Name: 1967 Trabant 601
Year Produced: 1963-1990
Number Built: 2,818,547
Body Type: 2-door sedan
Engine: 36ci, 595 cc, air cooled two stroke parallel twin
Power: 27 hp @ 4200 RPM
0-60mph: 30.3 seconds
Top Speed: 62 mph
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Length/width/height: 138.2 in/59.3 in/56.7 in
Wheelbase: 79.5 in.
Original Price: US$7,749.34
The Trabant, or ‘Trabi’ for the loyal fans of the car, is gradually becoming a classic in spite its share of jokes and ridicule. Since its production in 1963, it was the staple car of then communist East Germany and was their answer to their western counterpart’s ‘People’s Car’ or the Volkswagen Beetle. The Trabant is a small and very simple minicar specifically designed with the common folk in mind. More than 3 million Trabant sedans and wagons were built by its German auto builder Sachsenring in Zwickau, East Germany between the years 1963 until a year after Germany’s reunification in 1990. It was well loved by Europeans that in fact 800,000 Trabis are still on the road.
The Trabant is a very simple car, powered by a 2-cylinder air-cooled, 600cc 2-stroke engine that manages to belt out a mere 27 horsepower. The engine is so small that it only requires one person to lift it out of the car. Its body is entirely made of Duroplast plastic reinforced with cotton fabric that covers its galvanized steel shell which makes protection very minimal. It was a cheap and practical car with a simple design that is easy to repair and maintain.
Nowadays, the Trabant seems to be gaining a following in some parts of the Western world and also in the United States, not just for being a fun collectable car, but also the historical significance that comes along with it. It is slowly catching the attention of classic car enthusiasts that the name ‘Trabant’ is no longer a laughing stock.
This video is a must watch for those who are curious enough to ask how does it feel riding in a Trabant.