Trabant Reviewed in America by Nick Murray

Considered to be one of the worst cars ever to be built, the Trabant comes from the German auto industry's dark past, before the Berlin wall fell and the country was united. It's built to be very cheap and simple and it was never sold in America… for good reason.
Trabant 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
So you can probably imagine we were more than a little shocked when we saw that Nick Murray had reviewed a 1981 Trabant 601S for his Youtube channel. For those of you who don't know him by his real name, Nick is the Nine-a-Lemon guy who bought a brand new Porsche 911 and had all sorts of things going wrong with it, sparking a huge media outcry because of the automaker's lack of action.

Since then, Nick bough a BMW M3 and since because channel gained notoriety and has about 25,000 subscribers he's been doing reviews. Right, back to the car! VEB Sachsenring made about 3 million of these over a period of nearly 30 years. Trabants are very small, measuring only 3,360 mm (132.3 in) long and boasting a 2,020 mm (79.5 in). Yes, that's smaller than a Fiat 500 and yet still big enough to squeeze four people in there.

The name "Trabant" actually means "satellite" in German and was inspired by the famous Soviet space capsule Sputnik. Power comes from a 600cc two-cylinder engine. It costs pennies to run, but you need to use a lead additive. The engines produce a lot of smoke and deliver a maximum of 18 horsepower if you're willing to damage your ears by revving it. At the end of production in 89, it was claimed to make 26 horsepower. This version required 21 seconds to accelerate to 100 km/h (62mph) and couldn't go much further than that.

Right after the fall of the wall, a few were also made with a 1-liter VW Polo engine from West Germany, but production stopped in 1991.

The body is made from fiberglass-like Duroplast, reinforced with recycled fibers like cotton and wood, which spread a rumor that it was actually made out of cardboard (which is false).

Because the waiting lists were huge and you couldn't really buy any other car in East Germany, used Trabants were more expensive than new ones. In some cases, people had to hold on to them for over 30 years. Nowadays, it's fashionable to import one into America due to the low taxes on antiques. This one is registered in Connecticut and we'll let you guys discover its story!

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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