Cohort Outtake: Trabant 601 – Ready to Tow

I couldn’t help but notice the tow hitch on this Trabi shot by Tom T. Given its 594.5 cc two-stroke twin rated at either 23 or 26 hp, I’m going to assume it’s not exactly the ideal towmobile. But you make do with what you got, and back in East Germany, this is what you got, if you got what it took to buy one.

Before you start snickering, let’s not forget that the Trabi was one of the pioneers of the engine-transmission configuration used in almost all FWD vehicles in the past 30 or 40 years or more.

Specifically, the engine and transmission side-by-side, in a transverse position.The first to do that was the 1950 Goliath, and we paid our respects to it here.

The Trabant first appeared in 1957, so it was a few years behind. But the Trabis were made in quite large quantities, until 1990, when a 1.1 L fours stroke VW engine was grafted in for emission reasons. But by 1991, Trabant was kaput.

Roger Carr’s more thorough look at the Trabi, especially its composite body, is here.