Teletubbies. Skoda went full-on concept-car-made-real with the Felica Fun. It’s like one of those crazy concepts you’d find in the smaller halls at a motor show.
Lurking behind the rear of the cabin is a compartment containing two extra seats, making it a fun size pick-up for the whole family. That’s assuming you have two kids and you don’t mind them getting wet.
While undoubtedly snug, the rear seats are afforded no protection from the elements, which would be no fun on a wet day in Bridlington, or any other British town for that matter. Fun for you, the driver, mind, because your passengers are locked in the back, exposing them to something akin to Czech waterboarding.
Perhaps the least fun part about the Felicia Fun is the powertrain, with power sourced from a 75bhp 1.6-litre MPI engine mated to a five-speed gearbox. If a 0-62mph time of 12.5 seconds and a top speed of 100mph scores high on your fun-o-meter, great, but a packet of Bird’s Custard might be quicker, albeit less yellow.
Skoda intended to bring just 300 right-hand-drive Felicia Funs into the UK, but the fact that it sold nearly double that number speaks volumes, both about the car and the British population.
It came out of nowhere. Skoda wasn’t known for being a frivolous and flighty organisation, so the Felicia Fun was a bit leftfield. It was like nothing OTT, nothing OTT, nothing OTT, nothing OTT, then, BOOM… Skoda goes out on an all-night bender in Prague and returns with a tattoo of The Frog Prince on its left bum cheek.
Then, as if to prove that this wasn’t just a crystal meth hallucination, it decides to plaster The Frog Prince on its yellow pick-up. The logo, which can be found on the seats and the side of the pick-up, must be a reference to Volkswagen’s takeover of Skoda in 1991 and the billions of euros ploughed into the company.
You’re unlikely to find a more 90s car than the Skoda Felicia Fun. It’s like a weekend with Ginger Spice in full Union Flag attire, watching every episode of Friends back-to-back while downing Bacardi Breezers.
That it has taken this long to grace the pages of PETROLBLOG is unforgivable. It’s like the National Library without any books. Noel Tiddybeard without any facial hear. Oasis without the swagger.
But, as the Skoda Felicia Fun celebrates its 20th anniversary, PB says thank you for putting the fun into fun size pick-ups. Has anyone seen our Charlie Dimmock calendar?