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30 Years On, the ‘Worst Car Ever Built’ Has a Fervent Fan Club

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In the 1991 German comedy film, Go Trabi Go, a family from the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) goes on a road trip to Italy in their beloved Trabant 601—the most popular car in East Germany before the collapse of the Iron Curtain. At one point their vehicle’s head gasket blows, and the father makes an emergency phone call. When he tells a mechanic over the line that he’s driving a Trabant 601, the mechanic chuckles and says, “I hope you’ve got some sticky tape.”

Over the years, the “Trabi” (as it’s affectionately known) has been the butt of endless jokes associated with East Germany. With its bare interior, oddly-designed stick shifter, and an exterior made of Duroplast—a rust-resistant, cotton-reinforced resin plastic that’s lighter and stronger than steel (and more importantly, could be manufactured in the GDR)—the standard four-seater Trabi sedan has been referred to as one of the “worst cars ever built,” and “East Germany’s terrible car that will never die.” Add to this its two-stroke engine, the same kind used in lawnmowers and Asia’s tuk-tuks, and it’s understandable why there are quips like “Why does a Trabi have a heated rear window? To keep your hands warm while you push.”

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GettyImages-181528839.jpg

Tourists drive Trabant cars on a guided tour through the city center on Sept. 19, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Sean Gallup / Getty Images.

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Click the link below for the article:

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/30-years-on-the-worst-car-ever-built-has-a-fervent-fan-club

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