©2007 by joão paglione – all rights reserved
Als Trabant wird die ab 1957 in der DDR gefertigte Pkw-Baureihe des Herstellers VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau bezeichnet. Zwischen November 1957 und April 1991 wurden insgesamt 3.051.385 Fahrzeuge der Trabant-Baureihe produziert. Beim deutschen Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt waren zum 1. Januar 2007 noch rund 52.400 Fahrzeuge in Deutschland registriert. Viele Fahrzeuge exportierte man zu DDR-Zeiten in die ČSSR, nach Polen und vor allem Ungarn. Anfänglich galt die Baureihe als sparsam und robust, später jedoch veraltete sie aufgrund fehlender Innovationen. Heute gilt der Trabi als Kultauto, das verschiedene Fanclubs würdigen.
Although Trabants had been exported from East Germany, they became well-known in the West after the fall of the Berlin Wall when many were abandoned by their Eastern owners after migrating westward. News reports inaccurately described them as having cardboard bodies. This is likely due to the fact that the body of the Trabant was Duroplast, a material that, in East German production, often made use of varying quantities of different fibers, such as cotton, or occasionally paper.
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 became collectors’ items, prices recovered, but they remain very cheap cars. Green Trabants are especially popular as they are said to bring good luck.
In 1997, the Trabant was celebrated for passing the "Elchtest" ("moose test"), a 60 km/h (37 mph) swerve manoeuvre slalom, without toppling over like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class infamously did. A newspaper from Thuringia had a headline saying "Come and get us, moose! Trabi passes A-Class killer test".
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