How Hard Can It Be? 1977 Trabant P601 Wagon


1977 Trabant P601 Universal Wagon 1977 Trabant P601 Universal Wagon

Suppose you were a resident of some former Communist-bloc country any time between 1957 and 1991. You scrimped and saved and put your roubles on the table for a Trabant. Ten or fifteen years pass by in a blink and now you’re stoked; your Trabant is finally finished. Whether or not it was custom-built for you or merely the product of group-think manufacturing is immaterial. You’re rollin’ phat, Commie-style.

Or maybe you’re in a U2 video. That would be awesome; basking in Bono’s shadow and the glow of those pretty painted Trabbis. Because, you know, we’re one but we’re not the same. Maybe that’s all wishful thinking and you’re just trapped in another episode of How Hard Can It Be?

This 1977 Trabant P601 Wagon was beamed into the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area from Germany in 2004. The seller actually has two of them for sale through his web-based auto showroom. This one comes with all its United States government paperwork, but oddly no title.

The overall condition mirrors what is left of the Soviet Union;  a few chips and dings, paint imperfections, with some damage from a parking lot hit. The interior (those pictures, and many others, are on the seller’s website) looks remarkably neat and tidy. Mechanically, the seller claims the car is in good running order, since before it came here it was touched by a shop in Berlin that specializes in Trabants.

Roll that around in your head for a minute: A shop that specializes in Trabants.

1977 Trabant P601 Universal Wagon 1977 Trabant P601 Universal Wagon

The two-stroke, two-cylinder engine spits out enough smoke such that James Bond’s huffer-puffer looks like someone taped a cigarette to the trunk lid. Don’t worry; it’s supposed to do that. If you started killing mosquitoes now, 100 kph would come up in 21 seconds. You’d still be celebrating two days later when you reached the top speed of 112 kph.

The body is not metal, but a composite called Duroplast. Which is made from cotton waste and phenol resin. Which, despite technically being a recycled material, is not easily re-recycled. Apparently there’s some bacteria available from your friendly local terrorist organization the science surplus industry that can digest the Duroplast body.

There isn’t actually anything wrong with this particular Trabant that would necessitate the moniker “How Hard Can It Be?” However the very concept of a Trabant, and the care and feeding thereof, is illustrated perfectly by that concept. It couldn’t be any harder than performing brain surgery via the rectum, or keeping a school of piranhas in your toilet.

Whichever, because owning a Trabant would probably produce the same end result.

[ Craigslist ]