Trabant in my thoughts and memories

IMG_9088The other day I saw a Trabant parked beside a X8 or another X-SUV made by BMW and I wondered how the cars and the chickens were able to grow enormously in the last 50 years…

For who doesn´t know, Trabant (also called Trabi) is a car produced by Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau in East German and around 3million cars were distributed to soviet countries during the communist age. Maybe there were Trabis in Brazil as well, they looked familiar to me at first seen. I am not sure.

The material used to produce it was a kind of plastic (Duroplastic) made from recycled material.  But I think this was the only “green” feature of this car because some limitations of the smoky engine produced way more pollution, in comparison to the current models. Also, I´ve heard the Duroplastic was not recyclable and an extra effort was made latter to find a solution and a destination to the old and useless cars.

The car was planned to be  produced in large scale as transport simple and affordable to the population, but the trade off was the comfort and the speed, no more than 100km/hour. On the other hand, the fuel consumption was also low, what makes it a very economical car. The design and engine varied very little along its production and the spare parts and maintenance was not so easy, what lead the car owners to really be careful with their possessions. And this is the beauty! Thanks to a limitation, we still can see in our avenues in Hungary nice Trabants!IMG_9085

The car is not produced since around 1989. However, everywhere you go, if you pay attention (sometimes is hard to find them among Fords, Suzukis (very popular in Hungary), Opels, Chevrolets, BMW and Mercedes), you can find the small and modest Trabants alive! Most of them are in perfect conditions, some  belongs to collectors of vintage cars or simply they are the family car still.

I love them! First because when I see a Trabant 601 DeLuxe Limousine (first picture, taken at Andrassy U, on December 2012) on the street, it is like to travel to a past where I had never been to but with the possibility to imagine how it was and create in my mind my own and singular history…

Second because they have only 3-5 colors, but they look so different! They carry characteristics and tell you a little about their owners! (look at this picture aside where the car is protected whit a safety locker on the wheel).

new-trabantThe third and my favorite thought is that they remind me every time how simple the life can be and how we overcomplicate it with this intense consumerism and hurry of the everyday life!

Nowadays, there is a plan to bring back the model or create a new car inspired by Trabant. In Frankfurt 2009 Motor Show, it was exhibited a electric concept-model that mixed Mini and Trabant (see the picture aside). Well, most probably this will cost a lot and it won´t be so nostalgic like the original ones. But not everybody is nostalgic about Trabant… (at the end of the post, I inserted the video of a Hungarian song about Trabant from 80/90´s)

What really matters is that I will take the memories of old and cute Trabants with me forever! (even controversial, the song as well!)

PS: In Berlin you still can rent a Trabant to do a tour around the city! I didn´t have this opportunity, still! 🙂

Sources: Wikipedia


Old Trabants in Budapest,2012 by Lárcio Benedetti

New Trabant from


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