Sunday, 3 July 2011
I Dream of Trabants..
But let's start with the simple stuff. How about the Trabant? The two-stroke workhorse - if you could get one - of the DDR. I once drove into West Berlin in 1986 past that T-34 on the transit route surrounded by Trabis heading East. I'd never seen more than one of them in the same place at the same time in real life before but I'd seen Wartburgs and my mum had a DAF van, so they were like a DAF with a totally underpowered two-stroke engine... and er.. no belt drive. That DAF belt drive really was shit, all you DAF engineers out there. Anyway, nostalgia being such a big thing now, visitors to Berlin can hire a Trabant and drive round recreating the days of the DDR, along with eating the food and being spied upon (see: DDR Museum). Wild and crazy stuff, including the safari Trabi and versions in leopard print and rude luscious pink.
Instead I would recommend a real-life 'of-the-time' Eastern European film which shows guys with the bonnet up on one of these things trying to get it to start with two feet of snow on the ground. Imagine racing to make the ferry in one of these? Oh yeah.. that's not what people in the DDR did, is it...