In what is very likely the smokiest, smelliest tribute to human freedom ever, a parade of around 65 Trabants, Wartburgs, and the occasional Barkas van trundled through a surviving gate between Thuringia and Bavaria, celebrating the fact that the people on the East side of that wall no longer have to buy cars like this. Oh, and freedom.
Here’s a nice little video of the magical event:
The Trabant, especially, has become a symbol of life in East Germany, at least a symbol of the less repressive aspects, at least, and one that has actually managed to generate a bit of nostalgia.
The Trabant often gets panned as one of the worst cars ever built, but if you consider the context, with the extremely limited resources available and how many people the car actually managed to put on the roads, it’s really something of a triumph. I mean, the thing was built from recycled Soviet underpants and relied on gravity to keep its fuel pumping, yet somehow still managed to get millions of East Germans where they needed to go for decades.
It’s good to see there’s still people who appreciate these humble little reminders of the Bad Old Days.