Now he is finally here, our Simson KR (KleinRoller=small scooter) 51/1 “Schwalbe” (“Swallow”), Year 1979. Actually he is a “she”: the “Schwalbe” (“Swallow”), because nobody used the designation Simson KR 51/1. For a long time she stands with a structurally identical sister in our museum depot in order to make her way in the exhibition in the Christmas season. In the DDR Museum she now stands on a befitting podium.
She won her sympathies but really only after the German Unit, when she advanced to a Cult vehicle of the East. So many West Germans thought, they face the pride of the GDR citizens. But in GDR times she often was only the second choice. Young people preferred usually the sportier Mokick-models of the “Vogelserie” (“Bird Series”): the “Star” and the “Habicht” (“hawk”) and later the models S50 or S51. The swallow was nevertheless with more than one million built exemplars widespread in many age groups and she was used as a service vehicle. In the 1980s I‘ve been traveling as a „Telegrammkutscher“ (“telegramcoachman”) with a “Schwalbe” of the Deutsche Post (German post), too, lack of an alternative even with a now coveted half helmet including a leather shield.
Our “Schwalbe”, often commonly called a “Moped”, belongs to the last built exemplars with the fan-cooled 3.6 HP motor and it is in original condition: The paint is old, the good piece wasn’t repaired, rebuilt, “coiffed” or restored. It is one of the rare complete original models and was produced in the “IFA Kombinat VEB Fahrzeug and Jagdwaffenwerk Ernst Thälmann Suhl” (“IFAVEBvehicle and Hunting weapons factory Ernst Thälmann Suhl”). The former retail price was 1265,- Mark of the GDR.
(Translation: Valerie Holbein)