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1988 Trabant 601 S DeLuxe.



With hindsight it can be considered East Germanys response to West Germanys Peoples Car, the VW Beetle. Its purpose was to provide a cheap but still reliable car that was very affordable and also easily to repair and maintain. Still it was at the time of its release rather modern in many ways, with front wheel drive, a low maintenance engine, unitary construction, composite bodywork and independent suspension all around. The main letdown was the pre-war DKW based engine that was competitive when launched, but from the late 1950s into the 1960s small economy cars in western countries that used two-stroke engines, were replaced with cleaner and more efficient four-stroke engines, as employed from the start in the Volkswagen Beetle. Two-stroke engines burn their lubricating oil by design and produce smokey tailpipe emissions. However, two-stroke engines were also to be found in cars like the Western German Auto Union 1000 that ended production in 1963, and the Swedish Saab 96 that changed to four-stroke in 1967. Whereas lack of development funds in East Germany forced the continued use of a two-stroke engine in the Trabant, that went from obsolescent in the 1960s to embarrassingly obsolete by the 1980s.



1970 Trabant 601 DeLuxe Universal.
  • Trabant 601 Standard (as Limousine & Universal).
  • Trabant 601 S (Sonderwunsch - Special Edition) With optional equipment like fog lamps, rear white light and an odometer (as Limousine & Universal).
  • Trabant 601 DeLuxe. Like the 601 S and additional twin-tone colouring and chrome bumper (as Limousine & Universal).
  • Trabant 601 Kübel (added in 1966). Jeep version with no doors, folding roof, auxiliary heating system, ignition system is RFI shielded.
  • Trabant 601 TRAMP (added in 1978). Civilian version of the Trabant Kübel, mainly export to Greece.
  • Trabant 601 Hycomat (P601 H), 1965 - 1990, in limited numbers (as Limousine & Universal). Made only for users with missing or dysfunctional left leg. It had included an automatic clutching system.
  • Trabant 800 RS. Rally version (1986 - 1988) with 771 cm³ engine and 5-speed manual transmission.


The 601 Today

Many former DDR citizens have mixed emotions in regards to their "Trabi", which still is a symbol for the demised DDR, since it was a part of the system. In recent years, these distinctive cars have become collectors items, with growing popularity. Green Trabants are especially popular, as they are said to bring good luck. Many Trabant owners clubs exist throughout Europe and 601s have their fans all over the world. Also, many Trabant 601s are still used as rally racing cars.

As a symbol for a forgone era, it has inspired movies such as Go Trabi Go that presented the Trabi as a kind of East German character and could make former DDR citizens laugh "not precisely at themselves, but at the absurdities of the system under which they lived until last year." It has also seduced people like the American actor David Hasselhoff to drive a "Trabi", although he had trouble to getting into it. Stephen Kinzer of The New York Times likens the Trabi as a symbol for the people who built it, who “survive[d] through difficult times and ultimately triumph[ed]”. The car was also featured in the American film Everything Is Illuminated.



Trabant two-stroke engine.


Twenty things you did not know about Trabant:

(Sorry, It translated by google, so please associated.)


If the Trabantról mostly the 601 comes to mind, and you know it, the two-stroke engine, steering gearbox, is made of paper and smelly, it is the writing, which Werner Langen, the now-deceased father of Trabant we remember for you. I for example did you know that:


- The wagon body is not in Zwickau, but Meraane was taken, about 20 km from the factory? To do this, the rear wall and floor panels without a roof had to be transferred, they are built, then shipped back to the factory.




- The Trabant two-stroke crankshaft in 1990, has been cutting steel, laser machines designed, but at the end of the line for quality control checking and correcting these alukalapáccsal analog clock?

- The plastic covering to overcome the raw material (metal) deficiency began to be used, but never enough so they could not produce body panels, it is the only element lesütése lasted for hours?

- The factory body panel manufacturing building could not be sold until today because of the huge oven and pressing equipment demolition and removal would cost more than they would otherwise not located far from the center of Zwickau, valuable land worth?




- The Trabant factory, known as the central operating unit originally manufactured Horch 3.5 and 4 tonnes of freight cars, but the passenger-car production needed more space, so the trucks Werdau moved - and thus was born the IFA W (Werdau) 50 Type for?

- The four-stroke Trabant built into Volkswagen engine is actually the Barkas Werk Ebony on Karl-Marx Städte on (the current and former Chemnitz) - although in fact existed between the 1966-68 and died Czech-GDR Joint motorprojektből be derived, so the four-stroke Trabant Volkswagen-built engine is actually a Trabant Trabant built engine, built by Volkswagen as well?


   900 1

- The huge East German autóhungry the seventies, has also been reported that the prototype, after an obligatory kilometers run simply sold their earthly mortals, and thus Hungarian tourists, migrant workers often ran together at home is unknown, cars with Trabant logo, the madness after readers letters to the editors of Auto Motor?

- To produce a working prototype built many, but for various economic and political reasons, most of them disappeared without a trace - typically at the end of the sixties, the Zwickau factory glass roof of the former butler decided the type of development feasibility.

- The Trabant in 1954 was done actually, but the first version is so terrible was that virtually all of the trash thrown, and produced DKW models before the war, based on P-70 night - thus gaining time is scheduled reconsideration.



- The Trabant was named (both roughly escort companion is) the presentation of a year, in 1957, launched from Szputnyikról, but just two years later, in 1959, began to be used officially - until the cars name was AWZ P50

- That Werner Lang himself told us that shattered Trabant 603 prototype designs in the late sixties West German marks was sold to Audi who built the entire family Golf basis for Audi 50 was based on them?


603 1


- The Trabant factory, the only one in the world is built Wankel engine to read the description in Western journals, and built homes because they did not cover the purchase of your license?

- Zwickau made that three-cylinder diesel, and one-and two-disc rotary engine, which was built in the usual book 601 Bodyworks?

603 3


- That made pickups (Quick-Transporter) is a Trabantból, has a four-stroke era, which lenyomtatták the brochures in English and German, but he was not after two more demo units?
- To 601, during the early years there were plated windows existed freighter, originally - like the VW Transporter - prepared for your use in the factory, then a lower dose delivered to the other socialist enterprise is?

- Switzerland has yet to Trabant Club (http://www.trabantclub.ch/), and the largest sad that environmental standards are permissive only for pre-1984 cars, making it easier to be placed on the market with a two-stroke than a 1.1-evening ?

- The German embassy in Prague park is David Cerny human legs standing Trabant?

- Trabant that made a total of more than three million units, and that roughly 98% of the classic 601?


IMG 2163


- The four-stroke Trabantból what we Hungarians are relatively common and ordinary automobiles with little more than three times as many made as the Delorean DMC-12?

- The production during 34 years of the four-stroke single hump component remained completely unchanged - the handbrake gear lock lagging?


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