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.
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.