Discussion in 'The Barracks' started by Smudger Jnr, Feb 12, 2009.
Saw this Trabant in Harlingen, Netherlands couple of weeks ago, reminded me of this thread.
Just noticed this trabbie thread, takes me back to the wall coming down and being flooded with them in Hameln. Not forgetting the posher Eastie cars the Wartburgs.
The best pic I have somewhere of a trabbie was given to me when I was posted to Berlin. The British Garrison Commanders car battery went flat at a function, an East German officer used his military trabbie to jump start it (purportedly with the comment a trabbie never breaks down).
There was an RAF racing club that raced trabbies for a while in BFG (one was attempting to put a porsche engine in his but was having problems getting tyres rated over 50km that would fit).
Most Trabies are becoming collectable and there are not many to be seen around that are not reconditioned and looking like new.
They still stink when following the two stroke motor!
Just seen this pic on IWM website.
A Royal Air Force Tornado GR1 and crews of No 17 Squadron RAF photographed at RAF Bruggen in Germany at the end of the Cold War. Their newly acquired "mascot", an East German Trabant car painted in squadron colours, is in the foreground.
THE ROYAL AIR FORCE 1976 - 2000. © Crown copyright. IWM (CT 1391)IWM Non Commercial Licence
Saw one parked outside a local shop last week.
The boys sort of swarmed all over it, utterly fascinated.
Really quite interesting that to begin explaining a cardboard car to a ten & thirteen year old, you have to begin with: 'Well, at the end of the Second War...'.
Just thinking about the 2 strokes:
When Top Gear did a history of SAABs James May commented that when going downhill with a 2 stroke engine you had to use brake AND throttle to keep the fuel/oil mix to the engine.
My only experience of 2 strokes was when I used to race Karts so hills weren't a problem but our highly tuned motors siezed pretty quickly if you backed off the throttle too much at the end of a long straight. That made things interesting as they were direct chain drive to rear axle with no clutch!
Is siezing Trabant engines a problem?
Is siezing Trabant engines a Problem?
I do not really know, but from personal viewing in Berlin, when tourists hire them and tour as a Convoy around Berlin Centre (Berlin Safari) lots are stalled and the Drivers find it very hard to restart!!!
When I taught a history course about the 20th Century, I used the Trabant as an example of why Communism didn't deliver. To be fair, I could have used the Ford Pinto as an argument against capitalism.
I would guess a 2 stroke for a mass produced car would have pretty wide tolerances so perhaps siezing isn't as much a problem and maybe a slow running jet in the carb would keep enough fuel/oil supplied to the engine.
On our racing 2 stroke engines (100cc air cooled) the pistons came sized to .01mm and later were teflon coated as well. To maintain peak compression we did a piston change after 45 - 60 minutes running and a full rebuild after 2 pistons. They did rev up to nearly 20,000 RPM though!
You just reminded of this photo my mate Mike Bendon took in Berlin. Not Trabants I know but apparently you can hire these for road use.
I have to admit to not having seen any on my visits to the centre, but here is their Website link.
I'm well chuffed , spent most of today on a mess tidy-up of the loft & found my Trabant model I bought back in 1992 in Berlin.
It has an opening boot lid & opening doors, almost as good as the real thing.
Here's some pics.
Sad aren't I?
The models are still popular and available in many colours at the Tourist Shops around Berlin.
Several shops specialize only with DDR Retro products.
Trabant from Imperial War Museum North,Manchester
Couple of photos from the Greenham Control Tower FB page of an event there today.
Greenham Control Tower
Greenham Control Tower
Driven past this many times now, never seem to be able to stop & take a photo of it so here it is on Streetview.
It's in Marlborough Lane, Bath.
9 Marlborough Ln - Google Maps
Such epic and sweeping changes between the 1950s and 1990 models.
Trabant Classic Cars For Sale | Car and Classic | Car and Classic
My lad sent me photos of the one in Bath.
For whom it is interesting:
Original instructions for increasing power (up to a staggering 36 hp)
GarmischPK August 1990:
Rule 1 (if camping in Garmisch) - pitch your tent on high ground and accept a slope. Otherwise, this can happen .... and this is after 20cm of water had drained off. The unfortunate family of 5 had arrived at dusk. They spent most of the night in the car. They were being fortified with bacon broetchen butties and gunfire when the snap was being taken. The uncharming chap in the caravan on the left had dug a drainage channel straight onto their pitch. After helping Jorg to relocate his tent, he went back to his Trabbie, removed and stripped the engine in an impressively short time and with few tools, dried it, oiled it and put it back. It started first time.
Eight weeks later, some of his now BWOst countrymen were letting us have a go on some of their vehicles, prior to what became a trip - for us - to Kuwait:
A favour repaid, perhaps. Incidentally, for those interested in matters heavy metal, they were from 8TD (if I remember rightly) near Stettin. They came to the Hanover area by transporter, but had been confidently prepared to drive, for which each tank would have been upped to 2 qualified drivers.
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