The Most Charming Barkas B1000 Pickup Is Looking for a New Owner

The quirky little truck recently starred in a movie.

byKristin V. Shaw|
green truck 3/4 front view
Robert Tamas


Detroit resident Robert Tamas is a die-hard fan of cars from the Eastern Bloc. He owns a Barkas B1000, two Trabants made in then-East Germany, and a pre-Renault Dacia built in Romania. He also founded an online group for like-minded fans of cars from this region. After two years of ownership, however, he’s selling his obscure, charming Barkas truck. And let me tell ya, it’s tempting.

Tamas told The Drive that he traded a yellow 1986 Trabant and some parts for the B1000 a little more than two years ago. It had been imported in the mid-2010s to Chicago and finished in mustard green. The new owner subsequently painted it a more palatable shade of green, then swapped out the original two-stroke engine for a Volkswagen 1.3-liter four-cylinder powerplant paired with a four-speed manual transmission.

When Tamas picked up the truck, it had just been featured in a movie shoot. The friend who traded him for the Trabant shares Tamas’ love for Eastern Bloc vehicles and rents them out for movies and such, but Tamas wasn’t sure which movie (keep your eyes peeled for a green B1000, I guess).

Tamas loaded up his 30-foot trailer and towed it from Queens to Detroit with his own Chevy 2500HD, which he says was “a hell of a drive” weaving through New York City.

Since the engine swap, Tamas estimates the truck has been driven about 20,000 miles. The owner, who is a heavy equipment mechanic by trade, says he didn’t make any modifications to the Barkas truck, but he fixed a few electrical issues and a minor clutch problem. It's not perfect, but it looks good, Tamas says.

He’s asking $8,000 (or best offer), so if you have a thing for a quirky front-wheel drive truck with a front-mounted VW engine under the hood, this could be your dream car.

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