for the independent traveler by independent travelers

Trabant – the cardboard car

Posted by dan on January 7, 2011

I remember seeing them in Eastern Europe, but that was quite some time ago – probably there aren’t that many of them anymore, if at all, on the roads of the Eastern-block countries. So I was really surprised when I came across a Trabant, the East German wunder-car, in Portsmouth UK. Despite the sign DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik – German Democratic Republic) it has a British number plate, and this might well be the only registered Trabant in the UK. Trabants have a two-cylinder and two-stroke engine, and the body is made of cardboard. So, as the sticker claims on this one, there is definitely no rust on the body.

More info on the Trabant:



2 Responses to “Trabant – the cardboard car”

  1. RuthB said

    I knew that my old Trabant had been sold to someone in Portsmouth so I thought I’d do a bit of research – and here it is, with its unique red lips! I bought it when I was working in the former GDR in 1991 and then took it back home when I returned to England. After a couple of years, I went back to Germany, but there didn’t seem to be much point in reimporting a Trabant, so it ended up in my Dad’s garage before he finally decided it was taking up too much room and sold it. Glad to see it’s looking in such good shape (not a speck of rust in sight :-). By the way, I doubt that it’s the only one registered in the UK. I think there’s a Trabant owners’ club (there used to be, anyway) and there are a number of people (ageing men, usually) who have large collections of Eastern European cars in their back yards! Here in Joachimsthal (north of Berlin), we still see and hear them occasionally. Definitely a car with character.

  2. Fleur Whitlock said

    I’ve seen this Trabant in Pompey!! Was walking to a match at Fratton Park, imagine my surprise…. especially as I run a 1990 1.1 Kombi that I bought in Budapest and drove back to London in 2008.
    I know it’s not quite as hardcore as the 601 (4 stroke Polo engine) but it’s still made of formica and turns heads! I love Trabants!

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