Love was the basis for Willem and Jikky to restore this Trabant P23 of the first type more than 50 years ago to serve as a wedding car. After all, the car was lovingly called “Trabi” by its owners at the time. This type started its career in 1957 and is only encountered occasionally. The later series Trabants 600 and 601 are more often seen in classic circles. After this first type, the Trabant remained unchanged for almost years. Only the necessary improvements were allowed to be implemented by the government. The Duroplast car would play a major role in the GDR, a car that made history.
A trip through time
Willem took his first action by purchasing this Trabant P50 from a dealer, he received the car in exchange for 600 hard Dutch guilders in 2000, now 23 years ago. He thought it would be quite special to restore the car, with only one goal: to celebrate his wedding day with the Trabant as a wedding car and to take fun, photogenic photos to capture the memories.
From ready for demolition to a shiny classic car
The project almost ended in failure, the car turned out to be ready for scrap despite its durable body. Good advice was expensive, a donor car had to be purchased to obtain the necessary parts, and a search was started for sheet metal parts, because the donor car could no longer be saved. Fortunately, some parts such as bumpers, mirrors, decorative strips, etc. had to be sanded off no fewer than five layers of paint from the car before it could be provided with a primer layer, of course it had to look as it had left the factory in a white coat of paint. With small intervals and with the help of his father, the job was completed in 3 years.
Trabant P50. The largest Kleinwagen
Phenolic resin was used for production, which was reinforced with cotton waste. The sheet parts were given their shape under pressure. The advantages are clear: absolute corrosion resistance, light weight and great strength, whereby any repair would be cheap. Its top speed was around 100 km per hour, despite the small engine made possible by the low weight of the GDR icon. The plastic bomber was a small full-fledged car, it could not rust, unlike the steel frame where brown evil could strike. Economically speaking, the lifespan of this loudly bubbling and emitting blue smoke Trabi was about five years. Willem and Jikky's piece of Ostalgie has survived for more than 60 years.
The Trabant P50 is a charm of simplicity
Willem: “For me it is the charm of the simplicity, the sedan still has a pontoon shape with rounded corners and that certainly doesn't look bad. You could take pictures of all the details: the sloping hood. The two slightly protruding headlights, the view is more than sufficient. The dashboard is very simple, the luggage space is more than sufficient with even a whole set of tools, I make it clear to everyone: 'I own a Trabant, the characteristic Eastern Bloc mobile'.”
Feeling of happiness
Possession still gives a feeling of happiness because of the wedding journey on the most beautiful day of life. And that is almost the only day that the Trabant drove, from home to the city hall. We do not include the second trip of the Trabant P50 to Giethoorn for a surprise weekend, the trip to the RDW for the license plate. This special appearance now remains as an eye-catcher in his metal processing company, where custom metal work can be delivered. The starting point for Willem is that you can make anything from metal. That is also passion, and his old Trabant also shows that you have passion. That makes it fascinating.