The Trabant was produced by former East German auto maker ‘Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau’. It was the most common vehicle in East Germany, and was also exported to countries both inside and outside the communist bloc. The main selling point was that it had room for four adults and luggage in a compact, light and durable shell. With its mediocre performance, smoky two-stroke engine, and production shortages, the Trabant is often cited as an example of the disadvantages of centralized planning; on the other hand, it is regarded with derisive affection as a symbol of the failed former East Germany and of the fall of communism. It was in production without any significant changes for nearly 30 years with 3,096,099 Trabants produced in total. Since it could take 15 years for a Trabant to be delivered from the time it was ordered, people who finally got one were very careful with it and usually became skillful in maintaining and repairing it. Used Trabants would often fetch a higher price than new ones, as the former were available immediately, while the latter required the infamous long wait.
Archive for April, 2010
i spent a couple of days in berlin recently and spied this un-identified mercedes van. subsequent attempts to discover the model and year of production of this specimen proved fruitless. any sleuths are welcome to comment and enlighten us with any knowledge below. for some reason this van reminds me of the david bowie song Panic-In-Detroit: “looked a lot like che guevara, drove a diesel van, kept his gun in quiet seclusion, such a humble man. the only survivor of the national people’s gang”
i spotted this little gem carousing the streets of zürich switzerland. The Land Rover Series I, II, and III, commonly referred to as “Series” Land Rovers, are off-road vehicles produced by the British manufacturer Land Rover that were inspired by the US-built Willys Jeep. Land Rover says that 70% of these vehicles ever made are still in use today—a claim first made in the 1992 brochure and repeated many times since, being much publicised when cited by Richard Hammond of the BBC’s Top Gear, though this has got to be more hubris than reality… hardly seems possible.
i spied this porsche panamera in Zürich switzerland attempting to cross the road. is it just me, or does anyone else feel very disappointed in the design of this car ? if porsche was going to go to all the trouble of making a sedan, don’t you think they would have taken pains to make it look a little sleeker and less like some sort of bloated mis-guided hyundai ?? for petes sake !
i often wonder why mercedes-benz and other european car manufacturers refuse to allow their full lines to be offered in the united states. is it because they think we are too stupid? or do they feel the MB brand is so heavily associated with “luxury” in the u.s. that if they imported the ‘A-Class’ it would water down that appeal ? lets get the USA in tune with the rest of the world and offer most if not all versions of cars each european manufacturer makes. volkswagen is a good example…. they are afraid to offer the new scirocco which is absolutely ridiculous…. that car is amazing and would sell like hot-cakes in the usa. speaking of VW, they completely mis-manage the usa market by not offering the transporter and the scirocco.
i spied this new bmw z4 traipsing past the kunsthaus museum in zürich. well, actually i was camped out for a spell because i decided it was a great scene for car-spotting, plus there was already blood in the water. for you see, about 30 minutes previously i spied my first ferrari 458 italia in this same spot and was secretly hoping it would sneak by again. no such luck, so i had to settle for this relatively homely z4.
i was cruising south-bound interstate 5 during the magic hour when what did i spy creeping through the mist but a very serviceable and nimble looking porsche 928 GT ? this car had a commanding presence and seemed very nice. i predict good 928 porsches in the next 10-15 years will appreciate quite a bit and command a more appreciative collector audience. now the only problem is finding a ‘good one’.