posted by Roshake 77
The Trabant’s duroplast body was made from natural recycled cotton fibers and phenol resins, ahead of its time in certain respects. But this is taking it to a whole new level.
Your comment is so funny!
…for dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return.
So, the car is ORGANIC? I’M IN!!! 😛
Not quite as bad, this one made it to Austria where it… stopped.
Probably one of the countless Trabis abandoned at the Austro-Hungarian border in 1989 prior to the breach of Berlin Wall. Many East Germans were stuck behind the border controls while the Hungarian border police was figuring out what to do about them. When the East Germans heard the news that a portion of fence nearby was already torn down, they simply abandoned their Trabis and made a blazing run through the border, bypassing the border control. Thankfully, Hungarians made no effort to stop them.
The year of 1989 is one of few times that I could never forget.
The body is virtually indestructible. Unlike what was in it.
I’ve seen photos of Trabbi’s where the body has developed fatigue or stress cracks. This is especially common in desert areas from sun damage. Then the cracks fill with seeds, and suddenly there is grass or other vegetation growing out of it. I’m told the roots get into the cotton fabric and slowly breakdown the panel.
Not a sign of rust… for a change
Yes, you won’t see any rust in the main body panels. But these panels attach [with double sided adhesive strips!] to inner steel panels and a basic tube framework. Trabants rust from the inside.
I was told by a collector of these cars to beware of Trabi’s that were driven most of their kilometers in the snow, and the occupants, before entering the car, didn’t kick the snow off their boots, because eventually the snow melts and ends up under the rubber mats, where it does plenty of damage.
There is a wonderful YouTube video produced when the Trabant factory was still in production. Search “Trabi Produktion Zwickau”, it’s worth watching the full 37 minutes. In addition to the assembly line where they build the basic steel unibody all the way to cars being driven away, it also shows how the raw cotton is formed into 1 meter wide fabric rolls that are sprinkled with powdered resin, then layered into a 20cm thick pad that is manually trimmed and then pressed and steam heated in molds, until it cures into the body panels. The audio is in German, but if you are mechanically minded, you can mostly figure out what’s happening. I just put it on mute, because my conversational German isn’t good enuff!
I’ve watched every possible film about automobile and truck factories and assembly lines, and what amazes me is the amount of primitive labor actions in the Trabant factory that resemble American and European factories prior to WW2, yet this factory was in operation into the early 1990s. It’s poorly lit, and it’s filthy, especially where they make the cotton panels.
Here is the story behind it: This is just one of four Trabants in our elderly neighbour’s backyard. This one and a little less overgrown one are out in the open, they are both two stroke saloons. The other two are later four stroke wagons stored in a garage, none of them get driven anymore though. He still has all of them because whenever he bought a new one he just left the previous one in the backyard/garage.
Where is this, may I ask? Many thanks!
Mother nature at work. Some of my favorite childhood memories were stumbling upon an old jalopy or junk pile hidden in a forest. Picking through things to see how they decompose was and continues to fascinate me.
“Duroplast” is the name of the material they used for the body. Actually disposal of these cars has presented something of a problem. My cousin used to own a 2 stroke one years ago and remember that premixed fuel was available from the pump. Remember seeing quite a sheen on the local roads. Very slippery when wet since a large percentage of cars back in the 90’s were Trabants or Wartburgs or other 2 stroke cars or bikes. Rode in his all over Eastern Hungary. Had to change plugs quite often though when it started to sputter. Here’s an article on Duroplast in Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duroplast
I wonder if anyone is trying to save these unpopular cars .
I found a very unusual YouTube video, only 4 minutes long, entitled “Trabant Quality Control”. While I’m sure this video was made as a serious look at how Trabi’s are inspected and body panels are adjusted, I think most gearheads who watch it will be laughing as these guys even use their boots and leg pressure to align the front panel, and use wooden blocks & rubber hammers to align doors, hoods & trunk lids.
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