1989 Trabant 601 S 600cc two-stroke

Summary:

Makes you love it, I would kill anyone who ever hurt it...

Faults:

Running restoration, so varied works required.

Simple, easy welding repairs x2.

Replaced ignition coils, battery and spark plugs.

General Comments:

Makes you wonder why other cars have so much stuff in them; this is like owning a steady reliable wee pony.

Anything can be fixed quickly and cheaply, and it will always put a smile on your face. The steering/handling is Mini-like, but with less power.

Great classic, particularly a great first classic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2014

13th May 2014, 07:38

What is "classic" about it?

13th May 2014, 15:34

What is classic about it? Read up on the history of the car and how long it existed for, so you know why the reviewer feels that way.

1988 Trabant 601

Summary:

Erm..

Faults:

Alternator belt snapped and it threw one of the spark plugs out!... I just screwed another in, and was able to continue!

General Comments:

Always started, real head turner (probably due to huge plumes of smoke coming from the exhaust!).

Sad to see it go, will be buying another!

Average fuel economy, probably 30-40mpg, very dangerous filling up with fuel as tank is under bonnet and the engine is hot!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st June, 2008

1981 Trabant 601 de-luxe 595cc two-stroke

Summary:

Cheap, cheerful, reliable and robust

Faults:

The nearside rear wheel came loose whilst towing and fell off, but this did very little damage.

One of the cylinder head gaskets blew which took about 10 minutes to repair.

The inside of the front nearside door started to show signs of rust after 20 years.

General Comments:

This is the most fun car I have ever owned, it is easily repairable if it does go wrong.

The Trabant is capable of towing a small caravan which is ideal for me as I don't like camping at rallies.

The fuel consumption is excellent and does not, contrary to popular belief, pollute as much as was reported by the motoring press in 1989 when Trabants first came to the attention of westerners.

Spare parts for this car are very cheap and easily obtainable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2004

1975 Trabant 601 601S 0.6 2 cylinder 2 Stroke

Summary:

The best thing since sliced bread!

Faults:

The exhaust bracket up front snapped. Easily replaced.

Rear wheel cylinder leaked fluid and was replaced cheaply via the Owners Club.

Windscreen washer motor was seized when I got car. Stripped it apart, freed it off very easily.

General Comments:

Fantastic little car. I had one before (1988 model 601) and sold it. Wished I hadn't so searched the UK for another and found this one.

Great to drive, turns heads where ever I go.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd December, 2002

1988 Trabant 601 0.6 two stroke

Summary:

Don't mock until you've had one

Faults:

Brakes always failed the MOT.

Starter motor failed, fitted a new one.

Front and rear lights, earth problems, now fixed.

Door lock does not work.

Other car hit the passenger door, had to replace a panel and respray.

General Comments:

Nice little car for both town and long distance. Have always found it confortable.

Lots of room in the front, no room in the back!

Always starts, always gets people asking questions, always fun to drive and work on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th September, 2001

16th Nov 2010, 08:38

I've just put new brake shoes on all round, and the brakes are great.

1986 Trabant 601 S Deluxe 0.6 litre two-stroke

Summary:

Fun transport for the price of a push bike

Faults:

Windscreen washer motor replaced.

Battery replaced (but lasted at least 6 years according to the sticker).

Front suspension joint replaced.

I hardly noticed the cost.

General Comments:

Plus Points:

The lowest running costs of any car on the road - cheap to buy, low servicing costs, cheap parts, cheap insurance, good fuel economy, and no depreciation.

A real crowd-pulling classic.

Even a mechanical incompetent like myself can service or trouble-shoot.

Parts are readily available.

They are surprisingly roomy in the front (I am 6-4) and boot (trunk).

Minus Points:

The power is hardly sufficient to pull the skin from a rice pudding.

The seats are pretty uncomfortable.

Brakes are only just adequate.

Rear seats suitable only for pixies, gnomes or children.

Okay, so as a car it has limitations - what "classic* car doesn't? Personally, I choose to ignore these limitations.

Their low top speed means they are best suited to city driving, but I have regularly driven on the motorway and autobahn and lived to tell the tale.

They are best suited to transporting 2 people, but I have driven with 4 adults in the car and all were able to walk afterwards (eventually).

They are not the most comfortable car for long journeys, but I have driven up to 800 miles in one stretch and have arrived unscathed.

I returned to Germany to buy another this year, which is as good an advertisement as you can get for any car. It is still relatively easy to get a good one there, but they are becoming rarer.

Get one while you can. You know it makes sense.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th July, 2001

27th Mar 2003, 15:45

Of course it makes sense! I couldn't agree more with you! My first car will be a Trabant, without doubt! Even though I live in England it's still possible to buy one over here. I will probably be the only person in my city to own one, but I can guarantee that all my friends will be asking me questions on it, wanting rides in it, etc...

10th Apr 2003, 10:01

My Hungarian girlfriend's brother has a Trabi, which his missus uses for popping down to the shops and stuff. I got (demanded) a shot when I was out there recently.

Initially, I found the gearshift to be unpredictable, selecting reverse instead of a forward gear, but once I got used to that I swear I haven't had so much fun driving a car in years!

It's like driving a slightly faster (and less luxurious) dodgem car, and just as much fun. It's all you can do to not burst out laughing! I imagine the novelty value of driving such a ridiculous article might wear off given time, though. Or perhaps not.

The only thing with Trabis is that they're no fun to be stuck behind, especially if you find yourself behind one of the smokier ones on a winding uphill Hungarian road. Local drivers appear to be particularly stubborn and don't take kindly to overtaking attempts.

29th Mar 2004, 07:08

Trabant is the best. But sometimes it's difficult to keep it without money... can you tell me how can I sell it abroad? I'm from Poland.. if anybody could help me with it I would be grateful / pieras2@O2.pl.!!!!!!!!!!!

19th May 2007, 12:22

I recall making the first comment a few years ago about my first car being a Trabant. Sadly that hasn't materialised (I drive a reliable, sensible, but somewhat boring Nissan Micra) but I still aspire to owning one someday soon. Que sera sera.

12th Aug 2007, 07:42

Hmmm... The best answer to all questions like "who needs old plastic Trabant?" is to visit www.601.pl to see how a "normal" Trabant becomes a really fantastic car. This is no more car - now this is PASSION... 601 Passions :)

1989 Trabant 601 S Deluxe 0.6

Summary:

Rrrring, ding, ding, ding...

Faults:

Door lock stuck - easily fixed.

Window stuck - easily fixed.

Exhaust blown - easily welded!

General Comments:

Fantastic fun. Real head turner. Cheap and very reliable. Owners club are very useful.

So much fun for so little money should surely be against the law!

Good to see people in cars worth more than my house stop and stare!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th September, 2000

19th Oct 2005, 22:54

Compared to the Russian made "Zoporojetz" it is a dream. By the way did you know that "Zoporojetz" motors were used during world war 2 as startup motors for tanks. Of course, the obvious problem was that many tanks didn't start, because the spark plug mechanisms in the "Zopo" motor enjoyed keeping everyone waiting.

24th Oct 2005, 12:10

Crazy Frog Car! Yes that annoying ring-ding-ding ring tone sums up the 2-stroke motor very well. But nevertheless I love the sound that these cars make. I just don't like the fact that seemingly every 10-year old wants to have it for their ringtone! Maybe a real Trabant sound would work better (pardon any puns made there...)

5th Dec 2005, 00:15

The "anti-Zapo" guy, should then explain to us: HOW is it possible that the mighty Russian tanks won such a decisive victory in the Battle of Kursk?! Not a bad effort from tanks, some of which, he claims "would not start"! So much for his fabricated nonsense- probably borne out of frustration because he simply didn`t know how to fix or maintain his own "ketchup red" Zapo when he lived in Russia.

9th Mar 2006, 08:46

Zapo? Oh yes, I know. very good heaters.