1970s / East German / German / Rust in peace / Trabant

Rust in peace: Trabant 601

trabant-601-15We photographed this Trabant 601 in its natural habitat, a small town located in the former East Germany. It is sitting on the side of a house but the owner was nice enough to open the gate and let us take pictures of it.

Built in 1970 and finished in an interesting shade of beige, this Trabant was parked in 1998 when the owner moved on to a more modern car (a Toyota Yaris). He kept the 601 because it holds a lot of sentimental value and he has been meaning to fix up the body and get it back on the road but he has not found the time to do so.

In his defense, the getting the Trabant through Germany’s tough vehicle inspections is easier said than the done: Decades of rough winters have taken their toll on the little 601 and the parts made out of metal are fairly rusted. Still, it looks salvageable and both the interior and the engine are complete and in fair shape.

To make the scene more interesting, the 601 is parked next to a Mercedes-Benz 190 (w201) that belongs to the owner’s neighbor. The Trabant is 43-years old and the 190 appears to be an early 1990s example but both could have been built in 1985 with only minor changes, a testament of the disparity that existed between East and West Germany under the Iron Curtain.

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