Saturday, September 3, 2011

1969 SKODA 1000MB De Luxe

There can't be many of these in the US...

Skoda was one of the more impressive Eastern European brands. Unlike Lada and Dacia, who built Fiats and Renaults under license, Skoda developed its own cars. Unlike Trabant, whose vehicles could barely be called cars, Skodas were well appointed (for an inexpensive car), comfortable cars.

Introduced in 1964, the Skoda 1000 was the Czechoslovakian brand's successor to the Octavia. The Octavia was a front engine / rear drive car. The 1000 is rear engine / rear drive.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Skoda was one of the few Eastern European car companies to aggressively market their cars in the west. (They even had dealers in the United States for awhile, but didn't sell many - if any - 1000s here.) The 1000 was to be their answer to the VW Beetle, Renault 8 / 10, etc.

On paper, the 1000 was a very good car. In the real world it proved to have a few serious problems. Rust was a big issue. Not only did it rust early in life, it rusted in all the places you don't want a car to rust; suspension mounts, subframe, doors, rocker panels, etc. Overheating was another major problem. Skoda never really cured this. Their only solution was laughable; new cars were delivered with a container of spare coolant located in the front right fender. Predictably, the aluminum block, cast iron head engine became known for head gasket failures.

Despite the problems, the 1000 sold well. Between 1964 and 1969 Skoda sold close to half a million.

Like most old cars, all the problems mean very little now. It's not like you're going to use it as your daily driver. (It's not like you'd want to... 0-60 took 27 seconds and its top speed was around 75 miles an hour - downhill, with a tail wind probably.)

This is a two owner car. It's in pretty amazing condition. The body has a few dings and dents, but no rust. The interior is in nice shape. The seller says the driver's seat doesn't match the rest of the interior, but all the seats have covers on them, so it's hard to tell. The engine had some work done to it and is said to run well.

This is the type of car I love seeing preserved. It's a car with a unique personality. It's the type of car we'll most likely never see again.

Located in Jupiter, FL, click here to see the eBay listing.

The seller includes a link to a tribute video (that's the best way I can describe it) in his ad. You can find it here.

2 comments:

Matt Cotton said...

Now, this is the ultimate in rear-engined middle class Communist family transportation. All the Eastern Bloc countries with an auto industry had their "people's car" and Skoda jumped on the rear-engined bandwagon just as FWD started to catch on. They kept making them, too, long after almost everyone else in Europe, too, except, probably, for the Polski Fiat 126 and Porsche. In fact, the last Skodas were often compared to the 911! Tatra lasted even longer!!! Communist cars are crude, but fascinating! Love to get into rear engined photo ops! !

rrshadow2 said...

My friend that lives on Vashon Island here near seattle that has the Lada Niva and Had the Mistubishi Debonair has a Skoda 1000MB that he imported a few yaars back from the UK, I've never seen it but I heard all about it when he got it