The East German Trabant, the “worst car ever made,” has become an object of affection for enthusiasts.
Ronny Heim, 44, got his first Trabi in 1996 in exchange for a box of beer. “Trabis weren’t worth anything [after the Wall fell],” he says. “[Because] everyone wanted a ‘Western car.’” That same year he served in the Bundeswehr, or unified armed forces of Germany, and brought his Trabi with him to the country’s northwest. “Half the team wanted to take the Trabi for a round in the barracks,” he says, “They’d never experienced anything like it before.” Since then the Heringsdorf resident had three other Trabis—including one equipped with a VW engine “that went up to 165 km (102 miles) an hour,” says Heim.
They are adorable. I’d trade a box of beer for one just to putter around the neighborhood in it.