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Saturday, September 1st

The Car I Learned About Today - The Skoda 1000MB

"The Car I Learned About Today" is a regular feature on Carcynic. To find more articles in this series, use the Search Box on the left, or try this canned search.

Skoda_1000MB_mod (145k image)
Photo from Google+ Post by +Martin Holan

Skoda is an automobile manufacturer based in the Czech Republic. Skoda is more properly written with a caron (^) over the "S", which is pronounced somewhat like "Sh" - Shkoda. Since 2000, Skoda has been owned by Volkswagen. Despite the name, which sounds to me like the name for a certain part of the male anatomy, Scro--- I mean Skoda now sits alongside some very prestigious names like Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche (and SEAT, but that does not sound that prestigious either. -- Yes, I know how it is pronounced, but that doesn't help.)

The Skoda M1000MB had a 988cc 4 cylinder engine mounted in the rear, and given the association with VW, one might assume it had an air-cooled pancake engine like a Beetle. It's important, however, to get the timeline right. VW had nothing to do with Skoda at the time; the 1000MB's engine was in-line, and water cooled -- Well, I should say it used water to attempt to cool the engine. The 1000MB was plagued with cooling problems for it's entire life (1964 - 1969).

Even before I researched this vehicle, I could tell just from it's look, the era, and the fact that it was manufactured in an Easter-block country that it probably decomposed slightly faster than sodium in a glass of warm water, and sure enough that's the case. Rust has claimed most of the nearly half-million that were produced.

Red_Skoda_1000_MB_mod (27k image)
Photo: Wikipedia - This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Despite engine failures, and rust, the 1000MB is a cool looking car, and for it's time and market, had decent performance and handling. While Skoda has only started competing in higher levels of Rally Racing (WRC) since it's takeover by VW, the 1000MB did participate competitively in lower levels of rallying.

carcynic on 09.01.12 @ 03:13 PM EST [Article Anchor]