To best understand the Trabant, you have to first understand
the circumstances from which it was born. Post war Europe,
both sides of the iron curtain, needed a form of cheap
personal transportation, this demand being met by motorcycles
and mopeds (the latter most successfully by the wonderful
But understandably many people wanted something a little
more substantial, something that would afford protection
from the bitter cold of the winter months.
The micro "bubble
car" was soon to be developed in the West, most notably
by manufacturers such as Heinkel and Messerschmitt.
The P50 was the first of the AWZ's to carry the "Trabant"
badge, the design selected from various ideas submitted
by its factory workers.
3375mm in length, 1500mm wide
and 1395mm high, the Trabant was larger than the Goggomobil
T300 Limousine (2900 x 1280x 1310 mm) and even more
powerful, and was styled in typical 1950's fashion.
From 1962 the engine size was increased to 600cc, and
the exterior received a mild makeover - naturally enough
the car was remaned the P60.
This version would remain
in production until 1964, when it would be replaced by
the P601, after more than 132,000 P50's and P60's had