Marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and defying the scorn of vehicle snobs around the world, hundreds of Germans on Saturday marked the historic event with a parade of historic Trabant cars at a former border crossing. Earlier, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel marked the anniversary by thanking Eastern European neighbours for spurring on the peaceful revolution. The toppling of the wall, which separated the Communist-ruled East from
The little yellow guy in the right lane above with the "Flitzer" license plate looks like a Trabant 601 wagon and it's called a Trabant, but it's got little to do with the impoverished East German runabout that did its part to drive Communist ideals further into the ground. You'd almost be forgiven for not knowing there's a turbocharged 3.0-liter engine up front, until you have look at that rear track... and the wheelie bars in back.
A Trabi-Safari in Berlin - click above for high-res image gallery
2007 New Trabant Project - Click on image for complete gallery
Ah, the Trabant 601; endowed with a smoketacular two-stroke engine until its very last years and a body made of a toxic recycled plastic that's similar to what toilet seats are made of, though it's strangely edible. There's a lot of fondness surrounding East Germany's automotive leftovers, though maybe that's because you can't get rid of one unless you feed it to your goat. A Berlin stamp dealer has covered his Trabi with more than 3,000 pieces of postage, possibly adding a huge amount of value
Do you remember the Trabant? Yes, that model built in the German Democratic Republic until the Wall was knocked down. Not the greenest choice in the world, even if it was a very small car made from recycled materials. Hood, doors and roof were made from duroplast, a material made up from Russian cotton waste and phenol resins. Performance was very modest, from the 0.6 liter two-stroke, 25 HP powered the car from 0 to 60 in 21 seconds. It was considered one of the most polluting powertrains ever