The history of plastic car - it is, in fact, the history of the German Democratic Republic. After the Second World War, the German town of Zwickau moved to the GDR. This city is known for the fact that its territory was the plant, producing cars of such famous brands as the Horch, and then AUDI, were part of the Auto Union group. The factory was nationalized and named AWZ (Auto-Werke Zwickau). In 1955 it began the production of front-drive subcompact AWZ P70, a little later, called "Trabant" (F-600 model).
The name arose under the influence of the Soviet Union launch of the first artificial satellite ( «trabant», translated from German - "satellite"). This was reported and the logo in the form of stylized letters «S».
car bodies are made of a special, extremely durable plastic, known as "Duroplastic" for the production of which used waste wood processing industry. Initially avtomobilchik produced only 2-door body type "sedan". Later came the model of the "universal" model with a lightweight body with no roof and doors, called "Tramp" (1979) - it is quite actively used in the army.
Advantages of the machine are as obvious as it is obvious its shortcomings. Unsightly, but a cheap little car weighed only 620 kg, so that his weak two-stroke engine with water cooling could disperse the car to 100 km / h in 21 seconds - not bad for the time for this baby. The plastic housing was not only easy, but absolutely do not corrode. Vehicle Suspension initially calculated on bad roads. Hijackers, he was not interested by definition.
"Trabant" issued more than 30 years. Virtually unchanged - the most significant was the appearance in 1963 model F-601 with a larger engine capacity. All this puts the car on a par with such legends as Volkswagen Beetl, FIAT 600, Citroen 2CV and VAZ 2101 - car simple and homely, but sit behind the wheel, millions of poor people around the world.
Avtomobilchik was not just a legend - he was a symbol of the GDR. Behind him queues. Capacity East German industry did not have enough people and expect their car for years. Wait for the lucky affectionately called his "Trabi" pet (or Trabi Trabbi). By the way, as soon as the Berlin Wall fell, he was made a kind of ritual - burning avtomobilchika "Trabant", as the synthetic character defunct synthetic country.
In 1989, the plant in Zwickau acquired Volkswagen. And April 30, 1991 issue of plastic car stopped. However, the history of the "Trabant" is not over. First were thousands of cars "on the fly" across the country, whose owners no way did not wish to part with their pets. And secondly, the issue of the "Trabant" planned to start in a different place: in 1997, in Uzbekistan, the Tashkent factory "Olympus". Externally, the machine remained the same, has not changed and its technical part (that only management has become a manual - for people with disabilities). Rather than waste the wood processing industry, using waste cotton processing industry. The car was named "Olympus 601". The main advantage of the revived brand had become a very low price, and therefore accessibility. However, production has not become widespread and quickly stopped.
There are also rumors that are going to revive the "Trabant" in South Africa. Under the name of «AfriCar». Cheap, simple, and reliable car will be left without attention from the rather poor African families. As in the case of "Olympus 601", it is expected that the cost of the car will not exceed $ 3,000.
But that's not all. In 2008, the German company Herpa (a well-known manufacturer of collectible models) bought the rights to produce cars under the brand name "Trabant". But in this case, all different. The company plans to begin production of cars with advanced technology and full of design reminiscent of the good old plastic car. Kind of like Volkswagen Beetl 2 - an attempt to cash in on the legendary name and on a sense of nostalgia. Do begin production of the new "Trabant" or not - time will tell.
We can not tell, and about the Frankfurt Motor Show 2009 (Frankfurt Motor Show IAA 2009), which was presented concept car Trabant nT. The creators of this nice avtomobilchika also inspired by the good old P-600. Ideas are the same - simple design, low cost, compact size. The truth is what plans the creators of this concept is not yet clear.