This car, although it was considered the most popular in the GDR, for many, with its unprepossessing appearance and obsolete technical characteristics, clearly reflected all the shortcomings of the socialist system. It was the subject of endless jokes, and some even called it "the worst car ever made." But fate decided to give the German-Soviet Trabant 601 one more chance: today - thirty years after the completion of its production - its fan clubs are in dozens of countries in Europe and Asia and have tens of thousands of fans.
The Trabant 601, or "Trabi", as motorists themselves call it good-naturedly, was put into production back in 1957. It was a standard four-seater sedan with a rather modest if not austere interior and a two-stroke engine. In addition, it lacked those elements without which it is impossible to imagine any car today - a fuel gauge, air conditioning, and even brake lights and turn signals.
Trabi was created to be joked about. From the very beginning of its existence, it quickly acquired the speaking nicknames - "cardboard racer" and "spark plug with a roof". He also earned the unspoken title of "the terrible car of the GDR that will never die", and then even called "the worst car ever built."
When the Berlin Wall collapsed, and the collapse of the socialist camp soon followed, it seemed that the history of the already long-suffering "Trabi" had come to an end - plain and morally backward, this car could not compete with the more and more modern and technically advanced "Relatives". And the car production was closed in 1991. But fate decreed otherwise.
By the beginning of the new century in Germany, according to rough estimates, there were about thirty-four thousand Trabant 601. And suddenly it turned out that "the terrible machine of the GDR that will never die" is a tasty catch for collectors. The old, unsightly "Trabi", spewing smoke and not even having a turn signal was the subject of special nostalgia for its owners. They immediately recalled trips to sandy beaches along the Baltic Sea or trips to the Thuringian forest.
Moreover, it turned out that there were so many true connoisseurs of "the worst car ever built" that they began to organize international meetings of Trabant drivers. Germany, Slovakia, Italy, Hungary, Norway - this is an incomplete list of countries where fan clubs of the "miracle of the automobile industry from the GDR" are actively developing. On them, motorists share their experiences and impressions of owning a "Trabi" and arrange parades for their favorites.
Not spared the wave of popularity of the "relic of the GDR era" and America. There, Trabant looks a bit like an alien, but that is what makes him so attractive to motorists in the United States. Even in the need to often repair a car that is sent to the owner with almost a set of spare parts for these repairs, they find their own unique charm.
And more recently, in May 2019, the 25th International Meeting of Trabant Lovers took place. Fans of "Trabi" gathered in the city of Anklam, in Germany, where over a glass of German beer they shared stories about their favorite cars and even competed in the "throwing" of the Trabant engine.
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