Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Satellite of affectionate derision - Trabant 601

Continuing on yesterdays East European theme here are a couple of pics of a Trabant 601 Station wagon. The Trabant name meaning satellite was inspired by the Russian Sputnik space programme.

The 601 was third model to come from VEB Sachsenring in Zwickau East Germany. In from production from 1965 - 1990 it is powered by a 27 hp 600 cc / 36 cui two cylinder, two stroke engine, which was relatively easy to maintain, to get to the underside of the car for instance, two people could easily lay the car on its side !

The Trabant body work is made of Duraplast the first to use recycled material mostly wool and cotton waste from the Soviet Union and phenol resins from the East German dye industry. Early examples had no fuel gauge but used a dipstick to determine the volume of fuel in the tank which sat atop the engine. Since the car had no fuel pump other than gravity to feed the carburettor.

Though seen with affectionate derision these cars are still used as daily drivers and still used in competition, a Trabant was also the star of a film called Go Trabi Go !

Thanks for dropping by, don't forget to come back now !


  1. I cannot put my finger on it, but is something appealing about this homely little station wagon.

    I remember when my dad bought a brand new 1965 Plymouth Satellite, which actually looked fast while parked.

  2. Unsurprisingly almost every aspect of life in East Germany was under the control of the Russians after WW2, allegedly central planning in Russia issued an edict saying that East Germany would not be permitted to manufacture 4 stroke engines, leaving them with little choice but to make some extremely humble motor cars.

    I bet your Dad could not service his 3,000 lb + Satellite by turning it over on its side :-)

  3. What a piece of %^#@&!

    Sorry. That wasn't very polite, was it? I just couldn't control myself. What's next? A Yugo?

  4. I bet that would be fun to stuff a 1800cc V-twin Honda engine in (with fuel injection and Hypercharger). And think, if it were jetted to run alcohol... It's not much more than a clown-car body on a go-kart.

  5. Perhaps the Trabant could be turned on its side because it is taller than it is wide with little danger of it turning a complete 180º onto its roof.