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12Germany's Melkus files for bankruptcy

Another boutique maker of compact sports coupes has filed for bankruptcy in Germany. Melkus was a company we always enjoyed seeing at European auto shows. You never knew where the company would be – all of a sudden you'd notice a sleek, lissome coupe with open gullwing doors and you'd go, "Ah, there you are." That won't be happening anymore unless a white knight shows up: Melkus has reportedly filed for bankruptcy in a Dresden court, citing a lack of sales for its dire cash position.

5Melkus lacquers up RS2000 Black Edition for Geneva debut

What's the difference between black and piano black? Lacquer, and lots of it. Whether they're making an actual piano or trimming out a car to the same effect, craftsman will typically apply six layers of clearcoat to give the wood that deep, lustrous shine (compared to the three layers featured on high-end auto bodies). When applied to cars, it's usually done as trim on the interior dashboard, but with the RS2000 Black Edition, Melkus has finished the entire car that way.

3 Melkus marque lives again

East German sports car builder Melkus, founded by designer and racecar driver Heinz Melkus, reopened its doors under the direction of Peter and Sepp Melkus as Melkus Sports Car Kg in May 2006. Currently starting production of a limited edition reproduction of the marque's RS 1000, originally produced between 1968 and 1979, the father and son team are planning an all-new sports car for launch in 2008.

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