Trabants in DC Tomorrow


Originally uploaded by James UK.

The Trabant (or Trabi) is a cold war relic of East German automotive engineering. Famously unreliable, incapable and notorious for being a death trap, the Trabant was not a good car. It does, however, have a total cult following. Tomorrow morning at 10am, 18 of them will be in front of the Spy Museum at 9th and F Streets in Northwest. Easily walkable from the Gallery Place Metro, this is a site you should not miss.

Besides, how often can you see a car that had more problems than the Pinto?

3 Comments so far

  1. Mike Licht (unregistered) on November 8th, 2007 @ 9:14 am

    A few years after unification, a touring art exhibit came to Union Station. It consisted of Trabants welded into sculpture.

  2. Chris Mills (unregistered) on November 9th, 2007 @ 11:10 pm

    I am the owner of one of the cars that was at the Spy Museum, and until you own one for yourself, please dont jump to snap conclusions, based on what was reported by the just as clueless press. Unreliable? I drove mine from PA to DC and back to PA without a single incident. Incapable? It was a no-frills appliance designed to carry 4 passengers and their belongings from point A to B, and over a million Trabis built served just that purpose. Not a good car? What qualifies a good car? It doesnt rust, it’s simple basic transport, designed to last the owner for decades. It’s not a Mercedes or a BMW, but it does everything I ask it to do. Compare it to a Pinto?? Trabis never exploded due to rear impact, they didnt rust, and their engines didnt disintegrate (OK – that was the Vega, not the Pinto)
    Westerners mocked the Trabi because it was a spartan, simple car, and yes, it looks like it was designed by a 4th grader, and the 2-cycle engine smoked – a lot. It’s different, yes, it’s an ecological nightmare, but so are Hummers, but it’s not bad.

  3. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on November 10th, 2007 @ 8:47 am


    Judging from some of my colleagues comments, the engine design was such that you could probably only have done that drive on a sunny (and not rainy) day as the hoods funnel water onto the sparkplugs causing the car to die. Grab a new sparkplug and away you go,….

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