1. CliffracerX

    CliffracerX Newbie

    Hi all, longish-time lurker/newish Trabi fan here. I found out about Trabis earlier this year after falling in love with the design because of Jalopy's lovingly-crafted rendition of them, as the legally-distinct "Laika 601 DeLuxe".

    I've been on the hunt for a Trabi of my own pretty much since I found out about them, and spent a lot of time lurking on the forums before finally making an account. I found these forums specifically because BillB's beauty of a Trabant was literally the first thing Google found when searching for a "1989 Trabant 601 DeLuxe"; definitely cemented my dream for a Trabi to see one in that beautiful a condition.

    As it stands right now, I'm planning on heading to the Trabi Parade in DC this November, both to just gaze upon the glory of a bunch of Trabants, and, if I'm lucky enough to get a chance to ride in one, to make sure I'm not going to turn into a human pretzel once I'm actually inside; I'm really, stupidly tall, and Trabis are...decidedly not. :p

    Cheers! Hope to see some of you in November.
    BillB and RogerDerSchrauber like this.
  2. Berlin89

    Berlin89 Puttering Along

    Welcome! Good luck with your search.
  3. RogerDerSchrauber

    RogerDerSchrauber Loyal Comrade

    You can modify the Trabant's seat rails to go all the way back to the rear seat. That's how very tall people, incl. one of the designers, were accommodated in the Trabi in the GDR.
  4. tricken

    tricken Loyal Comrade

    i am 6ft 5 inch and fit just fine

    they look small on the outside but once inside i bet you will fit fine
  5. Caleb

    Caleb Loyal Comrade

    Welcome to the club!
  6. CliffracerX

    CliffracerX Newbie

    How does the seat adjustment work, and, perhaps more importantly, how hard does it make it to actually drive? I'm used to being in an extended vehicle; I have a recumbant trike that's been my faithful companion for snack runs and such, but I can't really picture myself sitting like I would in said trike while driving a Trabant, not without worrying that reaching the controls could be a bit tricky.

    I reckon I'm probably going to end up 6-foot-5ish when my body decides it's finally done getting taller, so it's good to know that there are other part-giant Trabi drivers out there! What does "fit" entail, in this case? Is it one of those things where you just need to spend a minute pretzeling yourself into the car, but once you're finished, you're comfortable for the long haul?

    To everyone else: Thanks for the wishes of luck! I've been keeping tabs on the various places where one can buy Trabants (e.g, Craigslist, German EBay, the Classic Traders site in the UK, etc), and while there are plenty that match what I'm looking for (1987-1990 601 DeLuxe) across the pond, I've not seen any in the US yet aside from Bill's, and the prospects of importing a Trabi are...daunting, to say the least.

    On the flip side, 3+ Trabis were listed on Craigslist in the US just last month alone, so maybe by the time I have all my ducks in a row and I'm actually ready to buy one, something matching what I'm looking for will have come up.
  7. tricken

    tricken Loyal Comrade

    it is not bad at all, i sit down and my knees go on the pedals the flat floor and colum shifter make it easy to drive even with a passanger. i feel way less squished in a trabi then i do in a 98 cobra mustang
  8. Caleb

    Caleb Loyal Comrade

    I am about 6ft tall and its no problem driving the trabi. Its a little awkward at first since the pedals are shifted to the right just a bit because of the wheel arch but you get used to it pretty quick.
  9. BillB

    BillB Loyal Comrade

    Cliff, Welcome to our little "Trabi in the USA" world.
    Always scares the hell out of me when someone "did a search" and I'm at the top of the list.... Yikes!
    Thanks for the compliments on my car.
    Come to DC, I'm sure you will not be disappointed.
    This will be my first trip to the "Big One" (in reference to US Trabant gatherings) and I'm very excited.
    I work for a company in Germany, so I was lucky enough to have a work counterpart find, inspect and purchase the car (ebay.de).
    I've actually found a local Plainfield guy who simply must have one, so I'm just starting the process of finding and bringing another Trabi to the US.
    It's really not that bad IF the car has a current TUV inspection (road legal in Germany).
    I used a "RO-RO" service (Roll on, Roll off).
    It's a giant 5000 car ferry that is about as economical as can be found.
    Transport for Heike was a grand total of $2,800.00
    That was pick up on a flat bed in Markdorf, ride to Bremerhaven, ferry to Baltimore, customs processed and delivered to my door in Plainfield, IL
    I'm very pleased with the cost/service.

    Roger is up in New England (Mass).
    Are you close to Roger?
    His Universal is a show stopper, original and beautiful.
    Wartburg353W likes this.
  10. CliffracerX

    CliffracerX Newbie

    In fairness, "1989 Trabant 601 DeLuxe" IS an awfully specific search, especially considering how rare they are in the U.S. - Heike is, so far, the only 1989 DeLuxe I've even found in the US. They're REALLY rare for some reason.

    Barring any horrible disasters, my dad and I are definitely coming to DC for the parade. Working on getting a room atm (I believe I've found the right hotel, just need to get around to actually reserving a room), but once that's done, not much to do but wait for November to roll around. Much excitement. Will post on the Parade thread once the schedule is set in stone.

    I've got two people who I could potentially ask for help with the import process, but I don't know either of them particularly well and just showing up and being like "hey would you mind helping me import a car?" would be awkward as all get-out.

    I've actually had my eye on a Trabi on German EBay that I'd liken to being Heike's twin - a 1989 Trabant 601S DeLuxe in blue, instead of green (http://www.ebay.de/itm/Trabant-601-/352127768760), but there's a load of ways the import attempt could fall apart, I don't have a contact who can pick it up for me, and I currently lack the general resources (like moneys and know-how) to go through the hassle of purchasing and importing a car from another country. Blah.

    It's good to have more data on the requirements of importing, though, so thanks for the pointers! If that blue one's still available when I've got all my ducks in a row, and nothing like it's come up in the US, that's probably what I'll end up getting.

    I'm pretty far from New England (as in, 12+ hour drive far), but if I'm ever in the area for...something or another, I'll definitely have to say hello - it's not often that I'm impressed by the Universal and Kombi style Trabis, but his is definitely an exception.

    Finally, to all my fellow part-giants giving me pointers on how to squeeze into a Trabi; I really appreciate all the help. I'm glad to know I'm not doomed to be eternally too tall for them. :p
    BillB likes this.
  11. RogerDerSchrauber

    RogerDerSchrauber Loyal Comrade

    You'll do just fine. Lots of tall people owned these cars. BTW, the term is actually de Luxe, two words. https://www.google.com/search?q=198...-ZvWAhWC1IMKHR7HBSkQ_AUICygC&biw=1445&bih=753

    If you can make it to DC on Nov. 4th, any of us, incl. myself, will be happy to give you a ride, and to let you know our experiences so far. I'm in MA, if you are in the area, drop me a line, I'll gladly take you for a ride in the Trabi.
    BillB likes this.

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