Member #25

Jennifer Schultz
Atlanta, Georgia

1966 P601 Sedan

During the 2004-2005 school year I participated in a the Fulbright Teacher Exchange in Germany. I wasn’t allowed to choose the location, so I ended up in a part of Germany I didn’t really know well, Saxony Anhalt. It was there that I became the state’s biggest fan of OSTalgie, especially my 1989 Trabant, but also including other various items, some loathed and others cherished by the former East Germans. 

At first, I was proud to have lived almost 3 entire months using only my bicycle and my own two feet to get around, but then, I starting thinking how much fun it would be to own a Trabi for a year. So, I mentioned it at work, and within weeks, a colleague had found a friend who was selling his for a mere 300 Euros. Of course, insurance and registration were both more than the cost of the car, but it was worth it. I had so much fun in the Trabi during my year in Germany that I decided to pursue bringing “him,” AKA “Max” (everyone names his Trabi!!!), home! I found out that it would be almost impossible, if not simply too expensive, so I gave up. 

Then, I started getting sad and decided even if I couldn’t bring Max home, I could perhaps find an older Trabi to bring home, one which would make it through customs. That was when I started talking about it again, and that same day, the mayor of Thiessen, a neighboring
village, offered me his old Trabi for free. He had one stipulation. I had to restore it with my sweet mechanic friends I met there and take a picture of it in America as proof that it made it. That’s my picture for them in front of my house with the American flag. Hopefully we’ll get an even better picture in front of the beach someday! 

Oh, by the way, the new Trabi is Friedrich (Friedrich, der Kleine!!). I took most of Max’s innards and put them in Friedrich’s nice old 1966 body and made one sweet little Trabi. I kept everything I could original from the 1966 and used only similar engine parts to make him a little more fit for the American style of driving. All that basically means, I changed nothing, since that sweet little motor never did change much over all those years! We reside quite happily in Atlanta, GA. He is a looker and it never fails that we meet new people when we are out for a ride. 

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