East German Trabant ' Satellite ' ( inspired by Soviet Sputnik ) now a collectors item
The Trabant is an automobile formerly produced by East German auto maker VEB Sachsenring
in Zwickau, Saxony. It was the most
common vehicle in East Germany, and
was also exported to
countries both inside and outside the communist bloc.
It had a two stroke engine. There were
waiting lists for years to get
one in East Germany .
Top Gear about the Trabant
The Trabant 500 was produced from 1957-1963 . The
Trabant 601 was produced from 1963 to
1989. The last Trabant was made
in 1991 .Fenders and doors were made
of Duroplast. In the early 1990s
it was possible to buy a Trabant for as
little as a
few marks, and many were given away. Later, as they
items, prices recovered, but they remain very cheap cars.
Trabants are especially popular as they are said to bring good luck.
The first part is a 70s commercial for the Wartburg 1000,
which was produced in Eisenach, East Germany.
It was the
"better' and more expensive car for East Germans compared to the much
simpler and cheaper Trabant (Trabbi or "Rennpappe" which translates to
"Cardboard Racer", a race (car) made out of cardboard paper, because the
chassi of the Trabant was not made of Metall, like any other car at
that time, but 'composite materials' and I am not talking about the kind
of 'composite materials' that were used for cars like the "Vector" and
other high end and custom build sports cars).
There were not much
other choices anyway. You might have been able to get a Russian "Lada",
a Czech "Skoda", an even worse Russian Moskwitsch (pronounced like
Mosqwitsch, alternative spellings: Scaldia, Moskvitch, Moskwitsch,
Moskvich, Moszkvics) and if you were really lucky, one of the few French
CitroŽn GSA Pallas and Renaults (I think the 209) or Japanese Mazdas
323 FF (1980-1988) that were imported into East Germany.
second part shows the East German "Trabant" factory of Sachenring
Zwickau and answers the question (in pictures), why the people in East
Germany had to pre-order their car 10-15 years before the order was
actually fulfilled by the manufacturer. One of the worst examples of
high demand and horrible supply.
Here is an interesting link to a
Wartburg webpage with pictures and details to all Wartburg models,
prototypes and customizations, such as the rare Wartburg Melkus, the
equivalent of a Ferrari Enzo (yes, THAT one) for East Germans. It was at
least as hard to get one of those Melkus as it is to get an Enzo today.