Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

So - a German sports car, developed and built by a racing car driver. Very limited production, mainly meant for the race course, but driven on the road by a select few hardcore enthusiasts.

The whole car is only 39.4 inches tall. That's lower than a GT40!

Lightweight ladder frame chassis with fibreglass body. The engines could be had in a variety of tune to suit the intended usage. Gullwing doors, no less. And yet, hardly anyone outside of Germany has heard of it. Why?

Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Melkus RS1000

For starters, it came from the wrong side of the wall, so to speak. It was made in East Germany by local racing hero Heinz Melkus. The other problem were the mechanical components. For lack of anything better available, he had to use bits and pieces, plus the engine, from the Wartburg 353. That meant a small 1 litre two-stroke engine, and top speeds between 175 - 210km/h. Not at all bad given what they had to work with, but no threat to the sports cars from the West.


101 cars were built between 1969 and 1979.

After the fall of Communism in Europe, Heinz Melkus ran the first BMW dealership in East Germany. After his death in 2005, his sons built another 15 Melkus RS1000 as a tribute.


They wanted to produce another sports car - obviously with more modern components - but the company went into receivership a couple of years ago.

The model is a 1/64 scale version by Grell.

If you want to see the real thing in action, check out this video:

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