Trabant

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A parking lot in East Berlin, in 1983. Mainly Trabants, a white Wartburg and a dark green Lada

The Trabant (or Trabi) was a series of cars built in the German Democratic Republic. When the first cars were released, people saw them as being innovative. The cars were also easy on fuel, they did not need much fuel. Trabant had a two-stroke engine. The outside of the Trabant was not made with steel or iron, because the German Democratic Republic did not want to import steel and iron for the cars, because that would have been too expensive. Instead, the Trabant was made of Duroplast, a special kind of plastic, made by mixing formica and bakelite, and made stronger with fibres of cotton. They could afford some steel from Russia, and this was used for the engine and the floor, and to give the plastic strength. After the Berlin Wall was opened the Trabant did not sell as much as before, because the people wanted bigger cars that they could get after the wall was opened. Trabants can still be found in East Europe, for example in Hungary.

Criticism[change | change source]

The Trabant was a small car, good for driving in the city. The two-stroke engine created lots of air pollution, but because of the plastic body, it was stronger and safer than western cars of the same time. It was famous for being better in a crash test than a VW Polo.

Versions[change | change source]

Version Years of production N° of cars producted
AWZ P70 since 1954 to 1959 36.151
Trabant P50/500 since 1957 to 1962 131.440
Trabant P60/600 since 1962 to 1965 106.628
Trabant 601 since 1964 to 1990 2.818.547
Trabant 1,1 since 1989 to 1991 39.474

Between 1957 and 1990, about 3 million Trabants were built. As of January 2005, about 67.000 such cars were still registered.

Gallery[change | change source]