Trabi hits 50

Fifty years after the first of about three million Trabi’s left the factory in the East German town of Zwickau, people are back to celebrate its birthday. About 4000 people from twelve different European countries have come, accompanied by approximately 2000 Trabi’s.

After the death of the DDR, the car soon achieved cult status. For people in the West, the cars are camp. But for hundreds of thousands of people from the East, it is the Trabi that provided them with their first wheels.

The cheap synthetic material the car was made of has earned the Trabi the nickname of the “cardboard racer”.  And indeed, it’s the Trabi’s low price and the ease with which you can repair it, that owes to its immense popularity everywhere.

With competitions such as “rebuild you Trabi” and a special auto parts market, the festival caters to both the pimps and the purists among the Trabant owners.The people’s car of the DDR may have stood the test of time and have become a modern icon, at the festival there is a strong air of ostalgia.

© 2007