1961 P50 Green/Orange Sedan 1962 P50 Gray Kombi 1963 P60 White Sedan 1965 P60 White/Gray Kombi (with sunroof) 1965 P60 White Kombi 1966 P601 Pink Sedan 1966 P601S White sedan 1967 P601 Green/White Deluxe Sedan 1967 P601S White/Blue Sedan Taxi 1968 P601S Deluxe White/Green Sedan 1982 P601 Sage Kombi
I think it was fall of 2003 when I riding though an industrial area in Baltimore and saw 2 strange little cars behind a chain link fence along with a bunch of other "modern" cars. I instantly yelped to my friend "That's a Trabant". I'd had interest in them and remember having dinner at my German in-law's in November 1989 when on TV I saw the story of the wall coming down and the little Trabbis all lined up. I said " I want to get one of them". My West German father in-law said "They're s---!!!" Well that just made me want one all the more.
I had to have them. I was on the cell phone, on the way home, asking for the number of the company and arranged a meeting the next day. It was an importer's lot. All the cars sitting there had customs problems (not DOT or EPA etc.) The amazing story is that some one imported them before they were 25 years old and they had been sitting there for 4 years!!! They were auctioned off several times but after winning them for maybe $50 at a G.O. (government auction), people could not get them cleared through customs. Everyone just walked away because the storage ate away as time passed.
Well, I did not know anything about customs, but the manager was the nicest guy and said "If you get them cleared, you can have them for $25 each." Wow, I didn't have the burden of paying storage while I figured out what to do. I kept a log of the numerous attempts ( keeping in touch with him too ) and phone calls and e-mails. I researched the Internet with SHOC , foreign Trabant clubs and TrabantUSA etc. helping me learn anything I could. My log has maybe 50-100 attempts that lasted about a year (The log isn't in front of me) before I was sitting across 4 or 5 customs agents trying to trick me up. They could not believe the paperwork was 5 years old? The value on the paperwork said the 2 cars were worth $7000.00 or $8000.00, I was handed a phone that the "supervisor" grilled me some more. "Your paying how much for these cars???" He said," Well, you're not going to get them today" OK? more learning process. They called the importer (whom they knew) said they had to send out an inspector... blah blah ...wuf wuf...few minutes later I was filling out a bunch of paperwork, handed back the clearance and asked to pay something like $50. I was on my way!!!???