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If you were born on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain, the Trabant should need no introduction. Ditto if you're a U2 fan. The notorious little sedan, nicknamed "Trabi", was made in East Germany and exported around the world, mostly inside the communist bloc. Not exactly the most ideal candidate for resurrection, but while it may not be as fondly remembered as the original Fiat 500, Volkswagen Beetle or the Mini, the Trabi has a cult following and has been featured in countless movies and video games. U2 featured the Trabi on its Zoo TV tour in the early '90s, and one hangs from the ceiling in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH.
At the last Frankfurt Motor Show, a German model-carmaker showed a mockup of what a re-born Trabi might look like to gauge public reaction. Herpa secured the rights to use the name, and has now announced a deal with IndiKar, an automotive components manufacturer based in Saxony (where the original Trabant was made) to build it. Herpa and IndiKar hope to have a full-size concept ready to show by the next Frankfurt show, which doesn't roll around until the Fall of
the Berlin Wall
2009. In the meantime, Herpa is putting a toy version on the market to be unveiled at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg in February.
Press release after the jump.
[Source: Herpa via World Car Fans]
New Trabant Goes Into Production
Herpa co-operates with IndiKar
The development of the Trabant successor in original size is currently being finalized in terms of a Saxon automobile cooperation. And at Herpa, the newTrabi "en miniature" already goes in production.
Presentation at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg.
The miniature manufacturer Herpa from Dietenhofen / Bavaria premiered the idea of reviving the brand Trabant at the IAA 2007 in Frankfurt and started the initiative newTrabi. The at the IAA presented design study in the 1/10 scale met a worldwide positive response. Over 90 percent of the polled IAA visitors voted with "yes" for a new Trabant. Already four months later, Herpa is now able to lay the foundation to expand the initiative newTrabi in form of a Saxon automobile cooperation.
The technical coordination and inclusion of additional Saxon companies for the development, respectively realization, is taken over by the company IndiKar (Wilkau-Haßlau, Zwickau/Saxony district). The IndiKar Individual Karosseriebau GmbH is a company of the Farmingtons Group and competent as system vendor of specialty vehicles, vehicle components and prototypes for the automobile industry. Management and team of IndiKar under the leadership of director Ronald Gerschewski know and appreciate the tradition of the historic Trabant and can be distinguished by a high level of know-how and innovation in individual automobile development.
"With IndiKar and their network-partners from the auto land Saxony, we want to pursue the goal to present a modern Trabant successor as original-sized prototype at the IAA 2009", so Klaus Schindler, member of the Herpa management and initiator of the newTrabi idea. "The wishes and expectations of the cult car's many enthusiastic fans will be incorporated in the development. The newTrabi is supposed to be an eye-catcher with history and charm, innovative, handy and economical."
Herpa will continue to manage the initiative newTrabi. The marketing and the contact to the car fans will therefore remain in Herpa's hands under the management of the initiator Klaus Schindler.
As first sponsor of the newTrabi Initiative will the Bauconzept Planungsgesellschaft mbH (Lichtenstein/Saxony) play a part. Director Christoph Rabe wants to make a contribution to this - for him also under cultural aspects - important project.
On request of thousands of fans, the Initiative newTrabi goes into the next round. And for all who would like to "have something in hand", the forerunners "en miniature" are already available. Parallel to the initiative's continuation, Herpa starts the production of the newTrabi as miniature model in the classic collector's scale 1/87 (H0), made in Germany and made of "plastic" of course. Herpa will present the newTrabi miniature model at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg from February 7 - 12, 2008. In April 2008, the model will be available in specialized trade for approx. 7 Euros.