This cold war-era classic might be the coolest Eastern Bloc car ever
Meet the Merkus RS 1000
Most cold war-era vehicles from the Eastern Bloc were fairly terrible. They weren’t supposed to be pretty, or sophisticated, but they were designed to be easily repaired with a piece of string and some duct tape. Kinda like an AK-47. Some have become iconic, like the Trabant, while most have been forgotten. Some, like the car you see here, have never even been on people’s radar.
This is a 1976 Melkus RS 1000, built in Dresden, in [then] East Germany, by a racing driver called Heinz Melkus.
The RS 1000 was built with a fibreglass body mounted on a ladder-frame chassis and it was equipped with decadent and capitalistic gullwing doors. Imagine that.
Melkus only built 101 units, most of which were powered by a Wartburg-sourced 1.0-litre 3-cylinder, 2-stroke engine with three carburettors. However, this particular model (available from Collecting Cars) is equipped with a 1.3-litre ‘Müller-Andernach’ V6, producing 110 hp and 133 lb-ft of torque. It’s the only existing V6 Melkus in the world, according to the seller.
It‘s painted yellow, with black and grey upholstery for the interior, and it’s done 13,456 km (8,361 miles). The car is still listed on the website and marked as ‘unsold’. Maybe the reserve wasn’t met and if that’s the case, it’ll probably be listed again. Would you buy it?