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18 comments

Composite Car Comeback

Posted October 01, 2007 8:32 AM

Former East German vehicle of choice, the plastic composite Trabant may hit the now-unified German roads. Rekindling the miniature car's cult status through the "newTrabi" initiative however opens up debate: Use the same auto body materials — phenolic resin plastic composite and animal-edible wool and cotton fiber reinforcements?

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#1

Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/01/2007 11:31 PM

Sure, it sounds great. But if it's edible, then the FDA will regulate it; meaning that we'll never see it here unless it's a psychotropic to be fed to young school kids.

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#2

Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/02/2007 3:01 AM

As to being the "Former East German vehicle of choice", it was almost a "take it or leave it" type of choice.....all the old eastern commie cars were dangerous.....some had to be strengthened to be sold on the UK market 40 years ago......C.C. = crap cars.

The original car was dangerous in many ways, if you were sitting in the back seat and another Trabant ran into the back with around 30 KMH (around 20 MPH at a guess) on the clock, you were dead!!!

They never ever "crash proofed" the car......

I have refused (more than once!) to ride in one!!! A good suicide ride!!!

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/02/2007 4:36 AM

It was not worse than BMW Isetta or NSU Prinz, it was also a German car :-)))

(I drove more than 450.000 km with Trabi, even in West Germany)

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/02/2007 7:51 AM

Its a bit like driving on the wrong side of the road, its no problem as long as nothing is coming in the opposite direction!

You were lucky that nobody ran into the back of you, nothing more nothing less!

Of course it's every person's personal choice as to what he drives......or what he admires....

I personally believe that the NSU Prinz was/would be better in a crash than either the Isetta or the Trabi, and when you think of the age of Isettas ( late 50's early 60's) and the Prinz (late 60's or there abouts)!, the comparison is not good for the Trabi....Don't forget, the Trabis were built upto around 1990 or '91 or so!!!!!

(my dates are from my head, I believe them to be approximately accurate, but give no guarantees....)

For me there is little comparison....in the 50's & 60's, the speeds were much lower and everyone was driving such cars in Europe....there were no Safe(r) cars, look at the Beetle for example.....but it was designed before WW 2......!

But for a cult car, the Isetta has it has it hands down with its 4 stroke engine alone......the Trabi is cult true, but 2 stroke (as most ComiCon cars were!!)

You can have the Trabi, if I owned one (God forbid) I would make you a present of it for nothing...

Joke:-

How do you double the value of a Trabi?

Fill the tank!!

They were being sold for DM20,- (aprox $12) just after the wall came down, nobody wanted them.....

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#5
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Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/02/2007 1:23 PM

Putting safety aside, since you already covered it as well.

Did'nt they also have emission problems as well?

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/02/2007 5:34 PM

YUP Big Time!!!

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#6

Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/02/2007 5:20 PM

Remember what happened to Skoda? Used to be a joke company....and now?

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/02/2007 5:35 PM

SO, THEY LEARNT !!

Trabi, not yet!!!!

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#9
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Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/03/2007 2:08 AM

Have you ever seen a disassembled Trabi?

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/03/2007 8:43 AM

Several times I have seen Trabis intentionally stripped down in workshops and several unintentionally on the road.....I am still not impressed.

I have a kit car that is made of fiberglass, that I built many years ago. Also I have followed the kit car scene in the UK quite a lot up until about 7 years ago.

I have also see what happens to "good" fiberglass cars in an accident, and it is usually much less than similar steel cars. Injuries were seldom.....maybe luck played a part too, but it left a good impression.

Trabis do not give me any of that good feeling with regards to safety and the 2 stroke motor is a real stinker (only a few were built with the Polo VW engine and this made it a high speed rocket!!)

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#11

Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/03/2007 12:50 PM

I can understand why you guys are focused on how dangerous this vehicle is but I'm not sure how much of the danger is this little cars fault.

I hope that in the future all cars will be made from strong light materials such as plastics so it won't take as much energy to propel them and also so driving in general will be less dangerous. I still remember high school physics, Force = Mass x Velocity, I suppose that driving one of these cars now is quite dangerous but only because of all the other heavyweights on the road.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/03/2007 12:57 PM

You are quite right...they are focussed on how bad all the prvious Trabants were....

This one may be fine.. it may also be a crock of shite...

They'll probably soon get bored and get back to moaning about how the Chinese are poisoning everyone in the USA by making them eat lead painted Barbie Dolls...

Oh dear I'm grumpy...maybe I've got a cold coming or I'm just an old git?

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/03/2007 1:12 PM

Hey,

maybe some of us in the US like lead in our paint, makes it taste better than the bland paint we make here.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/03/2007 1:15 PM

LOL ... nice one!

(Mrs Cat likes here Arsenic face powder too)

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#15
In reply to #11

Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/03/2007 1:25 PM

The other heavy weights are as you say a problem.

But the basic structure of the Trabi was very weak, especially from the rear. Several tests made in Germany only using other Trabis showed that at 30KMH, another Trabi would when hitting the rear of say a parked Trabi, would kill the rear seat passengers and severely injure the front seat passengers.....

They did not even use heavy cars.....

It is just incredibly weakly built!

They were actually sold new without a steering wheel, this was an optional extra!!!!

There are many 1000s of people who love them, good for them, but it does not change the weaknesses of the design, nor does it allow a proper Cat on the exhaust of the 2 stroke versions as far as I am aware.........

What a lot of people forget is that each person in the DDR (Old East Germany), not only had a pretty miserable life generally, but used 3 times as much energy as a West German person, because of badly designed engines and no insulation in their houses etc etc..

They even used old railway steam engines, parked on street corners to supply steam heating for blocks of apartments!!!!.

The DDR government subsidised everything, which is part of the reason that they went Bankrupt, just to be able to say that prices were low!!

Bread was so cheap that farmers would go and buy a whole shop full to feed their pigs as it was far cheaper than buying the raw grain!!!The fact that the bakery had no bread for the people was sort of forgotten.....

I could tell you a lot more, but this is not the place. I spent a lot of time in the East, before and after the wall came down.....

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#16
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Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/03/2007 1:47 PM

nor does it allow a proper Cat on the exhaust .

Andy,

I fear you do not fully understand why us cats go under cars... We don't sit on the exhaust system at all...

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#17
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Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/03/2007 1:59 PM

Ha Ha, I should write things out in full!

I did not put things clearly enough for you! You have to "filter" the exhaust, which will make you one very Black Cat, inside & out I fear!!!

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#18
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Re: Composite Car Comeback

10/03/2007 3:59 PM

Cough ...splutter...must stop smoking...

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