1. Justin

    Justin Owner Administrator

    Communist bloc sports cars

    Despite limited engineering prowess and shortage of materials, the Communist bloc car makers whose motors produced more smoke than power, nevertheless had several attempts at taking a leaf out of decadent automobile books and producing sports cars.

    Some were more successful than others.

    Skoda Typ 724

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    We know that Skodas nowadays are no joke, but there was a time when they were.

    This is the Super Sport Typ 724 from 1971 which used a mid-engined chassis with a futuristic fibreglass body, and had 16 rear lamps.

    In 1981, painted black it starred in the vampire movie Upír z Feratu, and it's now in the Skoda Museum.

    Trabant P70 coupe

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    While more than 38,000 Trabant P70s were made, only 1500 coupes left the assembly line, making this baby very desirable in late 50s East Germany.

    Like the infamous sedan, it was crafted from Duroplast, a resin plastic reinforced with cotton fibre and needed all 16 of its smoky DKW two-stroke kilowatts.

    Melkus RS 1000

    Heinz Melkus was a racecar driver from Dresden, East Germany, who used Wartburg chassis and gull-wing fibreglass bodies, powered by tuned three-cylinder 1.0-litre engines.

    These could melt the body if pushed too hard.

    Communist party members got first preference, but found them difficult to drive.

    [​IMG]

    Wartburg 313

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    Less than 500 were built using the same two-stroke engine as the Melkus using the usual two-stroke engine producing 50 horsepower, and were offered in both coupe and convertible forms.

    An upscale product in East Germany, the interior was clad in precious leather which was unheard of at the time.

    FSO Syrena Sport

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    While it might seem like damning with faint praise, the Syrena Sport was labelled in the late 50s as the most beautiful Polish car ever produced.

    Powered by an air-cooled flat-twin and a stylish body, the foreign press liked the car. Which of course resulted in the government cynically banning the machine immediately.

    - Sunday Star Times
  2. 1983JZR3W

    1983JZR3W Puttering Along

    Great info!! Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Justin likes this.
  3. Wartburg353W

    Wartburg353W Loyal Comrade

    The author is not a fan. Why did he/she write it then? Skodas were a joke? And couldn't source a picture of a Melkus, only a diecast? Limited engineering prowess?
  4. DaveinOz

    DaveinOz Aussie Trabant Nutter Forum Donor

    Wow. That Skoda 724 is so 80s...

    There is a wheeler dealers episode where they do up a Syrena 105 - I'd never even heard of it until I saw this one:



    Still waiting for a wheeler dealers episode featuring a Trabant!
  5. Caleb

    Caleb Loyal Comrade

    Does anyone know if any of those P70's survived? Anyone have one or seen one anywhere?
  6. Justin

    Justin Owner Administrator

    There are some out there...but very rare....I think there may be 2 in the US

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