Thursday, 11 September 2014

Low 'n' Lazy Trabant 601

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Trabants always have a few tales to tell. Over three million of them were built in a production run of almost thirty years that saw very few changes to the design; indeed, it was only 1991, the last year of production, that the 600cc twin-cylinder two-stroke was replaced by a 1.0-litre VW Polo engine. Everything else was still 1960s Eastern Bloc austerity.
Every single one represents mobility within difficult cultural circumstance, and this particular one - a 1988 model, and a decadent estate, no less - has clearly been around a bit since the wall came down, judging by the weathered tourist stickers on the passenger door. And now it's been brought in from the cold, lovingly wrapped up in the warm embrace of the UK aircooled VW scene - a collective that's increasingly drawing in marques that represent similar government-mandated values for mobilising the masses; Trabant, Wartburg, Zaporozhets...
The endearingly farty two-stroke remains, while the suspension is just about as low as it can reasonably go over those broad banded steels. It looked magnificent smokily bouncing across the show field at the Retro Rides Gathering. There are surely many more adventures to come.

Click here for more photos from RRG14.

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