Collection

The Trabant car key

It just came back as a loan from the Deutsche Hygiene Museum: our Trabant car key. There it was an exhibit of the special exhibition “Reichtum – Mehr als genug”, which was shown in Dresden from the 6th of July till the 10th of November 2013.
by Sören Marotz (29 Nov 2013)

It just came back as a loan from the Deutsche Hygiene Museum: our Trabant car key. There it was an exhibit of the special exhibition “Reichtum – Mehr als genug”, which was shown in Dresden from the 6th of July till the 10th of November 2013.

Mr. Willer, our expert for questions regarding GDR vehicles, says about the Trabant car key: “With the key it was as follows: If a lock was broken or there wasn´t a key anymore (for example because it got lost), you had to buy the whole lock, so either a door handle, a boot lid or an ignition lock, together with a new key. There was, to my knowledge, in East Berlin only one security key service, but this needed of course an original key, too. In practice it looked as though that many “scatterbrained” Trabi drivers had on their bunch of key up to four keys, one for every lock. Because of that there were from time to time self-filed carvings on the key in order to tell apart the keys.”

In our exhibition of course we haven`t got only the key, but an original Trabi “P601”, too. The most-built model “Trabant P 601” with thermoset (a phenol resin and cotton synthetic material) bodywork was built from 1964 till 1990 and had a two-cylinder- two –stroke Otto-engine. The number 26 runs through the history of the car: He had 26 horsepower, a 26-litre tank and after 26 years the production was stopped. But, you have to wait on average “just” half as long: 13 years, refrained from the special contingent for the privileged.

 

(Translation: Valerie Holbein)

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