GM's New Communist Economy Car: 2011 Trabant-2

The first Trabant rolled off the production line on 7 November 1957: the 40th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Now that the Bolsheviks have taken the White House, it is only fitting that the transportation symbol of the Proletarian Paradise be brought back to solve our modern vehicle challenges.

In accordance with the first Obama Five Year Plan, General Motors Communist (GMC) has announced that it will introduce a new small economy car to its newly socialized lineup: The Trabant-2!

When Time Magazine named the original East German Communist built Trabant one of the worst cars of all time, they summed up the vehicle very well:

Powered by a two-stroke pollution generator that maxed out at an ear-splitting 18 horsepower, the Trabant was a hollow lie of a car constructed of recycled worthlessness (actually, the body was made of a fiberglass-like Duroplast, reinforced with recycled fibers like cotton and wood). A virtual antique when it was designed in the 1950s, the Trabant was East Germany's answer to the VW Beetle — a "people's car," as if the people didn't have enough to worry about. Trabants smoked like an Iraqi oil fire, when they ran at all, and often lacked even the most basic of amenities, like brake lights or turn signals. But history has been kind to the Trabi. Thousands of East Germans drove their Trabants over the border when the Wall fell, which made it a kind of automotive liberator. Once across the border, the none-too-sentimental Ostdeutschlanders immediately abandoned their cars. Ich bin Junk!

The Trabant-2 features all of the characteristics which made the original model such a triumph of Communist engineering. The Trabant-2 features the traditional 595 cc, two-cylinder air-cooled engine which requires a 50:1 gas-oil mix. Filling up a Trabant is fun and easy. Just open up the hood, fill the tank with gasoline, pour in two-stroke oil, and then step to the side of the car, put your hands onto the body and shake it back and forth to mix the oil with the fuel!

The new Trabant-2 reaches a breathtaking speed of 56 mph (91 kph) in just 28 seconds, and remains unmistakeable with its signature two stroke exhaust note "tring dang dang dang dang... trinnnnnng dang dang dang dang..." Trabant-2 drivers will also benefit from exceptional visibility as the smoke from their exhausts can be seen for miles.

The Trabant-2 is a true economy car. Unlike the bourgeois cars of the past, it has no carpeting, glove box, or fuel gauge. The rear windows are glued shut to improve aerodynamics.

Thanks to the Obama Administration's collectivization of General Motors Communist, we can now bring back more nostalgia from the great old Iron Curtain days, such as the lovable Trabant jokes:

  • How do you double the value of a Trabant? Fill up its fuel tank.
  • How do you measure the acceleration of a Trabant? With a calendar.
  • Why does the Trabant have a heated rear window? It keeps your hands warm while you push it.
  • How do you turn a Trabant into a sportscar? Put your Nikes in the trunk.
  • How many workers does it take to build a Trabant? Two: One to fold and one to paste.
  • Why doesn't a Trabant have seat belts? It might be mistaken for a backpack.
  • Why is the Trabant the longest car on the road? There's ten feet of car, followed by fifty feet of smoke.
  • What's the difference between a Jehovah's Witness and a Trabant? You can shut the door on a Jehovah's Witness.

The Trabant-2 is the newest addition to the redstellar General Motors Communist model lineup. And coming soon... the Wartburg-2!

Presenting: The 2011 GMC Trabant-2!

... And Coming Soon, the 2012 GMC Wartburg-2!

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Comments 23 comments

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

A friend of mine rushed to the GDR when the wall came down and tried to bring it back to the UK as a souvenir but he had to abandon it en route.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

I'm not surprised that it couldn't make it from the GDR to the UK, as Trabants could barely make it to the city limits! :)

Aren't you glad that GM(C) is going to bring back these phenomenal glories of Communist automotive science? :(


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

It should give them a leg up in the restart phase!


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

It certainly is going to be better than the Chevy Volt. At least GM can actually build this car. The Volt is a MIRAGE! :)


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

I would really rather have the Indian Nano, but I don't think we'll see that here, much like the VW Polo, (almost 70 miles to the gallon), but not in the US. Here's how it really works:

1) Chrysler merges with popular and decent European company.

2) European company includes powerful Chrysler car engine in their product, Chrysler just keeps churning out the same junk to American public.

3) Chrysler ends association / partnership with European car company and a few years later repeats cycle.

4) When Chrysler doesn't do that, some nostalgic comes along - who happens to be the President of the United States, and decides to relive old times and forces them to merge with Fiat.

Of course, I'm fuzzy on the details, and we do have the Mini Cooper and the Sprinter van in the US, but something economical for the people? No.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Alexander Mark: I think the Tata Nano, slightly modified to suit the North American market would be a huge hit if the price was kept down to the Indian levels. However, by the time they homologate it and put on all of the various mandated junk, it will likely cost more than a real car. I loved your summary of Chrysler's recent history. There is a lot more truth to that than most people would be willing to admit. It's all because North American automakers can't understand that a horrible, badly engineered, worst built, POS like the Dodge Caliber is not an economy car! It's a shrunk 300!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

Of course you're right, by the time it ends up on the lot, it will cost maybe a thousand less than a Hyundai. As far as the Caliber is concerned, I always had to laugh when I drove by a Billboard touting it's fuel economy, which was little better than a Ford Ranger. Thanks for the kudos.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

I definitely am not going to be the first in line to purchase a $10,000 Tata Nano, but if the impossible were to occur and the car could be sold in North American trim for even a thousand dollars more than the Indian price, it could change the face of North American transportation. And puh-leeez don't get me started on the Dodge Caliber... :(


Tyson 7 years ago

Its almost as if you all wanted your government to stand by and let your economy crash. Nostalgia for the great depression perhaps?


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

No, we don't want to saddle our children with a half a million dollar tax bill each. Do you think bailout money grows on Commie Trees? :)


Shannon Paulk 6 years ago

I actually drove a Caliber for a year and it was not a bad car. Fuel economy was decent--it was the pick up that was the problem. Anyway, it would be interesting to see what impact the Nano would have here in America. Perhaps it would spur US auto makers to compete and actually create cars with good fuel economy.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 6 years ago from Toronto Author

I'd love to see a Nano but given the fact that they'd have to redesign it from the bolts up to meet US safety specs (and at least quadruple the price) I don't think we ever will. :(


Mike Annen 6 years ago

Trabis are very misunderstood. People only know what they are told and are afraid to make their own judgment about the Trabant. They draw conclusions from confusing information and half truths but mostly just agree with everyone else. That's always the safe bet. For instance, most people don't know that Trabants don't smoke after warm up. I drive one in the USA and can also tell you they are very dependable mostly due to simplicity. For instance, they have no pumps to fail. There are no water, fuel, or oil pumps on a Trabi. That along eliminates a large number of breakdowns. I meet an owner of a slightly modified 1600cc dual port 1956 VW who was going to a car show and who stopped when he saw my parked Trabi. He knew about Trabants and told me his answering machine's message was a bit with him doing a Trabant used car salesman. He convinced me to show my car that day. I had a full load of 4 adults in my Trabi as he followed me. When we arrived he said he recanted, one by one, everything he thought he knew about Trabis, such as they are slow, smoked, couldn't stop or handle (I really never heard that one before because they handle like go-carts) etc. I enjoyed answering his questions and seeing his reaction to the facts. When he asked me why people discredit the Trabi, I summed it up with two reasons: 1) People that owned them, loved them, but had little choice for 20 years and grew sick of the same old thing and 2)Westerners can't admit that the communist could build something so good from so little. They remind of the early Soviet MIG jet fighters, basic and to the point. BTW, you don't have to shake the fuel if you put the oil in first.

Mike Annen


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 6 years ago from Toronto Author

Mike as much as I can respect your opinion, let's face it, the Trabi was a Commie claptrap that was decades behind automotive technology in each of its production years. Sure, it's built like a Soviet tractor and probably will run as long as one but there is absolutely no excuse to foist a car like that on, say, an East German consumer in the late 80s when just across the line his brothers are tooling around in Beemers and Mercs. Just another one of the great benefits of Communism which I keep pointing out to the YES WE CAN crowd. :)


chuck  6 years ago

I own both an older (FMC) Harley Davidson and a Trabant...BTW the Harley is newer than the Trabi.Guess which one leaks the most oil. Yep... your right, the Harley. Love them both


John Short 6 years ago

Hi Hal - I can tell you've never driven a Trabi, have you? They were ahead of their time, at least in the early years, in many respects (agreed, the appearance wasn't updated much in the later years, although they received many more improvements than most people realise)! I drive a '72 one here in Colorado and a '63 one in the UK when I'm back there, and I swear by them! They're my only cars, and daily drivers. The UK one's been round Europe on several occasions, and I take the one here in CO through the Rockies and all around Colorado, Wyoming et al. regularly. They accelerate really rather well, handle VERY well, and cruise comfortably at 65-70, with a max speed of about 80. Yes, mph. Smooth and refreshingly fun to drive, extremely comfortable, high quality throughout (seriously), very economical and easy and cheap to maintain even in a country where spare parts don't exactly grow on trees. I'm the one that's always towing back dead Volvos, Hondas, Saturns etc. with my Trabi up the hill to our place, and then spending my time fixing everything but the Trabi which keeps running great with minimal maintenance (never once failed to get me home in 5 years of ownership here). Yes the factory faced stringent economic limitations, but what they produced with the available resources was phenomenal. I challenge you to drive one and then make up your mind. Warning though - they're addictive!


Jim Jamieson 6 years ago

I've been driving Trabants for about 10 years now - absolutely great little cars, simple to work on - will actually corner unlike some of GMCs Barges and why state they are "Commie" cars -surely the fear is not still that prevalent in the US? - they are European cars and if it were not for teh Communist regime then the VW Golf would not have been born - yes it was a prototype Trabant!


Czharrisburg 6 years ago

Like Mike, John and Jim, I own a Trabant as well as an 85 Wartburg 353, possibly the only one in the US. The quality of these cars is very high. They were designed by Germans for the conditions at the time, were meant to be easily serviced by their owners, and designed to not be obsolete within 4 years. The W353 has a 1000cc 3 cyl 2 stroke, can do an honest 90 mph, and is built like a bank vault - 25 years old and not a rattle. Make fun if you want, but I laugh just as hard at much of the crap the US has produced.


AARON99 6 years ago

A very good hub. Keep writing.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 6 years ago from Toronto Author

chuck: Ya, sure... :)

John Short: It's ok... I think I'll stick to Beemers and Benzes as my idea of German engineering. :)

Jim Jamieson: Nah, Americans aren't afraid of Commies any more, they elected one as President.

Czharrisburg: Again... Gimme a BMW or a Benz... :)

AARON99: Thanks!


martin 6 years ago

he could've carried the trabant to UK :)


Big Bruce 5 years ago

I'll never forget 1972, when a former German prizefighter, Gerhard Muus and his wife Hildegard, moved next door to my parents, on the 1500 block of Crestline Drive, in Santa Barbara. They were decidedly upscale Germans, as Gerhard had become wealthy, putting his prize-fight winnings into an Import/Export company.

They were wealthy enough to ship both of their Mercedes Benz cars over with them. Gerhard's was a 4.5 280 SEL, and Hildegard's was a 280 SL roadster.

It took about 3 months for Gerhard to sell his Benz and he replaced it with a 9-year old 1963 Ford Galaxie convertible. a car my dad considered as an average domestic POS, by the way. But then again, thanks to a nightmarish experience with a brand new 280 SE some years prior, Dad had also written off the Benz as an even WORSE POS than the Ford.

(BTW, Dad was a former European race-car driver who's rides had included the SSK, a couple of Bugattis, and several Fiat/Alfa cars).

Within a couple more months, Hildegard's sexy Teutonic roadster was also gone, replaced by a late model Slant Six Plymouth Valiant.

We couldn't resist needling Gerhard and Hildegard about this rather reverse-seeming "upgrading" of their autos. This is what Gerhard, native of Hamburg, Germany, long-time Mercedes loyalist, had to say:

"Having lived in Germany all our lives, we've been educated to view Mercedes as the ultimate car. American cars are virtually unknown in Europe, so most Germans never have the chance to see for themselves, the quality and superiority of many of the mid-range U.S. cars."

"This '63 Ford is the absolute best car I have ever driven - way better than any European car I've ever driven. And Hildegard loves the Valiant, it is so reliable and free of mechanical problems, it's like a dream car by comparison with her old 280 SL."

Put that in your Euro-biased pipe and smoke it.


Attila 4 years ago

láttam már ennél job autot is nade ez azért jo

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