1980 Trabant 601

Ah, the fall of the Iron Curtain. The End of the Cold War. The opening of free trade...ah..wait, what is this thing? Oh man they drove this over there? Quick, close the curtain! Re-build the wall! Bring back the Cold War!

All kidding aside, former Soviet satellite state cars are starting to see the light of Western day and bring their own set of charms.

As the seller correctly notes, the Trabant 601 was basically to the East Germans what the Volkwagen Beetle was for West Germans: that everyday people's car. It's not beautiful (though one could stretch for cute), it's not fast, it's probably not terribly comfortable, but it got people from point A to B. And in the communist German Democratic Republic, that was all cars were expected to do. It was produced from 1963-1990, resulting in over 2 million units sold.

The interior is a mind blowing exercise in frugality, which the dash housing only the most vital gauges and the steering wheel looking like it came off a metal playground set.

Despite the aesthetic austerity, the 601 actually hid some nice innovations for the time, eschewing the 'decadent' West's rear-engine fever in favor of the front-engine, front-wheel drive setup that is ubiquitous today. It also had froth and rear independent suspension.

The engine itself is an extremely small two-stroke, two-cylinder unit that probably gets great gas mileage.

The seller says this one is solid and runs and drives great, with the original drivetrain and some imperfections in the paint. They also have a Maryland title.

Available here on ebay with a Buy It Now of $3,995.

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