From: Cologne, Germany
At the speed you could drive with those things... yes it did take quite a lot to get killed in them.
The Trabant 601 had a max speed of ~107 km/h (66 miles/hour), still sufficient to kill yourself or others, I'd say.
The Trabant performed poorly in a crashtest, but there are people claiming that this test's setup had been altered, as a crashtest expert (Professor Danner from a major insurance company - the Allianz AG) conducted a test with a Trabant setting up a higher impact energy (11.4 % higher) than in all other tests (with other brands). There was a German tv-doc reporting about it, but from this short excerpt on youtube ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0VJqkP1CqQ&feature=related&fmt=18 ) I can't really see convincing evidence other than the statements from this guy. The insurance company alledgedly tried to get the Trabants off German streets (as they may have thought they'd be either a security risk or killing the insurance companies' profits (as the Trabant had small engines and usually a low number of damage/loss cases, which would have resulted in low insurance fees.
Whatsoever, the East Germans saw the Trabant's innerds and look as relic from the 60s anyways, despite the last Trabant (1.1, around 1990, IIRC) featuring a 4-cylinder Polo Volkswagen engine, so they preferred used cars from West German car dealers. The market for used cars here in the West was pretty much widely swept bare right before and shortly after the reunion. As the East Germans weren't used to cars going 200 km/h (124 miles/h) and more, quite some of them crashed their cars on East German highways (which mostly consisted of concrete paving slabs that were placed in a continuous row), or even got into the oncoming traffic, as most East German highways had no central barrier back then, resulting in quite a few fatal accidents. So whatever the Allianz company had in mind, the general inexperience of East German drivers (regarding high speeds and Western cars) and their hunger for Western cars kinda backfired on them and other West German insurance companies.
< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 4/24/2010 10:49:52 AM >
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
8th of August, 2006