This Refurbished Trabant Is The Most Unlikely Of Fine Restomods

Like most cars born under the communist regime in Eastern Europe, the Trabant wasn’t particularly good. Scratch that – it was mostly rubbish, but its crude construction made it easily serviceable and, at least, it provided cheap transportation.

Often referred to as the Soviet Bloc’s Volkswagen Beetle, it was made from 1957 to 1990 in Eastern Germany, and between 1990 and 1991 in Germany. About 3.7 million units of the Trabby were produced in total, and not many of them have withstood the test of time – or the (former) East Germans ability to buy much better cars, which resulted in them dumping this Warsaw Pact-era relic in droves.

Also Watch: 1981 Trabant 601S Video Reviewed in the US

This one is among those that’s not only managed to survive, but looks better than it ever did, with Vilner breathing new life into it. The Bulgarian tuner has refurbished all body panels before giving it the ‘21’ graphics on the doors and roof, as requested by the owner. The wheels feature similar graphics and the only modern accents on the outside are the LED headlights with a DRL function that can duplicate the turn signals.

Vilner is mostly known for creating some eye-catching interior designs, and in the case of this Trabant, they have used a chequered textile theme combined with beige leather. The entire cabin has been reupholstered, including the door panels, roof and dashboard. The tuner has also equipped the car with a Momo steering wheel and a new radio that may look classic, but has modern internals.

As one of the final Trabbys produced, this is a 1990 1.1 model, which uses a Volkswagen Polo Mk1 engine. The small unit develops 45 PS (44 hp / 33 kW) and 74 Nm (56 lb-ft) of torque and is coupled to a four-speed manual gearbox. The Trabant is front-wheel drive and tips the scales at just 700 kg (1,543 lbs), so despite its meager output, it’s fine for urban environments.

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  • Six_Tymes

    that is amazing, I would love to own it

    • Matt

      Would you actually though?

  • Mr. EP9

    This actually makes the car better considering how awful cars from the soviet union were.

  • Christian Wimmer

    Actually, early in the Trabbi‘s live it was, for a very short time, considered more advanced than some West German cars, primarily due to its FWD setup and to an extent the Duroplast body. A lot of smaller West German cars in the late 1950s still used a RWD setup and also had two-stroke engines like the Trabant.

    The August Horch Museum in Zwickau features some amazing exhibits regarding technical innovations and ideas which East German engineers wanted to include in future improved Trabants. However they were held back by the planned economy system which demanded minimal to no changes on these cars. Thus, while the Trabant did start out as a technically-up-to-date and competitive [with smaller late 1950s West German cars] vehicle, the lack of major updates eventually doomed it to a life of mediocrity.

    For Western standards the Trabant could be considered an awful car, but in the context of its time and for the average East German it was basic transportation. Relatively reliable and easy (and cheap) to fix, and capable of hauling a family and their grandparents around – literally. There was also a wagon version of the Trabant.

  • Bash

    Looks so much better, although Im wonder if any upgrades or any work is done to the suspension.

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  • Perry F. Bruns

    Nice lipstick.

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