Having parents in law from the former GDR, and hence a wife from the end time of this state, has given me the opportunity to listen to a bunch of stories about the GDR, which confirm most of the stories in movies about the GDR, like Sonnenallee or Good Bye Lenin!, which I can recommend to anyone who is to lazy to read about it. As an engineer the Trabant is one of the most interesting facets about the GDR. For non-Germans the following facts might be new, some of them are even new to me, so I had to cite them from Wiki:

Since it could take years for a Trabant to be delivered from the time it was ordered people who finally got one were very careful with it and usually became skillful in maintaining and repairing it. The lifespan of an average Trabant was 28 years.

The car took 21 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h and the top speed was 112 km/h.

The Trabant was a steel monocoque design with roof, bootlid, bonnet and doors in Duroplast, a form of plastic containing resin strengthened by wool or cotton.

There are also a bunch of jokes about the Trabant, see e. g. here. But today I found this youtube video, which shows the final stage of the production series of the car. It illustrates how individual each Trabant is, no wonder my parents in law had to wait 18 years for their car and couldn’t even choose the color. Nowadays we can’t decide because we have to much choices.


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May 2007
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